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Construction groups among biggest corporate donors to parties, legislative committees (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Construction-related groups were among the top corporate donors to Wisconsin’s Democratic and Republican parties and legislative fundraising committees last year.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a government-watchdog group, reported Wednesday that corporations gave about $1.3 million to the two major state political parties and related legislative committees in 2016. Among the biggest donors was the Wisconsin Homeowners Alliance, which is affiliated with the Wisconsin Realtors Association and gave $52,500 to the two parties and affiliated committees.

Among industry groups, the next biggest donor on the Democracy Campaign’s list was the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, which was reported to have given $36,000. But John Schulze, director of government relations for the mostly non-union group, said the figure actually includes $12,000 that came from the ABC’s national organization.

Other industry groups on the democracy campaign’s list included:

  • The Building Industry Council, which gave $24,000;
  • The Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters, which gave $24,000;
  • The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, which gave $16,000;
  • InPro Corp., a Musekgo-based maker of architectural building products, which gave $12,000; and
  • The Wisconsin Laborers District Council, which gave $12,000.

The democracy campaign’s review found that corporations gave the state GOP $60,600 and the state Democratic Party $107,000. The Committee to Elect a Republican Senate got $404,050; the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee got $362,500; the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee $232,920; and the Senate Democratic Committee $138,650.

All in all, Republicans got about $827,000 and Democrats $479,000.

About 200 businesses, trade groups, unions and tribes made the contributions. The biggest donor was Wisconsin Progress, a group that recruits and trains Democratic candidates. That group contributed $97,340 to the Assembly Democratic committee. Other top donors included the Ho-Chunk Nation and MillerCoors.


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