Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Scott Walker | scott walker | fundraising | wisconsin | recall

WashPost: Scott Walker Already a Formidable Fundraiser

WashPost: Scott Walker Already a Formidable Fundraiser
(Earnie Grafton/Reuters/Landov)

Thursday, 05 February 2015 08:27 AM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is hot on the heels of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie in the race for GOP donors as he crisscrosses the country to build a war chest for a possible White House run.

Walker formed a new political committee last month, Our American Revival, as a launching pad for his presidential ambitions that will spread his message and fund his activities, according to The Washington Post.

Walker has created an impressive network in 50 states consisting of wealthy contributors and small donors while preparing to chase his possible 2016 rivals, former Florida Gov. Bush and New Jersey Gov. Christie, who already have a head start on him in the fundraising stakes.

Last week, Walker was the guest of honor at a private fundraiser for heavyweight hitters in Indian Wells, California, and received a $100,000 check from just one supporter alone, the newspaper said.

According to the Post, Walker’s long donor list is partially the result of the backing he received from wealthy conservatives in a failed 2012 recall vote in Wisconsin that resulted from  Walker's championing a law that reduced collective-bargaining rights for public employees.

The megadonors who rallied behind him included conservative members of a political network organized by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, such as the DeVos family, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and millionaire investor Foster Friess.

"The recall provided him with a really interesting opportunity, because he made so many connections nationally with so many donors," said Chart Westcott, a hedge fund executive, who arranged the breakfast fundraiser at his parents’ home in Indian Wells.

"He already has this base of people who have given him six figures in the past. Not a lot of the other candidates have a national network like that."

The Post says that while raising the staggering sum of $83 million for three statewide races in the past four years,  Walker received donations of $75 or less from 75 percent of the nearly 300,000 people who gave to his campaigns.

Ron Weiser, a former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Walker "has a mammoth small-donor list" that is only equaled by libertarian-leaning Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Former Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who struggled to raise cash during a brief presidential run in 2011, told the paper that Walker’s donor bank is “a tremendous political asset and strength for him.

"He has something I didn’t have," Pawlenty said. "Because of the recall and his good work in Wisconsin, he’s got one of the largest direct-mail and Internet donor bases in the country and very established relationships with major donors.

"That’s going to allow him to raise a competitive amount of money to ride out the inevitable highs and lows of the campaign."

One of Walker’s major conservative donors is Stanley Hubbard, who runs a Minnesota broadcasting company.

"I love Chris Christie. I think Jeb Bush is a wonderful person. But right now, my family and I are backing Governor Walker," said Hubbard, who recently sent a $25,000 check to Walker’s new committee.

"I think he would be a hell of a president because he has been there and done that in a very liberal state."

Another wealthy contributor is Nashville venture capitalist Andy Miller, who recently arranged a small breakfast for Walker at a local restaurant.

"He just struck me as one of the most genuine men I’ve ever met in politics, and I’ve met lots of them, so I know that’s not always what you find," said Miller. "He’s my guy, 100 percent."

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is hot on the heels of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie in the race for GOP donors as he crisscrosses the country to build a war chest for a possible White House run.
scott walker, fundraising, wisconsin, recall, DeVos, koch brother, adelson
Thursday, 05 February 2015 08:27 AM
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