The state Dem Party had a nearly 6-to-1 advantage for cash on hand over the Republican Party of Wisconsin at the end of June, according to a WisPolitics.com review of state and federal campaign finance reports.
Of the nearly $6.8 million the Dem Party reported, $4.7 million was in its federal account.
Meanwhile, the state GOP reported just over $1.2 million with more than $1 million of that in its federal account.
The disparity between the two parties for cash on hand in their federal accounts has lessened since the post-general election reports. Those reports showed the Dem Party with $8.8 million compared to just over $1 million for the state GOP.
But the state Dem Party raised $4.2 million through its main state account during the first six months of the year, fueled largely by donations from a dozen donors.
Those contributors collectively gave the party nearly $3.8 million, including a $960,000 donation from Madison surgeon Elise Lawson.
That contribution was more than the $739,731 the state GOP has raised over the first six months of 2021 through its main state account.
The latest filings continue a trend of the state Dem Party outraising the RPW, often thanks to large contributions. State law places no cap on the size of a donation to a state party, which can then make unlimited transfers to candidates. Finance reports show the party transferred $1 million to Gov. Tony Evers’ campaign during the first six months of the year as he raised more than $5 million.
Through the main state account, the Dem Party spent $2.8 million over the first half of the year and finished June with $1.8 million in the bank. The state GOP spent $1 million and had $164,439 cash on hand.
The state Dem Party’s top dozen donations to that account included $508,237 from Evers’ campaign and $50,000 from the Florida Democratic Party. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin in January transferred $300,000 to its Florida counterpart, which was in debt and behind on its bills.
The state party gave Evers’ campaign $1 million last year as opponents launched an effort to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall. The $508,237 was the amount Evers refunded to the party after not using the money as the effort fell apart. The party gave Evers a total of $2.7 million in 2020.
The other top donations to the state Dem Party included: Dem megadonor George Soros, $500,000; Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, $490,000; Karla Jurvetson, a California doctor, $490,000; Edward Snowdon, a New York theatrical producer, $200,000; Milwaukee philanthropist Lynde Uihlein, $150,000; William Reeves, of Hawaii, $140,000; Robert Price, co-founder and chair of PriceSmart Inc., $140,000; Stephen Silberstein, a California retiree, $90,000; and Deborah Kern, a member of the Kern Family Foundation, $80,000.
The biggest donor to the state GOP account over the first half of the year was the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, which gave the party $110,000.
Meanwhile, the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee gave the state party $80,000.
Among individual donors, Louis Gentine, CEO of Sargento Foods, gave the party $50,000. Kim Hendricks, a former exec with ABC Supply Co., gave the party $30,000, while her mother Diane Hendricks, chair of ABC Supply, gave $25,000.
Illinois businessman Dick Uihlein also gave the party $25,000, while John Walton, an Arkansas banker, contributed $20,000.
The parties’ fundraising efforts include a segregated fund, which can accept corporate contributions but can’t be used to expressly advocate for a candidate.
The Dem Party raised $223,210, spent $209,415 and had $296,705 in the bank for that account.
Meanwhile, the state GOP raised $95,300, spent $97,884 and had $6,023 in that account.
Both largely use those accounts to cover payroll costs.
See the Dem Party filing for that account: