Buying of the President

Published — July 13, 2015 Updated — October 23, 2015 at 9:53 am ET

12 things to know about Scott Walker

Polls show Wisconsin governor in top tier of crowded GOP presidential field


Update, Sept. 21, 2015: Scott Walker has decided to end his 2016 presidential bid.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is poised to join the ever-expanding field of Republican candidates running to become the next president.

Polls indicate Walker is an instant top-tier contender for the GOP nomination. And he’s certainly a tough campaigner, having prevailed in a 2012 recall election — the first governor in U.S. history to survive such a vote.

Here’s more about the financial history of a man who could become the first person since Harry Truman to win the White House, but not have a college degree:

  • The Republican Party of Wisconsin has given Walker’s various campaigns $3.4 million, making the party his top donor. Second place? Businesswoman Diane Hendricks — the richest woman in Wisconsin.
  • Retirees love Scott Walker, having given nearly $8.4 million to his state-level campaigns since 1998.
  • Scott Walker has received more money from Wisconsin donors than out-of-state boosters during his various political campaigns.
  • Scott Walker’s 2012 recall election campaign was the subject of a John Doe investigation.
  • Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce spent at least $2.5 million supporting Scott Walker’s re-election last year. The group was subpoenaed in 2012 in an investigation of alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign and outside groups.
  • Scott Walker’s controversial 2012 recall election cost nearly $81 million.
  • “Who’s in charge? Is it a handful of special interests?” Scott Walker rhetorically asked in a 2012 Fox News interview. “Or is it ultimately the hardworking taxpayers?” 
  • Scott Walker’s re-election campaign spent more than $8 million on more than 22,000 TV ads during the 2014 cycle.
  • Scott Walker sits on the executive committee of the Republican Governors Association, which spent roughly $29.2 million on TV ads to boost GOP candidates.
  • In March, Walker signed “right to work” legislation undoing requirements that private-sector workers pay union fees.
  • Scott Walker’s 527 committee is called Our American Revival. It promises to “lead a revival” of a government that “is leaner, more efficient, more effective and more accountable to the American people.”
  • “I even have Hillary’s private e-mail,“ Walker joked during a March Gridiron Dinner speech. “It’s”

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting as well as the Internal Revenue Service, Fox News, Kantar Media CMAG, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the National Institute on Money in State Politics, and the Washington Post.

Image sources: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Michael Vadon/Flickr,

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