NEW: Complaint Alleges Illegal Vukmir-Uihlein Coordination

Oct 25, 2018

For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

Vukmir Must Answer For Alleged Illegal Coordination With Billionaire Megadonor Dick Uihlein

In a new complaint to the FEC, a campaign finance watchdog group alleges illegal coordination between Leah Vukmir and billionaire megadonor Dick Uihlein

The complaint also alleges that Vukmir improperly solicited excessive campaign contributions from Uihlein

MADISON — In a new complaint today filed with the Federal Election Commission, End Citizens United alleges that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir and her campaign “improperly solicited contributions well in excess of the statutorily imposed limits” and “improperly coordinated public communications with Super PACs controlled by billionaire megadonor Dick Uihlein, whose groups have in recent months spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect Vukmir.

“Did Leah Vukmir illegally coordinate with billionaire megadonor Dick Uihlein? It looks that way, and Leah Vukmir needs to answer for these allegations,” said Brad Bainum, DPW spokesperson for the 2018 Senate race.

Questions Vukmir Must Answer:

1. Did Leah Vukmir or anyone from her campaign talk to or meet with Dick Uihlein to privately follow through on Vukmir’s public request for Uihlein to invest more in his super PACs now supporting her candidacy?

2. Did Dick Uihlein attend the so-called “unity fundraiser” he was scheduled to attend in August benefiting Vukmir, and did Vukmir and Uihlein discuss Vukmir and Uihlein-funded groups’ coordinated campaign strategy to — in Vukmir’s words — “buy” her the election?


In August, Vukmir made headlines from news outlets (including the Associated Press and WKOW-TV) for saying that she was “reaching out to Dick Uihlein” and hopeful “that [Uihlein] will want to continue with his commitment” to supporting her campaign. That marked a significant change of heart for Vukmir, who, just one week prior, had complained that Uihlein was trying to “buy a Senate seat” for her Republican opponent, adding, “that’s not what Wisconsin politics is about.”

In the months since then, two Uihlein-funded groups have dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Wisconsin’s Senate race in support of Leah Vukmir and to beat Tammy Baldwin. Over that same period, Uihlein has donated at least $3 million to groups now supporting Vukmir, including $2 million to Restoration PAC and $1 million to Americas PAC.

WisPolitics has the full End Citizens United FEC complaint, here.