Vegas, Baby: Scott Walker Courts Billionaire’s Cash, Support for Presidential Bid

Dec 08, 2014

Faced with a staggering $2.2 billion, and counting, budget deficit of his own creation and a contentious legislative session that seeks to advance attacks on women’s rights and workplace freedom here in Wisconsin, Scott Walker is escaping to Las Vegas to court campaign cash from mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

That’s according to The Washington Post, which is today reporting that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson will host a dinner for Walker and top GOP donors in Las Vegas this week as part of conversations about funding potential Republican presidential candidates.

Adelson is a long-time supporter of extreme right-wing policies, and of Walker himself; in 2012 Adelson spent approximately $150 million in support of Republican candidates and causes to include $250,000 to Walker’s recall campaign. And in 2014, Adelson donated $10,000, the maximum allowed under state law, to Walker’s re-election campaign and a whopping $650,000 to the state Republican Party, which on the same day transferred $450,000 to the Walker campaign.

Walker is clearly courting Adelson’s support for his presidential bid, but that might not be his only reason for a Vegas trip. Legislative Republicans are gearing up to advance a misleading and misguided plan to pass right-to-work legislation, a pet cause for Adelson who once said he “would spend any amount of money” to bust unions in Nevada. Publicly Walker has called the legislation a “distraction” but has refused to promise a veto on such a bill.

Right-to-work has long been a legislative priority for Walker dating back to his time in the legislature. But with struggling middle class families just getting by in a Wisconsin economy that lags the rest of the nation when it comes to wage and job growth, a plan that benefits corporations and wealthy CEOs instead of the workers who make profits possible will do more harm than good.

“While Scott Walker is courting campaign cash from a billionaire casino mogul in Las Vegas, the state budget deficit is climbing and his Republican Party is preparing to advance risky legislation that depresses middle-class wages and gives workers less control and flexibility in the workplace,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “Once again, Scott Walker is more concerned with his personal political ambitions than with Wisconsin’s future.”