Why Won't Vukmir Address Alleged Illegal Coordination?

Oct 26, 2018

For Immediate Release
Friday, October 26, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

Leah Vukmir Faces Allegations That She and Her Campaign Illegally Coordinated With Billionaire Megadonor Dick Uihlein. Why Won’t Vukmir Address The Allegations?

So far, Vukmir has ducked questions about a FEC complaint that alleges her campaign illegally coordinated with billionaire Dick Uihlein, who has donated $3 million to groups supporting Vukmir since Vukmir publicly requested his support

MADISON — It’s been nearly 24 hours, and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir continues to refuse to address allegations that she 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 Dick Uihlein. In recent months, Uihlein-funded groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Vukmir’s behalf.

Yesterday, End Citizens United filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election alleging that Vukmir violated federal campaign finance law by publicly (and potentially privately) urging Uihlein to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars — if not millions — on her behalf.

In an apparent panic over the complaint, Vukmir’s campaign lashed out, calling it a “trick,” but neither Vukmir nor her campaign have actually addressed the key questions at hand:

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.