Menards President Gave $1.5M To Wisconsin Club For Growth, Yahoo News Reports

Conservative Group Had Been Target Of Investigation In 'John Doe 2'

Nicholas Eckhart (CC-BY-NC-SA)

A report citing unnamed sources says Wisconsin billionaire John Menard gave $1.5 million to a conservative group in the runup to Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election.

In a piece published by Yahoo News, former Newsweek and NBC News reporter Michael Isikoff wrote that John Menard, who runs Menards hardware stores, gave the money to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Isikoff cited three unnamed sources “directly familiar with the transactions.”

The Club is one of the organizations investigated by prosecutors in the case known as “John Doe 2” involving Walker’s campaign and a variety of conservative groups. Court documents unsealed last summer suggested Walker was encouraging donations to the Club because of its ability to accept unlimited funds.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

At one point, a Walker fundraiser referred to the group in an email as “your 501(c)(4),” referring to the way it’s classified by the IRS.

The Yahoo article suggested Menard’s had benefitted from the donations by receiving state grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Walker’s office blasted that contention, saying Walker was not involved in the contracts and WEDC had also awarded grants to corporations run by prominent Democrats.

Related Stories