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UW System Regents donated 100 times more to Republicans than Democrats, report finds

Regents donated a total of $214,000 between 2010 and 2016, more than half of which were contributions to Gov. Scott Walker.

Image By: Will Chizek

UW System Regents donated 100 times more money to GOP candidates than Democrats from 2010-2016, according to a report released by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

The report, which tracked donations to legislative and statewide candidates made by Regents and their families, found that members donated a total of $214,000, more than half of which was in contributions to Gov. Scott Walker. Only $2,050 went to candidates who were not members of the Republican Party.

Regent Tracy Klein and her spouse Richard donated nearly $45,000 with $41,090 being contributions to Walker. That’s more than double any other contribution made to the governor by another regent over this period.

Sixteen out of the eighteen Regents are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Of those 16, all but one have been appointed by Gov. Walker, with the exception being State Superintendent Tony Evers, who recently announced his campaign to challenge Walker in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race.

The report comes as funding for the UW System has fallen to its lowest level since 2010, when adjusted for inflation. The state Legislature, which decides funding for the System, is controlled by Republicans.

When Walker took office in 2011, the System’s General Program Revenue budget, inflation adjusted, was just under $1.3 billion. During the 2015-2016 year, that total was $1.03 billion. For UW-Madison in particular, the GPR budget has dropped from $350 million to under $250 million since Walker took office.

A UW System spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

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