GREEN BAY - State law limits the amount of money someone can donate to a candidate for governor to $10,000.
Wednesday, the government watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board (GAB). It alleges 10 people gave donations exceeding the limit, ranging from $100 to $5,000 more than allowed.
"A message to both candidates and donors that you have to take the law seriously," said Mike McCabe, the director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. "These limits are in place to protect the public."
McCabe says the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has filed complaints against candidates of both parties over the years. It is asking fines be handed out to both Walker and the donors.
Walker says his campaign works with the GAB to try to stay on top of the more-than 50,000 contributors. Walker believes the issue comes down to a software accounting problem.
"The error was in terms of how it was reported to the Government Accountability Board of how it was reported in terms of spouses in each of those cases I believe," said Walker. "So I believe it's one where when the software is corrected, same with the GAB software which would normally pick that up, we'll be in good shape."
Calls to the GAB were not returned.
One of the donors on the list is the state's insurance commissioner Ted Nickel. Nickel allegedly gave $10,255 through three donations from 2008 to 2010. He was appointed in January of this year. Calls to Nickel were not returned. Walker says donations had nothing to do with his selection.
"No, he was imminently qualified," said Walker.
Another of the listed donors is Thomas Schneider, who is a family representative on the board of directors of the trucking company Schneider National, but not involved in day-to-day operations.
The company's attorney says Schneider believes, in addition to smaller donations, a $5,000 contribution may have been counted twice.
"I spoke to Tom today," said Tom Vandenberg, general counsel for the company. "It's very possible it was double counted. He just can't be sure at this point. He's said if he did make a mistake and contributed about $500 more than what was allowed, that's a mistake that will get corrected."
McCabe says the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign check donation records several times before submitting its complaint.
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