Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Taxpayers Fleeced as Big Campaign Donors Get Sweetheart Privatization Deal


Taxpayers Fleeced as Big Campaign Donors
Get Sweetheart Privatization Deal
State pays $165,000 for job previously done by $11-an-hour state worker;
Doyle top recipient of HNTB Corp. donations


Madison - Top executives of the company the state is paying nearly $80 an hour to maintain a road sign inventory after eliminating the job of a state employee who did the work for a fraction of that amount have made over $140,000 in campaign donations to Wisconsin politicians in the past decade but kicked their giving into high gear three years ago, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has found. Employees of HNTB Corp. made contributions averaging a total of $3,648 a year from 1993 to 2000, most of it going to former Governor Tommy Thompson. But executives of the firm from 12 different states got heavily involved in the 2002 race for governor, making $29,968 in donations in 2001 and $67,848 in 2002. The company continued making donations after the election, giving $13,375 in 2003.

The top recipient of contributions from HNTB is Governor Doyle, who received $46,275 from employees of the company through the end of 2003. A preliminary review of Doyle's campaign finance report covering the first half of 2004 shows the governor received two more contributions totaling $1,000 from HNTB executives during the period.

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