ICYMI: Governor Walker Keeps Promise of Retiring Presidential Debt in 2016
January 17, 2017

Last week, statewide and national media outlets reported that Governor Scott Walker had retired the debt from his presidential campaign, fulfilling his promise to do so by the end of 2016 and putting his political operation on its front foot heading into 2017.

“This is just further proof that when Governor Walker makes a commitment, he meets it – just like Wisconsin taxpayers do every day,” campaign spokesman Joe Fadness said. “That’s why his supporters remain as energized as ever, and why he’s built a record of reform that has Wisconsin headed in the right direction.”

Below are excerpts of statewide and national coverage:

From Politico: “Walker is also chairing the Republican Governors Association in 2017, which should help him expand an already impressive donor network that helped him raise substantial cash both for his 2012 recall fight and his 2014 reelection bid. The memo notes Walker already has 30 fundraisers for the first half of 2017 scheduled. The goal, [political advisor Joe] Fadness writes, is to raise ‘the amount needed to remain dominant against any potential opponent.’ ‘Any potential re-election bid would now tap an unmatched donor base and benefit from the fundraising clout that comes with being elected chairman of RGA,’ Fadness wrote.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Clearing this frees up Walker — the most prolific fundraiser in state politics — to turn his full political operation toward preparing to run for a third term. Walker has said he’ll decide whether to run in that race after approving the next state budget this summer. A memo to Walker Friday from political adviser Joe Fadness says the governor has paid off the debt and drops considerable hints to the rest of the state that Walker is looking to run again. ‘As you move into 2017 and beyond, the retirement of your presidential debt and other successes demonstrate strength at a crucial time — the strength of your message, the strength of your political organization and the strength of your support across the state,’ Fadness writes.”

From the Capital Times: “‘This upholds the formidable status of your fundraising operation,’ wrote campaign adviser Joe Fadness in a memo to the governor obtained by the Cap Times Friday. ‘As with your statewide campaigns — your election, the recall and your re-election — by retiring your presidential debt, you have shown that you are able to generate tremendous backing from devoted supporters under difficult circumstances.’ … Fadness pointed to numbers from January 2013 through Walker’s re-election in November 2014 for comparison: the campaign raised about $34 million during that effort.”

From WisPolitics: “… adviser Joe Fadness noted in the memo Walker raised $34 million between January 2013 and his re-election in November 2014 while pledging a quick ramping up of the guv’s fundraising through an ‘unparalleled donor base.’ ‘In summary, as you move into 2017 and beyond, the retirement of your presidential debt and other successes demonstrate strength at a crucial time — the strength of your message, the strength of your political organization, and the strength of your support across the state,” Fadness wrote. “‘Wisconsinites know this about their governor; the political class and would-be adversaries should take notice.'”