Right Wisconsin reported Friday that West Bend businessman Steve Stanek, vying for the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s special election for the 58th Assembly District, has a history of supporting Democratic candidates and legislation. Now, Media Trackers has learned additional information that calls into question Stanek’s explanation for donating to Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2010.
Tuesday’s special election primary is a result of the passing of state Rep. Bob Gannon in October. Four republicans and one democrat are running for the seat. Right Wisconsin reported that Stanek had donated $3,000 to Barrett in 2010 in the race against Scott Walker. In Right Wisconsin’s article, Stanek defended himself blaming his actions on following his boss’ expectations of his employees to attend and donate at a campaign fundraiser:
“I was working for a business in Milwaukee and my boss held a campaign fundraiser and all the employees were expected to attend, and I attended, and at the time, I had absolutely no intentions of politics or anything in my future.”
“I guess you’re compelled to give when your boss asks you to attend a fundraiser.”
However, campaign finance records indicate that Stanek’s “boss,” Alliance Federated Energy CEO, Chris Maloney, did not donate to Barrett. That’s notable because Stanek claims his donation to Barrett was the result of a fundraiser held by his boss. Specifically, according to a campaign finance database, Stanek’s $3,000 donation to Barrett was also the largest of anyone in his company.
Additionally Stanek and Maloney have also donated to Democrat Jeffery Plale, the Chairman of Utilities and Energy Committee, who introduced then Governor Jim Doyle’s heavily criticized global warming bill. The company Stanek works for, Alliance Federated Energy, also lobbied in favor of the failed global warming regulation.
In 2015, Alliance Federated became “delinquent” in annual business filing; five years after liberal Governor Jim Doyle praised them for announcing huge project that was never completed.
The primary for the special elections takes place Tuesday, with the general election taking place on January 18th, 2018.