State Senate campaign finance reports give some answers, but raise more questions

Campaign finance reports for state and local politicians were due January 31st. A quick glance through the State Senate balances often showed the usual fare with growing war chests. Below is a map of the SE Wisconsin State Senate districts.


The evenly numbered districts are up for election in November 2008. The 8th is Alberta Darling, the 20th Glenn Grothman, and the 28th Mary Lazich. I always check on my own elected, too, so I’m including the 33rd, Ted Kanavas. You can check the data yourself at the state elections Web site.

Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) has a balance of $221,702.26, almost double the other Senators. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) really surprised me with a balance of only $4,503.64. He still has $12,000 in personal loans to his campaign active in the account. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) shows a respectable balance of $112,318.62. My Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) is mid-campaign cycle with a balance of $134,474.27.

Did you see the discrepancy between 2008 election candidates Darling and Grothman? Nearly a quarter of a million compared to $4,500.

Grothman certainly knows how to raise the money. The 2004 campaign was the most expensive recorded at the time spending nearly half a million between Grothman and incumbent Mary Panzer. Here are his details from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. So why is the current balance so low? It’s usually a sign of trouble, but it may be that Grothman is secure in his district and refusing to play the money game the others know so well. I haven’t followed this Senator. Maybe you can help me out on this one.


  1. Shawn Matson says:

    I think that might suggest a retirement by Grothman, right?

  2. I wouldn’t think so. This is his first term as a State Senator.

  3. Usually when fundraising totals are low it shows they aren’t going to run for reelection.

    The same trend is what told us that Sen. Pete Domenici in New Mexico, (now former) Sen. Trent Lott in Mississippi. were going to retire.

    It’s the same trend that’s telling us Rep. Don Young in Alaska, Rep. C.W. Bill Young will soon step down.

    Either Grothman is going to step down or he’s getting lazy. That’s a paltry sum of money.