- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke received $12,500 in donations from former Gov. Jim Doyle and his wife, while Republican Gov. Scott Walker took in $90,000 from a powerful Michigan political family that includes the owner of the Orlando Magic and school choice advocates, records filed with the state show.

Walker and Burke both were required to file campaign finance reports Friday showing their fundraising and spending during the last six months of 2013. Burke officially announced her candidacy on Oct. 7 and in less than three months raised $1.8 million, including $400,000 of her own money. Walker raised $5.1 million during that time.

The full reports, which were filed late Friday, reveal more details about where support for the campaigns is coming from.

Burke is a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive who also served as state Commerce Department secretary under Doyle from February 2005 to November 2007. Doyle, who left office at the end of 2010 after deciding not to seek a third term, was one of Burke’s first financial contributors. His $5,000 donation was reported on Oct. 15, just eight days after Burke got in the race.

Doyle’s wife, Jessica, also gave $5,000 on the same day. Doyle’s campaign committee gave Burke $2,500 on Dec. 16.

Burke also has several former Doyle aides on her campaign team, including Katie Boyce, Doyle’s fundraiser and deputy chief of staff, and Tanya Bjork, who was Doyle’s national liaison and works as Burke’s political adviser.

“Mary Burke and Jim Doyle set Wisconsin into a downward spiral, and it’s no surprise that this same team is funding and advising Burke’s campaign to take Wisconsin backward,” said Wisconsin Republican Party executive director Joe Fadness.

Burke’s campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki said attacking Burke for taking money from Doyle was no surprise given Walker’s record on job creation. Based on the most recent data, Wisconsin was 37th in private sector job creation over the 12-month period that ended in June.

“He and his team will say or do anything, no matter how untrue or ridiculous, to distract from the struggles of Wisconsin’s middle class under Scott Walker,” Zepecki said.

Burke also received $42,500 from EMILY’s List, a Democratic group that backs candidates who support abortion rights, $25,000 from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s campaign committee and $20,000 from the American Federation of Teachers local union in Milwaukee.

Nine Burke family members, including her mother Elaine Burke, donated a combined total of $87,585 to her campaign. Burke’s father, Dick Burke who died in 2008, founded Trek Bicycle in Waterloo in 1976. The company is now run by Mary Burke’s brother, John Burke. He has yet to donate to her campaign.

Walker continued to be the beneficiary of large donations from the powerful DeVos family in Michigan.

Rich DeVos, owner of the Orlando Magic and co-founded of Amway Inc., gave Walker $10,000. His wife, and seven other family members, also gave Walker $10,000 each, for a total of $90,000.

That includes Betsy DeVos, chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, a national school voucher advocacy group. She and her husband Dick, a 2006 candidate for governor in Michigan, previously gave Walker $250,000 during the 2012 recall.

Walker also reported nearly $123,000 in donations from political committees, the largest of which was $10,000 each from political action committees for health insurance company Humana, Inc., and defense contractor Honeywell International Inc.

Burke reported ending the year with $1.3 million cash on hand while Walker had $4.6 million.

Walker’s report shows part of his $2.7 million in expenses over that time was $86,000 in legal fees to the Biskupic & Jacobs law firm, headed by former U.S. Attorneys Steven Biskupic and Michelle Jacobs.

Walker campaign spokesman Jonathan Wetzel said the campaign relies on the law firm for a “variety of legal services.”

The payments, labeled “legal fees - compliance/administrative,” were reported by Walker just a day after a state appeals court last week refused to suspend a secret probe, known as a John Doe.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Walker’s campaign and more than two dozen conservative groups have been subpoenaed as a part of that probe that’s looking into possible campaign finance violations related to the recall attempts in 2011 and 2012 that targeted Walker and Republican state senators.

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