Wisconsin Senate Republican Tommy Thompson Raising Money From Big Oil

On Wednesday, as Wisconsin Senate candidate and former governor Tommy Thompson (R) was forced to defend statements he made about turning Medicare into a voucher program similar to what was proposed in the Paul Ryan budget he has supported, he was scheduled to attend an “oil and gas industry luncheon” in Washington, D.C—an industry whose billions in subsidies were spared in the same budget.

The invitation, obtained by the Sunlight Foundation, was at 12:00 Wednesday in the Wine Room at the Capital Grille, with attendees expected to donate between $1,000 and $5,000.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Thompson had received just $11,200 from the industry, but he is, in his words, “broke” and on a fundraising binge to refresh his campaign coffers after a tough primary race. He has also received $77,250 from insurance interests, an industry that would benefit under a plan that privatizes Medicare.

Not only has his opponent Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) voted to end these handouts to the oil industry, she has long supported legislation to reduce the influence of special interests like Big Oil in our political process, including through her support of the Fair Elections Now Act, DISCLOSE Act, and a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.