Senior members of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration and his top campaign and political advisers are listed as attendees at a Republican Governors conference along with corporate titans and lobbyists who donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Governors Association, according to documents published Wednesday by the New York Times.
Invites to such retreats with high-level decision-makers are listed as a benefit for contributing to the RGA, according to the documents, leading some good-government groups to criticize it as a pay-for-access scheme.
Among those who were slated to attend the conference and retreat in California in July 2013 were Walker’s Chief of Staff Eric Schutt, Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch, campaign manager Stephan Thompson and political adviser Keith Gilkes. Also listed were Deputy Chief of Staff Rich Zipperer, senior advisers Eileen Schoenfeldt and Waylon Hurlburt and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health Services Kevin Moore.
Representatives from more than two dozen companies that gave the RGA at least $250,000 each also attended, including Aetna, Walmart, and Koch Companies Private Sector. Another 40 companies gave at least $100,000, including Hewlett-Packard Co., Marathon Oil Corp., and Verizon.
Predictably, no one from Gov. Walker’s administration or his reelection campaign cared to comment about his aides’ attendance at the event.