Executives at four Wisconsin banks that have gotten nearly $2.4 billion in federal bailout money spent more than $144,000 on lobbying and campaign contributions to Wisconsin legislative candidates and the governor in 2008 when the economy tanked.
The biggest spenders were executives at M&I banks. M&I Bank Corporation in Milwaukee also received the most bailout funds - $1.7 billion. M&I bank executives contributed $68,400 to Wisconsin political candidates in 2008. Another $725 came from the bank's political action committee, and M&I spent an additional $59,124 lobbying state government last year.
M&I currently opposes a legislative proposal that would put wages owed to employees ahead of money owed to banks when a business goes bankrupt.
Associated Banc-Corporation in Green Bay received $525 million in bailout money. Executives from its banks contributed $8,975 to 22 legislative candidates and committees and another $1,750 to Governor Jim Doyle in 2008.
Associated Banc's president and chief operating officer resigned last week and gave no reason. She will be paid $1.65 million over the next 10 months as part of a separation agreement.
Anchor BanCorporation in Madison received $110 million in bailout funds after its bank executives contributed $1,800 to Doyle last year and Park Bancorporation in Madison received $23.2 million from the feds after its bank executives gave $2,100 to four legislative candidates and $1,250 to Doyle.
Overall, 14 Wisconsin banks have accepted just under $2.5 billion in federal bailout money so far.