Republican Governor Scott Walker reportedly raised $200,000 over lunch Wednesday in Palm Beach, Florida where a mining baron who wanted to start a northern Wisconsin iron mine lives.
As the story goes, Walker stopped by a meeting of the Palm Beach Town Council to congratulate them for their stand to cut employee pensions and other benefits.
He later attended a luncheon fundraiser organized by Town Council President David Rosow, whom Walker contacted a few weeks ago, at a Palm Beach home. Walker has crisscrossed the country in recent months raising millions of dollars outside Wisconsin to pay for a likely recall election – probably in June.
One council member called Palm Beach “the ATM of American politics.”
What the story didn’t say was that Palm Beach is also the home of Chris Cline, head of the Cline Resources and Development Group. Until recently, Cline and his supporters had spent more than a year in Wisconsin lobbying to relax state mining regulations and shelling out campaign contributions to pave the way for an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.
Efforts to start the mine appeared to fail last week when the state Senate failed to muster the necessary votes to pass an Assembly bill the company liked. The company – Gogebic Taconite – immediately issued a statement saying it was dumping the Wisconsin project.
But Walker told reporters Tuesday – a day before his Florida visit – that the company would return if the legislature approved the version of the bill Gogebic supported. It’s not known whether Walker met with or talked to Cline before, during or after the governor’s trip.