The Republican nominee for the Wisconsin governor’s corporation has banked hundreds of millions of dollars in state highway contracts.
The Republican candidate for governor of Wisconsin, Tim Michels’ construction company, has been fined 11 for running overweight trucks on Wisconsin roads in the past five years, even as the company received more than half a billion dollars in state contracts to fix Wisconsin roads.
Michels, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is locked in a tied race with incumbent Democratic Governor Tony Evers.
Michels Corporation, jointly owned by the Republican candidate and his brothers, is a major recipient of government contracts. Over the past five years, the company has received $567 million to repair Wisconsin roads and bridges. Meanwhile, the multi-billion dollar company, which employs 8,000 people, was fined more than $21,000 for driving vehicles on state roads in violation of traffic laws. weight limit, according to a review by the American Independent Foundation.
Violating the weight limit can damage roads, according to the Wisconsin Towns Association, a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city and town governments.
The association believes that public bodies should protect roads:
“Wisconsin’s extensive local highway system is a lifeline to our state and local economies. Farms and businesses rely heavily on these highways to move manufactured, forestry, and agricultural products. Road and highway agencies need them to economically transport road construction materials. The public also relies on trucking to receive goods at reasonable prices.”
Two of the violations committed by the Michels Corporation took place in Winnebago County, five in Racine, three in Dane and one in St. Croix.
The Michels Corporation has been repeatedly accused of excessively profiting from Wisconsin government contracts. An analysis by Wisconsin Right Now, a conservative website, found that Michels Corporation had won more than $550 million in highway maintenance contracts over the past five years.
Since the start of his campaign, some observers have questioned how Michels would handle conflicts of interest between his family business and his duties as governor, which would include personally signing any state contracts worth more than $1,000. dollars. In April, during the Republican primary, Michels said he “hoped” the Michels Corporation would continue to compete for state contracts and that he was no longer on the company payroll. However, he has so far retained his stake.
Michels said he would divest from his family business if he wins next week’s gubernatorial election, but he provided few details on how he would do so.
Anne-Marie Rhodes, a professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law who teaches courses in trust and estate law, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that any path to divestment is “very narrow along a very steep cliff. steep”.
Michels trails Evers in campaign spending and fundraising, even though he spent nearly $20 million of his own money to boost his bid, or 80% of what his campaign brought in after the last date. campaign finance reporting limit. Michels’ brothers, co-owners of Michels Corporation, donated $1.5 million to the state’s Republican Party.
Cook’s nonpartisan political report called the race a coin toss.
Published with permission of the American Independent Foundation.