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Penzeys Spices led liberal Facebook spending on pro-impeachment ads in recent weeks. 

Bill Penzey is not looking to curry favor with Republicans who support Donald Trump.

Axios reported Wednesday that the Penzeys Spices CEO spent $92,000 on Facebook ads pushing for impeachment, more than the $86,000 spent by Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer and the $20,000 spent by Elizabeth Warren, according to data from Bully Pulpit Interactive.

But the amount is dwarfed by Trump’s $718,000 spent to rail against the impeachment inquiry.

"The reason we spent so much is that this ad has worked better than any ad we've placed before,” Penzey told Fox Business in an email. “This president, and the media that is supporting him, are really-really unpopular right now."

The data shows spending from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5. But according to Vox, the Wauwatosa-based spice retailer spent more than $2 million since May, 2018 on left-leaning issue ads.

In a lengthy Facebook post on Oct. 3, Penzey laid out his anti-Trump manifesto, bemoaning Republicans’ “one-two combo” of political spending and “foreign forces seeking to end the very concept of government of, by and for the people.”

He called the Ukraine scandal “a mandatory open and shut case for the impeachment, but it is also so much more.”

He went on to say, “The reality is the Republican Party has turned its back on conservative values and has instead come to embrace the ‘textbook’ racism of white nationalism.”

Penzey has managed to make his liberal stance part of his business franchise since 2016, when he blasted Trump in a fiery customer newsletter that read in part, “The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades.”

He conceded in the October post that he’s lost some conservative customers. But liberals have apparently picked up the slack.

A Dec. 1, 2016, company newsletter posted on Facebook said Penzeys initially took a 3% hit after the CEO’s 2106 rant, but said:

“Willing to take a hit for what is right, we did what we did. In the two weeks since, online sales are up 59.9%, gift box sales up 135%. And we didn't have a catalog arrive in this window this year, while last year we had 1.1 million!”

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Steven Elbow joined The Capital Times in 1999 and has covered law enforcement in addition to city, county and state government. He has also worked for the Portage Daily Register and has written for the Isthmus weekly newspaper in Madison.