walker divide and conquer (copy)

Gov. Scott Walker explains a "divide and conquer" strategy against unions to campaign donor Diane Hendricks, who in 2014 gave $1 million to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Four years ago, billionaire Diane Hendricks was captured on video urging Gov. Scott Walker to push for right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin.

Walker then responded with his infamous "divide and conquer" comment before unveiling his 2011-12 budget which all but eliminated most public sector unions via Act 10.

Now with some GOP legislators pushing a right-to-work bill in the upcoming session, a watchdog group is reporting that Hendricks donated $1 million to the Republican Party of Wisconsin in advance of the 2014 election.

Records compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign show that Hendricks, the owner of Beloit-based roofing company ABC Supply, gave $1 million to Republicans between January 1 and October 20, the last available reporting period.

Hendricks was featured in the Brad Lichtenstein’s documentary, “As Goes Janesville,” getting a hug from Walker and then pressing him on right-to-work.

Long popular in southern states, right-to-work laws prevent mandatory union membership at a place of employment. It also blocks mandatory collection of union dues.

Walker has downplayed any interest in right-to-work legislation this session, calling it a “distraction.” But Walker has stopped short of saying he would veto a bill if it hit his desk.

The Democracy Campaign report notes the Hendricks donation to the Wisconsin GOP was five times larger than any other individual contribution. Next in line with a $200,000 contribution was Robert Rasmus, CEO of Hi-Crush Partners, a frac sand company in Wisconsin.

The biggest individual donor to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in this period was Lynde Uihlein, head of the Brico Fund, who gave $1 million. The next biggest donor to the Dems was Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who gave $160,000, according to the watchdog group.

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