Chicago Liberal Donor Sends $200,000 to Wisconsin Recall

MacIver News Service | August 9, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] A reclusive Chicago millionaire is one of the top individual contributors trying to recall Wisconsin’s Republican Senators, according to Government Accountability Board records.

Fred Eychaner wrote a check for $200,000 last month to the America Votes Action Fund, according to that PAC’s July 15 Special Report of Late Contribution filed at GAB. Prior to that donation, Eychaner’s all time contributions in Wisconsin was $21,100, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

America Votes Action Fund has contributed more than a half million dollars to the Greater Wisconsin Political Independent Expenditure fund and more than $44,000 to Wisconsin Citizen Action. Citizen Action is the controversial liberal activist group currently under scrutiny for their ties to the Sandy Pasch campaign and a controversial get out the vote effort that some claim involved election bribery.  Pasch, a Democrat state representative from Whitefish Bay is challenging State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

In a 2005 Chicago Tribune article, Eychaner was described as one of the top 20 Democratic donors in the country.  Open listed him in the top five liberal individual donors in 2010.

That Chicago Tribune article said he is “rarely interviewed and adamant about not being photographed.”

Eychaner is the founder and chairman of the Alphawood Foundation and Newsweb Corporation.  He owns radio stations in Chicago, including WCPT-AM “Chicago’s Progressive Talk.”  In 2002, he sold WPWR, channel 50, to Rupert Murdoch for $425 million.

His worth in 2005 was $500 million according to the Chicago Tribune.  Open puts his all time political contributions at $9.9 million.

That total does not include the most recent contributions to the Wisconsin recalls.  The Darling-Pasch recall is today.