Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.
May
2012
16

Walker’s Billionaire “Divide and Conquer” Backer, Diane Hendricks, Isn’t Paying State Corporate Taxes

Diane Hendricks


It seems the billionaire Scott Walker-backer with whom the Governor shared his “divide and conquer” strategy toward unions can give $500,000 to her favorite anti-worker puppet despite not paying a cent in state corporate income tax between the years of 2005 and 2008, the most recent years with records to show.

Diane Hendricks, the owner of the Rock County ABC Supply, has outspent fellow billionaires Sheldon Adelson (Las Vegas casinos) and Richard DeVos (Amway) in the anti-recall cause to support Walker. Her main concern? Turning Wisconsin permanently into a “Red State” that adopts “Right-to-Work” philosophies.

According to the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, who recently investigated Hendricks, her large company employs limitless lawyers and uses tax loopholes to show zero profit. From their findings:

Hendricks, whom Forbes magazine says is worth $2.8 billion, heads Beloit-based ABC Supply Company, which the magazine calls “the nation’s largest roofing, window and siding wholesale distributor” with annual sales approaching $5 billion.

ABC Supply may be a huge money-maker for Hendricks, but the Wisconsin corporate income tax returns she files claim the company makes not a penny in taxable profit.

ABC Supply paid exactly $0.00 in state corporate income tax in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to the state Department of Revenue. Tax data for more recent years were not available when the information was requested from the department.

Hendricks emerged as a new topic of discussion-slash-hate after she was identified in a documentary called As Goes Janesville conversing with Scott Walker about a “divide and conquer” strategy in regards to unions. In that clip, Hendricks asked,

“Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions and become a right-to-work state? What can we do to help you?”

Walker replied: “Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is we’re going to deal with collection bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”

Hendricks is a longtime supporter of Wisconsin conservatives and a devout anti-tax crusader.

Hendricks is well-known as a financial backer of conservative causes and candidates. Her political donations in Wisconsin date as far back as a $1,000 gift to then-Gov. Tommy G. Thompson in 1991, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

And she speaks out herself in favor of low taxes and less regulations. The opening sentence in an op-ed she wrote in 2010 for USA Today says: “Taxing job creators is a sure way to stop the engine of economic growth.”

It only makes sense that Hendricks would drink the Walker Kool-Aid and believe that unions, not large corporations evading taxes, are the cause of the state’s economic woes. She is part and parcel of the problem. The solution to the budget deficit is under her mattress.

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