The ex-girlfriend of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad CEO William Gardner is speaking out about her decision to tell authorities about his illegal campaign activities and their apparent pay-for-play relationship.
As CMD has reported, Gardner pled guilty to two felonies after Wisconsin authorities found he had illegally contributed almost $50,000 to Scott Walker's campaign committee by funneling political donations through employees, family, and friends.
Wisconsin's elections board started the investigation in May 2010 after a tip from Gardner's ex-girlfriend, Stacey Long, who came forward publicly after the story broke this week. She told WISN - TV news in Milwaukee:
He knew it was illegal. He was giving money to his own daughter. He would give money to a dog if he could. He knew exactly what he was doing. Bill would have sent in more money if he could have. He had enough money; he doesn't care. I wasn't going to have no part of any illegal campaign fraud.
Money Ain't a Thing
Walker had met personally with Gardner during the elections, and his campaign had been tipped-off about the scheme by a private citizen, but the state elections board found no wrongdoing on behalf of the Governor or his campaign. Gardner's railroad relies on state grants for its operations, and in March, Walker's office gave the company a $14 million grant to maintain or upgrade freight rail infrastructure. The state elections board, though, found no evidence that Gardner's $50,000 in contributions resulted in a quid pro quo.
More evidence exists about the relationship between Long and Gardner. She reports that they met on the online dating site Sugardaddyforme.com, where sugar daddies who "have no time for games" can find a "sugar baby" to "mentor, pamper, and spoil."
Gardner's company has paid $166,900 in fines, but for a man reportedly worth $40 million, the money ain't a thing; as part of his plea agreement, Gardner will serve no jail time.