Fighting the unions became a national cause on the right. Rich conservatives rallied to Walker’s side, including influential donors who are part of a network organized by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Among his top supporters were the DeVos family of Michigan, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and millionaire investor Foster Friess.
Since surviving the recall attempt, Walker has assiduously maintained his relationships with an expanding roster of top party fundraisers and financiers, courting them with regular phone calls, chummy visits and invitations to his inauguration last month.
“The recall provided him with a really interesting opportunity, because he made so many connections nationally with so many donors,” said Chart Westcott, a Dallas-based hedge fund executive who introduced Walker at the breakfast fundraiser last month, held at his parents’ home in Indian Wells. “He already has this base of people who have given him six figures in the past. Not a lot of the other candidates have a national network like that.”