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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced a deal to finance a half a billion dollar stadium for the National Basketball Association's Milwaukee Bucks. Walker has been working for a deal despite opposition from the wealthy Republican donors Charles and David Koch who have helped to fund his gubernatorial elections and could be a big booster of his likely presidential run.
When Walker unveiled the initial proposal in his budget in February, he received push back from both Democrats and Republicans in his state. The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity also came out in opposition and increased their lobbying and organizing efforts against it.
Walker's latest proposal announced Thursday would cap taxpayers cost at $250 million and the Bucks would be responsible for any costs over budget.
While the latest proposal reduced taxpayer liability was reduced, AFP is still opposed.
"At the end of the day we don't think it should be the priority of the state or any government entity to be funding these sports arenas," Wisconsin State Director for AFP David Fladboe said. "This seems to be a little superfluous."
The Koch brothers have spent at millions supporting Walker in previous elections, including his recall election in 2012. David Koch has said that Walker, who has pushed for steep budget cuts, is one of their favorite Republicans possibly vying for the Republican nomination.
Koch money is highly coveted in Republican politics. The wealthy entrepreneurs have spent north of $1 billion in helping Republicans get elected.
James Davis, spokesperson for the Koch brothers political arm, Freedom Partners, wouldn't say if this would damage Walker's reputation for the Kochs. He said they're looking at "all candidates" and the totality of their records.