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A new report finds that special interests that support easing regulations so a new iron ore mine can open in northern Wisconsin far outspent opponents. The government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported Monday that supporters of the mine donated $15.6 million to the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker (above) between 2010 and June 2012.
A new report finds that special interests that support easing regulations so a new iron ore mine can open in northern Wisconsin far outspent opponents. The government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported Monday that supporters of the mine donated $15.6 million to the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker (above) between 2010 and June 2012. / Gannett Wisconsin Media, file

MADISON — A new report finds that special interests that support easing regulations so a new iron ore mine can open in northern Wisconsin far outspent opponents.

The government watchdog group the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported Monday that supporters of the mine donated $15.6 million to the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker between 2010 and June 2012.

The report says environmentalists who oppose the bill donated only about $25,500 over the same period.

Walker received $11.3 million from those who support mining while members of the Legislature got $4.25 million.

The single largest benefactor in the Legislature was Republican Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills. The report says she got just over $467,000. She spent more than $1.2 million in 2011 to defeat a recall effort.

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