A dirty donation? Burke campaign accepts check from man who owes the state in back taxes

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MADISON (WITI) -- A dirty donation? Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke says she's keeping a $1,000 check from a man who owes the state of Wisconsin more than that in back taxes.

Governor Scott Walker's campaign finance record has been under the microscope in the second John Doe investigation, but now, it's a donation to his challenger that's raising some eyebrows.

The 2014 campaign for governor of Wisconsin is already awash in money -- with both Walker and Burke taking in millions in campaign contributions. But one donation in particular is creating a bit of controversy for Burke.

The donation comes from Robert Whitlock -- a businessman who wrote a $1,000 check to the Burke campaign. Whitlock owes nearly $40,000 in delinquent taxes to the state of Wisconsin, according to Department of Revenue records.

"I intend to keep that donation and our understanding is that Mr. Whitlock is in the process of negotiating with the state to pay that money back," Burke said.

50-year-old Whitlock has been convicted of four OWI offenses -- prompting a prominent Republican to criticize the Burke campaign.

"I would personally give the money back. I take really seriously the people I associate myself with and if someone like that contributed to my campaign, I know I would write a check back to them immediately," Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) said.

Rep. Kooyenga says the donation raises questions about Burke's judgement and ability to lead.

"When it's pointed out that 'hey this person's not someone the average ordinary citizen would want to associate with, let a lone a candidate for office,' and she still won't give the money back?  That makes you wonder what she wants to do for Wisconsin and who she wants to associate herself with," Rep. Kooyenga said.

FOX6's attempts to reach Whitlock were unsuccessful.

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