Keith W. Colburn
Keith W. Colburn is CEO of Consolidated Electrical Distributors, an electric-equipment wholesaler with over 550 branches across the United States. The company is headquartered in Irving, Texas and has $4.2 billion in annual revenue.
Colburn has contributed thousands to Republican candidates and political committees and has made at least one undisclosed contribution to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a group that is at the center of a long-running criminal investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. See Political Activity below.
Keith W. Colburn is the brother of Richard W. Colburn. Their father was Richard D. Colburn, who made his fortune in business acquisitions, especially related to the construction industry, and was a noted arts benefactor in Los Angeles. The Colburn family's net worth is estimated at $1.3 billion. Forbes ranked the Colburns the 156th most wealthy family in the United States in 2014.
Disclosed Federal Contributions
Keith W. Colburn reported the following federal political contributions in the 2014 election cycle:
- $2,600: James Oberweis (R)
- $2,500: Marilinda Garcia (R)
Keith W. Colburn reported the following federal political contributions in the 2012 election cycle:
- $10,000: Club for Growth Action (R)
- $10,000: Campaign for Primary Accountability (R)
- $5,000: Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
- $2,500: Keith J Rothfus (R)
- $2,500: Richard E Mourdock (R)
- $2,500: Josh Mandel (R)
- $2,500: [Steve King] (R-IA)
- $2,500: Steven T Kuykendall (R)
- $2,500: Connie Mack (R)
- $2,500: Mark W Neumann (R)
- $2,500: Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Ties to Scott Walker and Dark Money Groups Under Investigation
Keith Colburn made an undisclosed contribution of $25,000 in April 2012 to Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG), a Wisconsin-based organization that spent at least $9.1 million during the recall elections, and funneled at least $10 million more to other politically-active groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, while reporting that it spent $0 on politics to the IRS. The contribution only became public in August 2014, when documents related to a "John Doe" investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination between Walker's campaign, WiCFG, WMC, and possibly other groups were briefly unsealed. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the documents suggest that Walker was advised to personally solicit funds from Colburn and others for WiCFG:
- "The records include example after example of Walker or his aides encouraging donors to give money to the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
- "In September 2011, Doner sent an email to Walker and others with brainstorming ideas for raising money for the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Among them: "Take Koch's money," "Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson," and "Go heavy after (corporations) to give."
- "The club also received $50,000 from Richard Colburn and $25,000 from Keith Colburn soon after a meeting was slated to be held. Richard Colburn is vice president of Consolidated Electrical Distributors; his son Keith is the company's president."(emphasis added).
Case documents filed by the prosecutors include the following supporting exhibits related to Colburn:
- [Id. at ¶¶ 65, 66; Exhibits 60, 61] An April 20, 2012, email to Scott Walker, among others, providing a briefing for a meeting on that day facilitated by Eric O’Keefe with Keith Colburn and Richard Colburn. Scott Walker was to attend the meeting for the solicitation of $100,000 “in support of the recall.” On April 27, 2012, the WiCFG bank account reflects a deposit of $25,000 from the account of “K. Colburn.” On May 7, 2012, the WiCFG bank account reflects a deposit of $50,000 from the account of Richard Colburn.
For more information, see the pages Scott Walker, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Scott Walker John Doe Documents, and The Campaign to Legalize Coordination in Wisconsin and Nationwide.
As of May 2015:
- CEO, Consolidated Electrical Distributors
- Director, Hajoca Corporation
- President, Blackfriars Corp.
- President, C E D Management Services, Inc.
- Director, Port Plastics, Inc.
- Director, U.S. Electrical Serviices, Inc.
- President, Edmundson International, Inc.
- President, Panda Star Corporation
- President, Kwikform America, Inc.
- Director, Atek Metals Center, Inc.
- Director, Ced Leasing Company
31356 Via Colinas, Suite 107
Westlake Village CA 91362
- Forbes, Consolidated Electrical Distributors Profile, Forbes, 2015.
- Forbes, Colburn Family Profile, Forbes, 2015.
- Elaine Dutka, "One Who's Instrumental Behind the Scenes," L.A. Times, June 6, 1998.
- "[http://bhcourier.com/beverly-hills-billionaire-eavesdropping-case-news/ Beverly Hills Billionaire Eavesdropping Case Back in News]," Beverly Hills Courier, October 16, 2012.
- Center for Responsive Politics, "Barry Maclean Contributions (2014 cycle)," Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
- Center for Responsive Politics, "Keith Colburn Contributions (2012 cycle)," Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
- Brendan Fischer, GOP Prosecutor Defends Scott Walker Criminal Probe, Says "Let's Get the Truth Out", PR Watch, May 1, 2015.
- Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice, and Lee Bergquist, "Walker wanted funds funneled to Wisconsin Club for Growth," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, 2014.
- CorporationWiki, Keith W Colburn Profile, CorporationWiki, 2015.