POLITICS
06/06/2012 04:16 pm ET

James Francis Fitzgerald Sr. Obituary Encourages Memorial Donations Against Barack Obama

On Tuesday, the day of Wisconsin's polarizing recall election, a rather polarizing obituary ran in one of the state's major newspapers.

James Francis "Fitz" Fitzgerald Sr. of Janesville, Wis., who once owned the National Basketball Association's Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, died on Monday at 86. His 14 paragraph-long obituary that ran in Tuesday's edition of Madison's Wisconsin State Journal sounds pretty normal: He was married 62 years, served in the Navy and was a successful businessman.

Then, in the final sentence of the final paragraph, things suddenly get political: "Memorials may be made to St. John Vianney School in Janesville, St. Coletta of Wisconsin in Jefferson, or whoever is running against Barack Obama."

It seems like Fitzgerald wants those remembering him to do as he would have done. Records from the Federal Election Commission show that he donated $20,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2011. Fitzgerald was also a longtime donor to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who also calls Janesville home.

And, perhaps most importantly, he donated $2,500 last June to the guy running against Barack Obama: Mitt Romney. He also donated $500 to Romney's failed 2008 campaign.

Wisconsin records show he donated $5,000 to Gov. Scott Walker's recall effort in December, though he didn't live to see his candidate win.

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