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Walker's Wad

Elections, State

“Walker has been keen on painting the recall campaign against him, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators as driven by out-of-state money and special interests, particularly organized labor. But in the race for governor it's been Republican Walker who has been raking in boatloads of out-of-state cash, not his Democratic rivals.”—observes Bill Lueders of the non-profit, non-partisan Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.  (See Lueders' post on  The Daily Page)

In the recent filing period, Gov. Scott Walker reportedly raised a staggering $13 million for the recall fight,  bringing his fundraising total up to $25 million since January 2011.   Walker's record-breaking $13 million haul for the last three months does not include money being spent by rightwing super PACs to support him and bash his opponents.

Leuders writes,  “ The Walker campaign heralded his new numbers in a press release titled ‘Grassroots donors fuel Walker fundraising.’ It noted that 76% of Walker's contributors since his last reporting, in January, gave $50 or less.  Left unmentioned was that about 74% of the amount  raised during this period came from donors who gave $51 or more.”

Indeed, the Wisconsin State Journal informs us:   

“A State Journal analysis found that of the 43 donors who gave Walker $10,000 or more, only 16 reported living in Wisconsin, and those 43 large donors gave Walker about $2.5 million. And Walker raised $8,376,195 from out-of-state donors, with some 74% of his individual donors coming from out of state.”

Fat cat  donors outside Wisconsin included school voucher advocate Richard M. DeVos, billionaire owner of the Orlando Magic and the co-founder of Amway; Sheldon Adelson, billionaire CEO of the Las Vegas Sands casino, who has also given millions to the super PAC supporting presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; and billionaire Warren Stephens, an investment banker and conservative financier.

“ The governor has spent nearly as much as he has raised. Walker’s campaign said it finished the quarter with a total of more than $4.8 million cash on hand, meaning Walker has already spent more than $20 million on the recall,” reports the Wis. State Journal.

In his May 2 Washington Post blog post Millions in TV ads, but no poll movement for Scott Walker, Greg Sargent writes: "A new Marquette Law School poll that’s generating lots of chatter today finds that Scott Walker and his most likely recall opponent, Tom Barrett are in a dead heat, with Barrett edging Walker by 47-46 among registered Wisconsin voters.   The really important finding here, however, is that Walker’s approval rating, and his head to head numbers with Barrett, have not changed in months—if anything, they’re going down. And this is in spite of the fact that Walker and his allies have vastly outspent rivals in TV ads. "  

The Progressive notes that Walker spent a significant amount of money in his last reporting period on direct mail appeals mainly to out of state donors.

It also conveys:

“And, of course, Walker is going to many of the same donors who fueled the Gingrich and Santorum campaigns, including Swift Boat Veterans for Truth founder Bob Perry, The Sand’s Sheldon Aldelson, ‘hold-an-aspirin-between-the-knees’ Foster Friess.”

 “Wisconsinites have good reason to be angry with Walker. For starters, he came into office promising to create 250,000 new jobs, and instead led the state into last place in the nation for job creation. His rewards for ‘job creators’—tax breaks for corporations that so far have not lifted Wisconsin out of last place—put a $117 million hole in the state budget. He made the biggest cuts to a once-great public school system in state history, rolled back environmental protections and equal pay, and left local economies strapped with deep cuts to programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Planned Parenthood clinics, and health care programs for the poor.”

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