Outside Money Poured into Wisconsin Recall Election as Unions Struggled to Match Corporate Spending
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Many observers have said that today’s recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a harbinger of what to except in November’s general election…not because of the issues, but because of the way it is being financed. In Wisconsin, the battle has pitted the war chests of unions against conservative billionaires and corporate interests, with the latter outspending the former by a large amount.
In by far the most expensive race in state history, Democratic challenger Tom Barrett has received about a quarter of his $4 million in campaign donations from outside Wisconsin. Walker, meanwhile, has reaped nearly two-thirds of his $30.5 million in contributions from sources outside of the state.
In fact, since late last year, Walker has outraised Barrett 7.5 to 1.
Mike McCabe, director of the campaign finance watchdog Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, told iWatch News: “We have a level of outside interference in this election that the state has never seen before.”
Barrett, the current mayor of Milwaukee, has benefited from the largesse of the nation’s three largest public unions: the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Other contributions have come from the American Federation of Teachers, United Food and Commercial Workers, Teamsters and the United Autoworkers.
But the union spending has not kept up with that of individuals and groups backing Walker. These include the Republican Governors Association and billionaires David and Charles Koch, Dick DeVos (founder of AmWay) and Sheldon Adelson (casino owner).
Republican Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four GOP state senators also face recall elections.
To Learn More:
Wisconsin Recall Breaks Record Thanks To Outside Cash (by Paul Abowd, iWatch News)
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