Outside Spending Dominates Wisconsin Recalls

Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011 09:39 AM

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Outside groups poured more than $25 million into the Wisconsin recall elections that ended with the Republicans winning four our of six contests Tuesday to retain control of the state Senate. Labor unions were the biggest donors on the Democratic side, while small government groups led the way for Republicans, The Washington Post reported.
Image of Wisconsin recall election push.
Thousands of Wisconsin residents occupied the state Capitol in February and March to protest Gov. Scott Walker's budget cuts, which propelled the recall movement.


The candidates themselves raised more than $5 million in the recall battle and a second round is yet to come with two Democrats defending their seats Aug. 16. Outside groups spent just $3.75 million in Wisconsin in 2010 when the 99-member assembly and half the 33-member state Senate was up for election, according to the Post.

“The spending is so far off the charts. It does not compare to anything we’ve ever seen,” Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks campaign spending in the state, told the Post. “It is an indication of how much things have been stirred up here. Wisconsin has been put on a national stage and it is clear that some groups see these elections as something of a national referendum.”

The recalls are part of the political fallout over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget cuts, which spurred demonstrations at the state Capitol in February and March.

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