Desperate Democrats Rush Money to Wisconsin for Walker Recall

Thursday, 24 May 2012 03:25 PM


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Democratic governors pledged $1 million on Thursday to pay for Wisconsin television advertisements in a final push to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker, who has a small but consistent lead in polls before the June 5 vote.

Walker faces a special election after he angered Democrats and labor unions by pushing through the state legislature a law that strips public sector labor unions of much of their power.

Walker critics gathered nearly a million signatures to force the vote, and Democrats picked Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to run against him in the recall vote.

But every public poll released since Barrett was chosen on May 8 has shown Walker in the lead, with the margin ranging from 4 to 12 points. Polls also show an extraordinarily small number of undecided voters.

Wisconsin media reported earlier this month that local Democrats were angry with the national party for failing to provide enough money to compete with Walker, who has raised some $13 million this year from conservatives nationwide.

But this week the Democratic National Committee said it had directed $1.4 million to Wisconsin and Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Wednesday made a fundraising appeal for Wisconsin.

The Democratic Governors' Association said its latest pledge brings its contribution to more than $3 million since the beginning of the recall effort.

"DGA's aggressive investment in Wisconsin underscores our commitment to highlighting Scott Walker's worst-in-the-nation record on job creation and questions he refuses to answer over his role in the John Doe campaign corruption investigation," said association spokeswoman Kate Hansen.

While the recall effort began over Walker's labor union measures, Democrats have recently shifted to attacking the governor on job creation and over a corruption investigation of his time as Milwaukee county executive.

Wasserman Schultz is expected to campaign in the state for Barrett next week.

"Choices don't get clearer than this. Winning in Wisconsin sends a powerful message to the far-right extremists, and it starts to roll back their worst offenses," Wasserman Schultz said.

Walker's union law forces local and state government workers such as teachers to pay for part of the cost of pensions and health insurance, limits wage increases, makes union dues voluntary, and requires unions to be recertified every year.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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