Recall Election Most Expensive in Wisconsin History. It's Still Cheaper Than a Bad Comedy


This movie cost $64 million. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE!

More than $63 million has been spent in Wisconsin both by the candidates and outside groups in the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Via the Center for Public Integrity:

The amount spent since November 2011 trounces the state's previous record of $37.4 million, set during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign. …

While [Milwaukee Mayor Tom] Barrett has received about 26 percent of his $4 million in campaign donations from outside the Badger State, Walker has drawn nearly two-thirds of his $30.5 million contributions from out of state, according to campaign filings released May 29. Walker has outraised Barrett 7 ½ to 1 since late 2011, though Barrett didn't enter the race until late March.

Mike McCabe, director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, complains about outside money – and so much of it! – being spent in his state.

"All the spending is outrageous and wrong, but it's also legal," says McCabe.

Why is an infusion of millions of dollars of outside money being spent in the state of Wisconsin so outrageous and wrong? People are obviously very passionate about the vote and media outlets are reporting high turnout. Is spending $64 million (of voluntarily donated money) on an important and influential election regarding the fate of not just a state's governor but the extent of public union control over our tax dollars worse than spending $64 million producing Wayans vehicle "Little Man"?

Wisconsin polls close in one hour.

QUICK UPDATE: According to CNN's exit polling, 88 percent of Wisconsin voters had already decided how they were going to vote earlier than May, meaning a good chunk of the spending was probably pointless overkill anyway.

NEXT: Rhode Island Senate Joins House in Passing Marijuana Decriminalization Bill, 28-6

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ..."While [Milwaukee Mayor Tom] Barrett has received about 26 percent of his $4 million"...

    Does the total include the in-kind contributions from the unions?

    1. The full story (past the link) gives details on the independent union spending in the state. Kochs are also invoked.

      1. OK, went back and read the linked 'story'.
        Some is just plain laughable:
        "On March 7, the NEA, the nation's largest union, transferred $3 million to its super PAC, the NEA Advocacy Fund. A week later, that super PAC sent $500,000 to the We Are Wisconsin Political Fund"

        We are what? We are a national union political fund, that's what we are.
        But it didn't really answer the question regarding in-kind contributions other than suggest that the numbers mentioned are subject to, well, the bias of those reporting them:
        "When Citizens United came down, it didn't just nullify Wisconsin's 1905 ban on corporate campaign cash, it also plunged much of the state's campaign finance reporting into darkness.
        "Because corporate and labor expenditures were previously illegal, there were no disclosure laws to regulate their spending," said McCabe. "There's been a precipitous drop off in transparency."

        So I can contribute to whom I please without someone looking over my shoulder? Hey, I'll take it!

  2. I have to assume that people spent their money that way because they wanted to.

    Maybe we are moving toward a society in which the public's appetite for reality TV, sports, and political battles merges all three into a never-ending "race" between the Reds and the Blues, and nobody has time to "govern."

  3. interesting to learn that WI has a same-day voting registration process. Now, what could go wrong with something like that?

    1. How can you suggest such a thing? As this site constantly claims, voter fraud is completely a myth.

      1. "As this site constantly claims"? What the fuck are you talking about?

        1. You keep forgetting that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Or is it the Bleeding Heart Cosmotarian/ACORN Alliance?

          I keep forgetting which team we secretly shill for.

          1. Both, obviously, Hugh. Duh.

            1. Whatever, you mercenary. As long as the checks keep rolling in from the Koch Foundation, I will continue to repost evil libertarian talking points in my own words. Pubes.

              1. Don't forget your Soros checks too. Those are for being anti drug war. Sometimes I'm amazed at how powerful we are.

      2. Which is why the U.N. has sent international observers to Wisconsin, because of the prevalence of voter fraud in the U.S.

      3. Wisconsin is near Chicago. 'Nough said.

  4. Recall Election Most Expensive in Wisconsin History. It's Still Cheaper Than a Bad Comedy

    How can that be? How can bad comedy be cheaper than bad comedy?

  5. ...meaning a good chunk of the spending was probably pointless overkill anyway.

    In any election there has to come a time when they reach a point of diminishing returns on the scratch campaigns lay out. At least I hope so.

  6. And the right-wing teabagger losers who voted for this guy suck lemons and are shocked when he hires a "deer czar" who declares that public lands are "socialism" and national parks are "wildlife ghettos".

    I guess those right-wing teabaggers in Wisconsin don't enjoy hunting and think that it should solely be within the purview of rich landowners with private property.

    Serves them right. Hope they enjoy their only deer hunting option being a large payment to private property owners for that privilege. (Probably won't happen but would serve them right)

    1. Fuck, you are just the worst sockpuppeteer. I mean, fucking terrible. Seriously, don't give up your day job.

      1. What if this is his day job? Maybe the ROMNIAC campaign hired him to make lefties look like retards with emotional issues.

        1. Don't be absurd, Hugh. ROMNIAC would just split off a sub-AI from his main AI matrix and use that to process the sockpuppet. Hire someone? Don't make me laugh. It's Obama who creates jobs.

          1. True, but it's much more entertaining to watch ROMNIAC campaign as he goes from state to state, visiting big companies, schools, and small businesses, and telling the employees that they're fired.

            1. And then he brands them with laserscan to be put in the camps for orderly disposal. Those camps run night and day.

              1. Some of us were kept alive... to work... loading bodies. Because in the future run by highly sophisticated robots, apparently they still need poor people to operate the shovels.

        2. hired him to make lefties look like retards with emotional issues

          That would be money wasted.

      2. Look who decided to engage. Way to go, Maverick.

        1. You can ride my tail any time, FoE. Wait, that didn't sound right.

          1. There's a better version of that video. I expect you knew that and posted the version you did just so we won't expect any better of you in the future.

            1. No, I'm heading out to the club and just took the first one that came up. This isn't all about you, Hugh! I don't hinge my identity on what you think of my video clip choice!

              Did you like it?!?

              1. By 'club' I assume you mean the after-hours workout place with the blacked out windows and private steam rooms.

                1. They also serve deep dish pizza.

              2. Son, Hugh's ego is writing links his browser can't cache.

                1. Welp, I questioned Epi's sexual orientation and I Sugarfree'd a link. I'd say my work here is done.

                  Hugh-man away!

  7. The campaign contributions funded the recall side are $7.5 M of which 75% was raised from Wisconsonites.

    The Governor's anti-recall campaign funding is $30M of which 75% came from outside the state.

    This is all about the wealthy slapping down the working and middle class.

    1. Three whole sentences typed with one hand. Very good Nando.

    2. So what you're saying is that Governor Walker raised more money from Wisconsin than the pro-recall side?

      25% of $30M = $7.5M 75% of $7.5M = $5.625M

      I also suppose you must be one of those who thinks that McCain should have won because Obama raised more money from the rich and foreigners?

  8. All those of you bemoaning how Big Money can buy elections out from under The People should go register your complaints with Governor Meg Whitman.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.