What Corporate Money can Do for a Recall Election

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Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived recall attempts and handily beat his opponent, Tom Barrett, in a special election. Successfully recalling a sitting governor is challenging and has only happened twice in US history. This effort becomes even more difficult when the challenger is outspent by a huge margin.

Totaling up all of the money spent on this election — in state and out-of-state, campaign money and independent expenditures — Walker’s funders poured more than $46 million into the election, while Barrett supporters spent about $17 million. Walker’s win appears less surprising when you look at that kind of ratio — his spending was nearly triple the amount spent by Barret.

The above funds include all spending, including Super-PAC money. But a look at the campaign-only funds (money raised by the candidates into their own PAC) shows that Walker out-raised Barrett eight to one by relying on big, out-of-state donors. This chart shows the shocking disparity.

Two thirds of Walker’s money came from out of state, while only a quarter of Barrett’s was from outside Wisconsin.

The Mother Jones has more interesting numbers, including this stand-out stat: “70 percent = How much more expensive the governor’s recall election is than the state’s second-most expensive race (the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.)”

Big corporate interests, including the infamous Koch brothers, were clearly invested in Scott Walker’s dangerously conservative values and actions since his 2010 election, and they spent WAY more money to fight the recall effort to keep him in office. He’s proved his worth to them, and will only get more conservative.

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