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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Golliath and Wisconsin...buying elections

The Dark Money Behind the Wisconsin Recall

Some startling stats about the election to decide the future of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker:


$63.5 million: The minimum amount spent by both sides in the recall

70 percent: How much more expensive the governor's recall election is than the state's second-most expensive race (the 2010 gubernatorial campaign)

$30.5 million: Amount raised by Walker to fight off the recall effort

$3.9 million: Amount raised by his challenger, Tom Barrett, the Democratic mayor of Milwaukee

About 2/3: Proportion of Walker's donations that have come from donors outside Wisconsin

About 1/4: Proportion of Barrett's donations that have come from donors outside Wisconsin

Unlimited: Maximum individual donation Walker may accept under state law

$10,000: Maximum individual donation Barrett may accept under state law

$16.3 million: Amount spent by pro-Walker independent expenditure groups, which have invested $22 million in the Wisconsin recall

Some of the biggest contributions and expenditures in support of Walker:
$510,000 to Walker from Diane Hendricks, Wisconsin's richest businesswoman and a member of Charles and David Koch's million-dollar donor club
$490,000 to Walker from Bob Perry, a Houston homebuilder who with his wife has spent more than $8 million on the 2012 elections
$260,000 to Walker from David Humphreys, a member of the Kochs' million-dollar donor club

$250,000 to Walker from former Amway CEO Dick DeVos of Michigan, a member of the Kochs' million-dollar donor club
$250,000 to Walker from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who with his wife has spent more than $25 million on the 2012 elections
$100,000 to Walker from Wyoming investor Foster Friess, a member of the Kochs' million-dollar donor club
$100,000 to Walker from New York billionaire Louis Bacon, a media-shy hedge-fund trader
$100,000 to Walker from Dallas oil and gas billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones
$6.5 million on ads spent by Americans for Prosperity, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and the anti-labor Center for Union Facts
$4 million on ads spent by the Republican Governors Association's Right Direction Wisconsin PAC; only about $7,000 was raised in-state. The RGA got $1 million from David Koch in February. It's also received $500,000 from the US Chamber of Commerce

Some of the biggest contributions and expenditures in support of Barrett:
$200,000 to the America Votes Action Fund, a Democratic super-PAC, from Fred Eychaner, a reclusive media mogul and Obama bundler from Chicago*
$1 million to the We Are Wisconsin Political Fund, an independent expenditure group run by state AFL-CIO president Phil Neuenfeldt, from the National Education Association's super-PAC
$500,000 to We Are Wisconsin from the Service Employees International Union; $500,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and $350,000 from the American Federation of Teachers
$1.3 million to Greater Wisconsin, an independent expenditure shop, from We Are Wisconsin; $900,000 from the Democratic Governors Association; $500,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
$2 million on ads spent by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, GW's 501(c)(4) branch

Democratic challenger Tom Barrett was limited by law to maximum individual donations of $10,000. Walker had no limits due to loophole in state recall laws and regulations. Despite al the money spend in such a lopside way, there was only a one percent difference in the votes from the 2012 election, with underfunded Democrats gaining that one percent.

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