The Outsiders -- conservative interest groups meddling mightily in state recall elections | WisCommunity

The Outsiders -- conservative interest groups meddling mightily in state recall elections

The Atlantic magazine's political blog has a great survey piece (URL below) on the Wisconsin recall elections, and made special note of the heavy involvement of out-of-state, conservative, supposedly third-party interest groups -- the ones we love to hate, since they love Scott Walker. Here's a screen shot of a Facebook post from an Americans For Prosperity account yesterday:

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The Atlantic's blog explained the significance of this:

One thing's for sure, the recalls will serve as an economic boost to Wisconsin's communications industry. It's impossible to yet know just how much will be spent, but estimates are already coming in as high as $1 million per race for a few of the contests.

That's not at all a doubtful figure when one calculates the money raised as of July 1. Darling and Pasch together have raised $1.4 million, Kapanke and Shilling, $900,000. In both those cases, the incumbent Republicans are far ahead of their challengers. That's not true in all cases though; recalled GOP senators Olsen and Cowles have both raised only about half as much as their Democratic challengers.

None of this includes money spent by third parties like unions or pro-corporate lobbies, especially out of state ones. The Club for Growth against Olsen and Kapanke's opponents, saying that because a prescription drug program came in under budget, they had "cut SeniorCare."

Those third party groups are also meddling in the Democratic primary itself.

Last week, it was revealed that Texas-based group Patriot Advisors was urging conservative Wisconsin voters to hit the polls and .

Then today, the day of the primaries, the Wisconsin tea party group Americans for Prosperity posted on its Facebook page: "Stop by the AFP-WI office in Milwaukee today between 6:30pm and 8:30pm to help us make some GOTV calls. It's easy!..." Earlier this year, Americans for Prosperity sponsored the and bus tour.

When asked for a script for its GOTV effort, run the same day of a Democratic primary, AFP state director Matt Seaholm emailed, "I can tell you that we don't play in partisan primaries. Nothing we are doing is related to today's or next week's primaries."

The Facebook post ... then disappeared.

The Atlantic's blog adds:

While both sides are blaming the other for taking out of state cash, Republicans are -- by far -- more incessant in beating the drum of outside influence.

Despite raising nearly three times as much as his challenger, recalled GOP Senator Dan Kapanke's campaign manager complained to the local La Crosse Tribune about Shilling's "outside money."

A lot more at:


July 13, 2011 - 8:10am