Wisconsin recall—Gov. Scott Walker raised $13 million since January (no other Dem comes close)

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal (h/t The Political Carnival):

Gov. Scott Walker raised an unprecedented $13.2 million over three months to fight off the recall bid against him, outdistancing his Democratic challengers and driving home the challenge they will have in beating the Republican incumbent.

Crisscrossing the country on fundraising trips, Walker has raised more than $25 million since January 2011 and has $4.9 million in cash on hand – numbers unlike any that have been seen for a political candidate in Wisconsin. Two-thirds of Walker’s money came from out of state.

His stores of cash dwarf what his Democratic rivals have raised. … Walker’s fundraising is on par with that of second-tier presidential candidates. For instance, Rick Santorum raised $18.5 million between Jan. 1 and March 31, and Newt Gingrich raised a little less than $10 million during that period.

There’s a nice chart of comparative fund-raising at the link. Here’s another.

Part of the inequity is the obvious — Walker is Money’s man in the race, and Money has money to spare. But there’s a trick in the law around recalls — if you’re a recallee, there’s a no-limit window for you. If you’re a recaller, however, normal limits apply:

Normally, donors can give a maximum of $10,000 to a candidate for governor. But from the time recall petitions are taken out to the time a recall election is called, donors can give any amount.

No fundraising limit was in place for Walker for about two-thirds of the period covered in the latest report. The Democrats had to follow the normal fundraising limits the whole time because they were not the targets of a recall.

I don’t blame Republicans for using a law like that — I sure would — but it’s some law.

Finally, we don’t want to leave without mentioned this sweet guy amongst the high-roller donors listed in the article:

In addition to the $500,000 donation from Hendricks, Walker received two $250,000 donations in the latest period. One came from Las Vegas Sands president Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul who, along with his wife, put $17.5 million into Winning the Future, a super PAC supporting Gingrich.

Also giving $250,000 was Richard DeVos, the co-founder of the parent company of direct marketing firm Amway. DeVos has been active in the school voucher movement, and Walker last year expanded Milwaukee’s voucher program and established a similar one in eastern Racine County.

Adelson? He’s this guy (and you really do want to click; Rick Perlstein at his researching and writing best).

Oh, and school reform is not your friend, which is why DeVos is Walker’s. It’s a Movement Conservative Ball, a Monster Mash.

Dates to remember:

  • May 8: Recall primary
  • June 5: Recall election

More on Wisconsin as it develops.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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