Wisconsin’s grassroots versus Scott Walker’s greenbacks

News came last week that Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign has raised just over $13 million since January of this year as he prepares to try to retain his office in the gubernatorial recall election.

While that number is both staggering and unprecedented, one important point to note is that of the $13.2 million Gov. Walker’s campaign has raised since January of this year, only $4.4 million came from Wisconsin donors. That means the other two-thirds of the contributions to Gov. Walker’s campaign came from outside Wisconsin.

Among those donating to Gov. Walker’s campaign:

  • Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson – the big funding source for Newt Gingrich – who gave $250,000 to Gov. Walker’s campaign
  • Richard Devos, the owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team and co-founder of Amway, who gave Gov. Walker’s campaign $250,000

In addition to the millions of dollars Gov. Walker’s campaign has raised thanks to its billionaire benefactors, billionaire David Koch personally gave $1 million earlier this year to the Republican Governors Association, which is already running statewide ads supporting Walker and attacking the top two Democratic candidates, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

In stark contrast to Gov. Walker’s “working for billionaires, funded by billionaires” campaign, the campaign of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, one of the Democrats vying to challenge Gov. Walker, announced it had raised $750,000 in just the first 25 days of Barrett’s gubernatorial campaign, with 87% of the campaign’s contributions coming from right here in Wisconsin.

In honor of Gov. Walker’s prodigious out-of-state fundraising numbers, I’m going to suggest a new campaign slogan. Instead of “Wisconsin: Open for Business,” how about “Gov. Scott Walker: Working for billionaires, funded by billionaires”?

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