Record Spending in Governor’s Race

In this update: 1. Record $37.4 million spent in 2010 governor’s race 2. Republican group jumps in “nonpartisan” Supreme Court election 3. Eyes on Wisconsin government Record Spending in Governor’s Race

Email date: 2/8/11

In this update:
1. Record $37.4 million spent in 2010 governor’s race
2. Republican group jumps in “nonpartisan” Supreme Court election
3. Eyes on Wisconsin government

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Record $37.4 million spent in 2010 governor’s race
The Democracy Campaign issued a report this morning showing that candidates for governor and outside interest groups poured a record amount of money into last fall’s election for the state’s highest office. For audio commentary on our findings, go here.

Candidates for governor and their running mates spent over $25 million mostly supplied by wealthy special interests and then outside groups spent in excess of $12 million on their own campaign advertising.

Republicans had the clear financial advantage in the race, as GOP candidates handily outspent Democratic opponents while outside interest groups favoring the Republicans spent just over $6.9 million compared to a hair more than $5.2 million by Democratic groups.

Even before the special interest goodie bag known as the state budget bill has been introduced, wealthy interests have been paid back in full and then some for their campaign support, with the quick approval of nearly $70 million worth of business tax breaks in addition to the governor’s backing of measures aimed at protecting key political interests from competition.

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Republican group jumps in “nonpartisan” Supreme Court election
One of the first TV ads out of the gate in the state Supreme Court election isn’t sponsored by a candidate. It’s the handiwork of a Republican front group that also weighed in heavily in the 2007 and 2008 high court races. Other than a disclaimer that flashes briefly on the bottom of the screen, there are none of the group’s fingerprints on the ad. In fact, it invites viewers at the end of the message to visit a website of what appears to be a judicial council of some kind. That “council” is, in fact, another front group of business interests.

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Eyes on Wisconsin government
The citizen vigil the Democracy Campaign is organizing was the subject of a story distributed statewide to commercial radio stations by Public News Service. Remember, the kickoff of our vigil is this Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Capitol. Hope you can make it.