Record Spending in Recall Elections

In this update: 1. Out-of-state money fuels $44 million spending binge in recall elections 2. Telling it like it is at Fighting Bob Fest Record Spending in Recall Elections

Email date: 9/20/11

In this update:
1. Out-of-state money fuels $44 million spending binge in recall elections
2. Telling it like it is at Fighting Bob Fest

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Out-of-state money fuels $44 million spending binge in recall elections
Special interest groups, candidates and political committees spent a record-smashing $44 million on this summer’s senate recall elections, a report issued today by the Democracy Campaign shows.

Total spending more than doubled the previous record for spending in legislative races – $20.2 million on 99 assembly and 16 senate races in 2008. Even though three candidates broke the previous spending record for a state legislative candidate, the $34.5 million spent by interest groups was over four times more than the candidates spent. Groups spent more on the recall elections than they spent on the 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 races for governor combined.

Registered groups that disclosed their recall election activities reported spending $15.2 million to support Democrats and $550,000 for Republicans. Among unregistered groups that didn't disclose their spending, an estimated $15.4 million was spent for GOP candidates and $3.35 million for Democrats.

A podcast posted this morning provides audio commentary about our findings.

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Telling it like it is at Fighting Bob Fest
If you weren’t able to attend the 10th annual Fighting Bob Fest on Saturday, video as well as the text of Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe’s speech is posted on wisdc.org. WisconsinEye has been airing all of the speeches. The state public affairs network also has archived footage of many of the presentations made at the Democracy Convention in late August including Mike McCabe’s, which starts at about the 38-minute mark of the video.