The 2012 presidential election is still months away, but this week’s recall election of Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker previews the big money that is likely to dominate that race. In Wisconsin alone more than $63.5 million has been spent by competing candidates and other independent groups since November of last year, making it the most expensive election in Wisconsin history and easily trouncing the previous record of $37.4 million set during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
iWatch News explains:
The record spending total was made possible thanks to the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision — which had the effect of invalidating Wisconsin’s century-old ban on independent expenditures by corporations and unions — and a state law that allows unlimited contributions to the incumbent in recall elections.
Although Walker and his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, have both accepted money from special interests based outside of the state, Walker’s campaign has benefited far more:
While Barrett has received about 26 percent of his $4 million in campaign donations from outside the Badger State, Walker has drawn nearly two-thirds of his $30.5 million contributions from out of state, according to campaign filings released May 29. Walker has outraised Barrett 7 ½ to 1 since late 2011, though Barrett didn’t enter the race until late March.