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The Money Game: Spending Exceeds $60 Million in Governor Recall Race

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has spent more than Democrat Tom Barrett and special-interest groups combined as he tries to keep the state's top office.

Money is flowing into Wisconsin at unprecedented rates, with nearly $62 million spent thus far in the gubernatorial recall race, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group reported Thursday.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has spent more than Democratic opponent Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and special-interest groups combined, with $29.3 million of his $30.5 million war chest spent thus far. Barrett won a May 8 primary election, setting the stage for a Tuesday.

The new numbers released by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign show total spending is nearly double the record for a statewide race of $37.4 million set during the 2010 gubernatorial race - also between Walker and Barrett.

Of the $29 million, Walker has spent $5.8 million, including $4.8 million from individual donors and just more than $300,000 from political action committees, since April 24. Of Walker’s itemized individual contributions, 70 percent came from outside the state, the group says.

See who is donating to Walker and Barrett with

Meanwhile, Democratic candidates have spent roughly $4 million, with Barrett accounting for $2.9 million of the total. Barrett has raised $3.1 million from April 24 to May 21 — $3.94 since entering the race in March — including nearly $2.6 million from individuals and $508,000 from political action committees.

Of his itemized contributions in this latest reporting period, 30 percent came from outside Wisconsin. He has collected about $3.4 million from individuals, with 74 percent coming from Wisconsin residents and 26 percent from out of state.

Outside interest groups reported spending $21.5 million on the race and so-called issue ad groups that do not disclose their spending have dumped at least another $7.5 million into the election.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says overall spending has been lopsided in favor of the Republicans, with somewhere between a 2-to-1 and 3-to-1 edge.

Craig May 31, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I do not care how much money is spent by either candidate- that is donated money. What I do care about is how much the election is going to cost me! $20 Million and what do we get? The same two candidates we had a year ago. Then we will have added costs of a recount and possible court battles. Union money will be used to contest the vote, but the taxpayer will be screwed again.
Steve ® May 31, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Seems like the rich really do make the world go round with their spending. *cough* Victor Drover *cough* Charge the cost of the recall to WEAC, WEA Trust, and the WI democrat party. What an absolute waste of my hard earned revenue.
Alfred May 31, 2012 at 05:21 PM
This is what Democracy looks like!
James R Hoffa May 31, 2012 at 06:03 PM
What these numbers fail to realize is all the money that has been spent by the recall crowd since February of last year in mounting this campaign against Walker. The offices, the paper, the lawyers, the busses, the regalia, the websites, the permit fees, the advertisements, the mailers, ... the list is quite frankly endless! After all, none of that stuff is free and it all went to building and waging a campaign against the Walker administration and it's policies, even when the opposition didn't have a candidate yet! So, when you add in all of those funds, things are actually more equal than these reports show them to be, if not the opposition having actually outspent the Walker campaign. Please, let's be real and honest and about the money situation, shall we?
Mike June 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Spending $60M in the recall is GREAT for WI. Look at all the outside money coming into our great state and being spent. Printing companies, TV stations, News papers being sold and the list goes on. The only thing that could make it better is if Walker brings even more outside money into our state, before he leaves office that is.

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