If you want to get a good sense of what’s really happening in the Wisconsin recall wars, keep an eye on the right wing money that’s now flooding into the races, in a last ditch effort to keep the state senate in Republican hands.
Club for Growth Wisconsin has dumped at least $1.5 million into the recall races, according to the progressive group One Wisconsin Now, which tells me it got the information from its ad tracker.
Even more tellingly, the Club has poured a surprising $400,000 into the battle to recall state senator Alberta Darling, who was once viewed as safe, One Wisconsin Now’s executive director Scot Ross tells me. Ross adds that his media tracker found that the Club sank the money into the race right after a Dem poll found that Darling is getting edged by her Dem recall challenger, Rep. Sandy Pasch.
If true, this is significant. If labor and Dems can knock off Darling, it would be a major coup: She is the co-chair of the legislative committee that passed Scott Walker’s union-busting proposals. Of all the GOP state senators targeted for recall, she’s been in office the longest. And Dems privately admit that they think the chances are slim that she can be defeated. But if the Club is pouring massive cash into an effort to prop her up, this could mean Dems have succeeded in widening the playing field beyond the most vulnerable GOP recall targets, meaning that cash being spent on Darling could have otherwise been spent elsewhere.
In fairness, labor is investing big money in the recall wars too, via a major ad campaign being waged by the labor-backed We Are Wisconsin. But labor has been involved in this fight since the beginning, and the sudden influx of outside conservative money suggests that national right wing activists understand that if Dems take back the state senate, it would represent a massive blow to their broader agenda.
“They see this as Ground Zero in their efforts to take away the rights of working people across this country,” One Wisconsin Now’s Scot Ross tells me.
I’ve been asking Club for Growth Wisconsin since last week about their expenditures; I haven’t gotten a call back. More on the right wing money flooding Wisconsin when I learn it.