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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Walker Having Trouble Buying His Way Out of His Mess

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a very popular man -- outside Wisconsin, anyway. Here where we have to actually live with him and his incompetent governance, not so much.

Which explains where the bulk of the Governor's campaign money comes from. Recent reporting shows that Walker has raised an unprecedented $13 million last quarter in his effort to save himself from recall -- and that only 25% of those donations came from within Wisconsin.

Associated Press:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's fan list reads like a who's who of some of the richest people in America _ financial gurus, a Las Vegas casino president, even an NBA team owner.


His biggest donor was Diane M. Hendricks, founder of Beloit-based American Builders and Contractors Supply Co. Inc. Forbes estimates she's worth $2.8 billion. She gave the governor $500,000. She did not immediately return messages left through her company spokeswoman.

The next two biggest donors were Sheldon Adelson, chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands casino, and Richard DeVos, owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team and co-founder of the Amway Corp., a direct-sales company now under the Alticor company umbrella. Both gave Walker $250,000. Attempts to reach them Monday evening were unsuccessful.


Five people each gave Walker $100,000, including John W. Childs, chief executive officer of Boston equity firm J.W. Childs Associates; Warren A. Stephens, chief executive officer of Stephens Inc., a financial management company based in Little Rock, Ark.; Robert Kern, founder of Waukesha, Wis.-based generator manufacturer Generac, and his wife, Patricia Kern; and Patrick G. Ryan, founder of the Ryan Specialty Group, a Chicago brokerage firm.

Walker's already running ads and sending out mailers, so he's sure to win the recall, right?

Actually, all this money hasn't gotten him anywhere. Polling-wise, the man is treading water. Wisconsin is so polarized by Walker that all his advertising cash is unlikely to make all that much difference -- if any at all. "[M]ost polls show the governor struggling to get to 50 percent against his prospective Democratic challengers in the June 5 recall election," writes John Nichols for The Capital Times. "And despite Walker’s complaints about 'big labor,' the truth is that his massive television advertising and direct mail campaign has not been challenged."

Correction: yet -- it has not been challenged yet.

With the Democratic primary determining his challenger being held on the 8th, that's going to come to an end. Walker's actually getting a bit of a free ride right now, opposition-wise. On March 9th, he'll begin to be the target of actual concentrated fire. If the best he can do with the stage mostly to himself is a dead heat, imagine how he'll do once he faces competition.


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