Millions Spent on Recall Sets New Precedent

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Wisconsinites and others around the country are talking about how much the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker will cost taxpayers, and how much was spent by outside interests.

With more big elections on the horizon this fall in the state, even more money could pour into Wisconsin.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Tuesday's recall election was the most expensive in Wisconsin history.

More than $63 million was spent by candidates and outside groups. The previous record was $37.4 million set in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

In this race, Walker out raised Barrett more than 7.5 to one, most of the money coming from out of state.

A political science professor at UW-Stevens Point says we can expect more of the same in upcoming elections this fall.

"Certainly there will be national implications on the money side of things, conservatives are going to believe that and their consultants are going to try to sell them on the idea that it was the money," said Dennis Riley.

Riley says the majority of billionaires are conservative and may be more likely to invest in candidates.

Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that opened the door for corporations and billionaires to spend as much as they want on campaigns, makes that even easier.

Also, according to Wisconsin law, any target of a recall can raise as much as they want.

Along with the upcoming Presidential race, there are a string of state races, which will result in a battle for the State Legislature this fall.

The Government Accountability Board estimates the recall election, including the primary, cost taxpayers $18 million.

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