Illinois donors pouring money into Wisconsin recall election
By ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org June 4, 2012 7:32PM
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, right, and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett look at one another as they get ready to participate in a televised debate Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Updated: June 5, 2012 12:58PM
KENOSHA, Wis. — Illinois is one of the top three states pouring money into Wisconsin’s hotly contested recall election, where a record-breaking $65 million has already officially been spent on television commercials, direct mail and get-out-the-vote efforts.
The final price tag is expected to be about $80 million, the majority of that coming from out-of-state business owners who hope to help Republican Gov. Scott Walker keep his seat and keep standing up to public-sector unions.
Pro-Walker forces have spent about $48 million compared to $19 million for anti-Walker forces, according to the non-partisan Wisconsin Democracy Project.
Conservative Lake Forest businessman Richard Uihlein has given $105,000 to Walker. Barrington industrialist Jack Roeser is in for $2,500.
Chicagoan Keith Bronstein of Tradelink gave $25,000 and Gretchen Schuette, a member of the Wausau Homes family living in Sugar Grove, Ill., gave $50,000.
Among Illinoisans supporting Democrat Tom Barrett are Newsweb founder Fred Eyechaner, who gave $10,000 and former Nuveen executive Anthony T. Dean of Long Grove, who gave $7,500. Avi Shaked of Onward Technologies in Evanston gave $5,000.
About $20 million of the $30 million contributed directly to Walker is from out-of-state donors. About $1 million of the $4 million donated directly to Barrett is from out-of-state donors.
Those are just the easy-to-trace contributions that went directly to candidates’ funds.
Another $17 million in “independent expenditures” is being spent on anti-Barrett ads by groups associated with the Republican Governor’s Association ($9.4 million); the Wisconsin Manufacturers’ trade association ($2 million-$3 million) and Americans for Prosperity, largely funded by the energy company-owning Koch Brothers ($3 million), said Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Project.
Another $15 million in “independent expenditures” attacking Walker are being funded by national unions, McCabe said. The money coming in through independent expenditures is harder to trace, McCabe said.