Dirty tricks by Republicans in Wisconsin? I mean, why stop now? As momentum builds for the recall of Governor Scott Walker (560,000 signatures are needed in the 60 days following November 15th) his friends are getting in on the act. According to the Journal Sentinel Online, Republican-slash-Walker donor, David Brandt, filed a recall effort this past Friday in order to trigger the allowance of unlimited Walker fundraising due to a “quirk” in state law:
In Wisconsin, gubernatorial candidates normally can’t raise more than $10,000 from a single contributor during a four-year election cycle. But a quirk in state law removes those limits during the first part of recall elections…
The Government Accountability Board has said that state law allows officials facing recall to raise unlimited funds from the time when a committee like Brandt’s registers with the state seeking to recall that politician to the time when an election is ordered and any legal appeals of that order are exhausted.
The money received by the elected official over the normal limits can be spent only on certain things, however. During the up to 60 days in which a recall committee is gathering signatures, the spending might include television ads urging citizens not to sign a recall petition.
The actions of the group led by Brandt, “Close Friends to Recall Scott Walker,” shows the desperate, no holds barred nature of the Governor’s anti-recall campaign. The recall is likely to be a dirty fight through and through with national organizations from each end of the political spectrum pumping cash into the efforts of the 2012 battleground state. The move by Brandt (or should we say by Walker), one week before Democrats start their official recall procedures, should be viewed as an obvious, opportunistic attempt at gaming a rigged system. Clearly, there is no interest in or plausibility of a legitimate Republican challenger in this instance.
Of course, denial abounds from Walker who told Fox 6:
“Neither I, nor my campaign, nor anyone in the Republican party had any interaction with that individual, so I don’t know where that’s coming from or what benefit that gives us.”
This blog is certainly sympathetic towards the idea that Walker is ignorant, but this particular claim is hard to believe.
Wisconsin, overall, is becoming uglier and uglier in the prelude to the great recall. WTMJ620AM has reported that Scott Walker is taking death threats on Facebook and that the Governor is taking them very seriously.
An extra week of fundraising is invaluable in a race as money-driven as this. The recall elections that saw two Democrats gain State Senator seats earlier this year were seen by some as a referendum on the GOP’s anti-collective bargaining bill. The upcoming recall is, in actuality, a referendum on the man himself. That man appears to be playing dirty from jumpstreet.