(From ABC News) - Mike McCabe is the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan political watchdog group that tracks campaign money, and he says the amount of money being spent is around $30 million, with $25 million of that coming from outside groups on both sides and $5 million being spent by the candidates. McCabe added the election has been “hijacked” by outside groups from both parties.
“It’s wall-to-wall TV ads. There is a hell of a lot of on-the-ground work at the same time there are air wars,” McCabe said. “We don’t see statewide elections that get this pricey. It’s at least 30 million that has already been spent … and the meter is still running.”
The Tea Party Express is joining up with other like- minded groups to launch a bus tour Friday for the four days leading up to Tuesday’s election. They will hit nine cities, ending in a rally in Green Bay on Monday night. They launched television ads in the state on Thursday, according to Levi Russell, communications director for the Tea Party Express. Russell said it was about a $50,000 buy and says the tour stops will look like other Tea Party Express rallies they’ve held all over the country before voters go to the polls.
Conservative activist groups — FreedomWorks; the Wisconsin affiliate of Club for Growth (which does not coordinate with its national arm); and Americans for Prosperity, among others — are also pouring money into the race. One political action committee, the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, is fundraising up to the last minute, continuing to send e-mails to supporters.
(Excerpt form DailyCaller.com - By Alexis Levinson) – In Wisconsin, six Republican state senators face recalls on Tuesday. And outside groups have sent enormous sums of money into the state in preparation. Local races rarely receive this much attention or this much out-of-state funding, but both liberal and conservative advocacy groups have decided there’s enough at stake to prompt a tidal wave of outside support.
ABC News reports that non-Wisconsin organizations have poured $25 million into the races so far. That figure came from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which estimates that candidates themselves have added only another $5 million.
“Never has so much money been spent on so few voters,” said Charles Franklin, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin.
The various parties involved have different motivations, he said.
“For the unions, the national unions, this is the risk of similar policies in other states succeeding, and so there’s a definite stake, material stake for them,” he explained. Franklin notes that the policies Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature targeted and curtailed are “the very life blood of unions.”
“For the pro-Republican and conservative groups, it’s less directly an economic interest, but it is a very powerful interest in the direction of policy making,” he said. For these groups, the question turns on “how much can they rein in state unions, and through that, rein in state spending as well.”
Those are certainly the sentiments of Tea Party Express, one such group which has just concluded a four-day “Restoring Common Sense” tour through Wisconsin in support of the Republican senators who face recall Tuesday.
“This is an important battle in restoring fiscal sanity in the country,” Sal Russo, co-founder of the Tea Party Express, told The Daily Caller in June when the recall elections first kicked off.
He noted then that Tea Party Express, in general, stays out of state issues, but added that “it has become such an important fight that we felt that it was important we participate in it,” so that the resistance to what reforms that he called necessary did not “overshadow the need for reform.”
“The purpose of this tour is to help change the debate,” explained Tea Party Express communications director Levi Russell. “The left has pumped nearly 14 million dollars of frenzied fear mongering into the state, and waged war against the newly elected Governor and State Senators who are trying to balance the budget and keep the state economy on track … We are there to let Wisconsonites who are concerned about the economy know that they are not alone, and they are not wrong, evil, hobbit terrorists as some would have them believe!”