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Week in Review: WI recall watch on full blast

By   /   May 4, 2012  /   No Comments

By Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — As the calendar nudges closer to Tuesday’s recall primary elections, the national media hones its attention on the Badger State for what’s being called the second most important U.S. election of the year.


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined Gov. Scott Walker to stump in Wisconsin earlier this week.

“America is going to find out the answer to what is more powerful: The people or the money (and) special interests from Washington, D.C.? Wisconsin will answer that question,” Christie said at a campaign stop in Oak Creek.

Campaign fundraising reports


Plenty of money is going around for what’s being called the most expensive election in Wisconsin history. Walker pulled in $13.1 million in first quarter fundraising, bringing his total since January 2011 to more than $25 million.

His top opponents, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, raked in just under $1 million and $831,508, respectively. Barrett’s fundraising totals his first 25 days in the race, while Falk has campaigned since the mid-January reporting date.

As for fundraising in the other recall races, those involving four state senators and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch:

Candidates hit the trail

Barrett was joined on the campaign trail by the retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl earlier in the week for his “Restore Wisconsin Values Tour.”

Falk kicked off a 36-county “Grassroots Express” tour of the state Monday.

Marquette Law School in Milwaukee released updates to its state political poll showing Barrett with a decisive lead over Falk heading into the final week of campaigning before the primary election, which will be held Tuesday.

Falk earned endorsements from the state’s top labor unions, but the poll indicates Barrett has been more palatable to Wisconsin voters thus far. According to the poll, however, 16 percent of respondents said they haven’t yet made up their minds for the Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, some are criticizing Wisconsin’s use of electronic voting machines as the historic recalls, scheduled for June 5, near.

GAB : Recalls to cost $16M


The Government Accountability Board, the state’s election watchdog, says the upcoming recall elections will cost the state $16 million — $8 million for the primary and another $8 million for the June 5 general recall election.
GAB predicts that between 30 percent and 35 percent of the voting-age population, about 1.3 million to 1.5 million people, will vote in Tuesday’s recall primary.
“Wisconsin has never had a statewide recall primary, which makes predicting turnout difficult,” said Kevin Kennedy, GAB’s director and general counsel. “We typically look at history for guidance in predicting turnout. In the last few decades, turnout for September partisan primaries has ranged from 9 percent to 25 percent, but we believe turnout will be higher in this primary because of the strong public interest in the recall elections.”
Businesses increasingly like Wisconsin
Chief Executive magazine survey released this week shows that CEOs nationwide are liking Wisconsin more and more.
According to the survey, Wisconsin’s business ranking among the 50 states has climbed to 20th, up from 24th last year and 41st in 2010.
The Chief Executive ranking is based on a nationwide survey conducted earlier this year in which more than 650 CEOs graded states on their overall business climates, as well as various specific business climate factors, including taxation and regulation, workforce quality and living environment.
Walker touted the report this week as evidence of the effectiveness of his controversial reforms, including tax breaks for businesses.
The employment numbers thus far, however, have not turned in the governor’s favor.
A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that Wisconsin lost 23,900 between March 2011 and March 2012, the only state in the country to post a statistically significant job loss during that period.
Republicans quickly pointed out that Milwaukee, under Barrett’s mayoral leadership, lost 4,400 jobs in March, 100 more than the state as a whole.