Fire Walker Chronicles: Rolling In The Deep

Team Koch is stomping a dollar sign shaped mud hole in Tom Barrett and then drying it out, with the super-PACs backing GOP Gov. Scott Walker outspending the Democrats by more than 3-to-1 in the Wisconsin recall.

Walker’s campaign, which has raised a record $25 million+ for the recall campaign, spent over $7 million for TV buys from March 20 through Election Day, according to a source tracking ad buys in the state. In anticipation of the recall, the governor has been on the air since last December, with spots touting his record, including his controversial budget repair bill curbing collective bargaining for public employees. In total, Walker’s campaign has spent over $12 million on recall election campaign ads.

Republicans are apparently absolutely giddy with the thought that Walker’s win will usher in a new era of permanent GOP dominance.  If it takes millions of dollars to purchase said dominance, and they have it to spend, why by gum, they’re going to do just that.  Thanks, Citizens United!

Walker is the frontrunner in the campaign, but Democrats released two polls this week showing the governor with only a small, single-digit lead. The outcome of the race will largely rest on which side can turn out its base. There are very few uncommitted voters, with nearly everyone holding a firm opinion of Walker.

The two candidates will debate tonight and once more next Thursday.

It’s not over with yet, folks.  It’s all about getting people to the polls.  Badger, badger, badger, don’t be a mushroom.

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53 replies
  1. 1
    Rob in Buffalo says:

    Thanks, Citizens United!

    And thanks, DNC and Pres. Obama!

  2. 2
    some guy says:

    Little Debbie and the DNC are keeping their powder dry to protect endangered incumbents like Mario Diaz-Balart and Ihleana Lehtinen.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    John of Indiana says:

    Has anyone broached the possibility that when he loses, Walker will just refuse to leave office? “I reject the results of the election. So SUE me, Peasants!”

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    You certainly have a gift for bringing out the trolls, Zandar.

  6. 6
    some guy says:

    @Baud:

    Clap Louder

  7. 7
    Pen says:

    @John of Indiana: Don’t give the bastard any ideas.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    If Walker wins, he’ll be the ultimate right-wing hero:
    The VICTIM. AND THE VICTOR!

    He’ll also be on the short list for Presidential candidate in 2016 if Mitt loses. 2020, if Mitt wins.

    I can see a Walker-Rubio ticket in the near future.

  9. 9
    EconWatcher says:

    Somewhat OT, but so much for the new, reasonable version of David Frum. Yesterday he endorsed as “powerful” and “astute” this piece of tripe from Yuval Levin, which purports to be economic analysis:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....onomy.html

    Read the Yuval Levin piece if you have an exceptionally strong stomach. What’s remarkable is that there really are no facts in it at all, just a whole lot of hyperbolic adjectives and adverbs, mostly playing to stereotypes of Obama as some kind of New Deal fossil.

    And you’ll never guess what will solve all fo America’s problems and unleash our mighty entrepreneurial engine: tax cuts, elimination of teachers’ unions, and repeal of Dodd Frank. Powerful. Astute.

    I truly am always on the look out for a reasonable piece of conservative analysis of our current national predicament, and how to get out of it. Call me a tote bagger, but my natural instinct is always to try to hear both sides. But this is the best they can do? And Frum thinks this is the direction that will cure the Republican party of its ills?

    There’s something particularly frustrating about Frum, because I feel like there’s a smart and decent guy in there somewhere.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @some guy: I plan to.

  11. 11
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @EconWatcher:

    There’s something particularly frustrating about Frum, because I feel like there’s a smart and decent guy in there somewhere.

    When he called Obama a peacetime president was when I gave up on him.
    reference.

  12. 12
    Zagloba says:

    On Rachel last night, the guest (a state legislator from WI whose name I haven’t had enough coffee to locate) said that the DNC had actually sacked up and given them 1.x million dollars to fight for recall.

    On the downside, Rachel also reported that it’s more like 25 to 1, Zandar.

  13. 13
    amk says:

    @Baud: It must be the word “fire’.

  14. 14
    Rob in Buffalo says:

    The Hill quotes a DNC official saying that the DNC had given the Wisconsin Dems $800,000 since November. The focus of the article is that union leaders in Wisconsin and angry that the national Democrats haven’t done more. Seems like an extremely important race to me but then I’m not a master of 11-D chess.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow did a segment on this. it would be helpful to put this into the post.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  16. 16

    Badger, badger, badger, don’t be a mushroom.

    A Koch, a Koch, Koch, oooooh, it’s a Koch!

  17. 17
    Keith says:

    Walker = Snaaa-aaa-aaaaake!

  18. 18
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    If Walker wins then Wisconsin has ‘spoken’ and better get ready for the rain of shit that walker will rain down on the state once he has his “mandate” from the voters.

    In some ways I hope he wins just so we can watch a state implode.

    Sometimes you need an object lesson to remind you why something is the way it is.

  19. 19
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    OT: Yesterday my wife told me that the business she works for (a big box store that’s not Walmart) hired four people after they failed their drug test.

    Yes, you read that correctly, after they failed their drug test.

    It seems that everyone who has been applying lately is failing, so they had no choice.

    See, there is safety in numbers!

  20. 20
    beltane says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: To quote William Blake, “If a fool should persist in his folly he will become wise”. Perhaps the same thing can be said for foolish voters.

  21. 21
    fasteddie9318 says:

    I could be wrong, but I believe that one stomps a mudhole and walks it dry, not dries it out.

  22. 22
    JustMe says:

    Seems like an extremely important race to me but then I’m not a master of 11-D chess.

    The Obama administration and the DNC pride themselves so much on being all about the “big picture” that they seem to consistently forget the importance of fighting and winning individual battles.

  23. 23
    wiscomom says:

    I’m doing my part today…making sure my two college kids vote early. One is in summer school on the other side of the state, the other is newly graduate and hopefully soon to be employed. Getting them home on election day could be a problem, so we’ll do it today.
    Word is that lots of people are voting early in strong Democratic spots in the state, so know hope.
    This election is pretty much a test of Citizens United in many ways. Walker spent the last 6-9 months fundraising throughout the country, becoming the toast of the town any where but Wisconsin. His ads are constant and annoying and filled with lies and distortions. The super pac mailers we get are filled with “scary” Barrett facts. If he loses or even narrowly wins I think there’s evidence of the limitations to traditional negative media which is what super pacs do best.
    If Walker wins our hopes become: 1) The state senate flips to Dem control, wiping away his ability to make further changes/damage such as right to work. 2) He becomes a “hero” and goes on tour for the next couple years, effectively leaving us alone. 3) John Doe comes through with charges of corruption and leave him powerless to do more harm. Any ways, he is destined to be a one term governor. He’s just not smart and seems already bored with the job. He’ll move on and leave us with years of work to undo his damage.
    That said, it is all about turnout. So let’s vote!

  24. 24
    BudP says:

    What is the best way to help? I’m out of state, can contribute some, can phone bank some. Any ideas?

  25. 25
    Scott S. says:

    If Walker wins, I’m assuming he’ll recreate the scene from “Citizen Kane” where Kane has a laughing jag during the gubernatorial convention…

  26. 26
    jibeaux says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Sounds like good economic news?

  27. 27
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Rob in Buffalo: What can the President do for Wisconsin now? Wasn’t it anger at him in the first place which led to Walker’s governership in 2010? Wisconsonites were angry with the Dems, kicked them out (including Feingold) and elected the Repubs. It’s up to them to recall Walker.

  28. 28
    gaz says:

    @EconWatcher:

    but my natural instinct is always to try to hear both sides.

    Sometimes there are not two sides. Sometimes one side is just a lie.

  29. 29
    gaz says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Maybe Jello Biafra’s evil plan is coming to fruition. =)

    NATIONAL TEST POSITIVE DAY!

    Urine tests are bullshit. The only drug they catch with any reliability is marijuana.

    Coke is gone in two days tops if you “study”

    Heroin junkies LOOK LIKE heroin junkies, so they don’t get in the door.

    etc.

    Urine tests are just another way to stomp a DFH.

  30. 30
    jibeaux says:

    @wiscomom: Good luck. There are not many places where voters get the chance to take the politicians out early when they lie and backstab and sell you out, and I hope Wisconsinites make the most of it.

  31. 31
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    If Walker wins then Wisconsin has ‘spoken’ and better get ready for the rain of shit that walker will rain down on the state once he has his “mandate” from the voters.

    I agree. Walker winning the recall election will accelerate the process of wearing out his welcome and make him easier to beat in the next election. Sometimes, even when you lose you win.

  32. 32
    Clime Acts says:

    @Rob in Buffalo:

    And thanks, DNC and Pres. Obama!

    This.

    Corrupt two faced cowards.

  33. 33
    JustMe says:

    I truly am always on the look out for a reasonable piece of conservative analysis of our current national predicament, and how to get out of it.

    Honestly, why? What benefit do you hope to get out of this? If you thought conservative solutions were good ones, you would be a conservative, no?

  34. 34
    japa21 says:

    Couple quick points.

    I have mixed feelings about Obama getting involved. He may be able to energize the GOTV aspect, but it is unlikely that he could change anybody’s minds towards Barrett at this point. First is that most people have already decided. Second, the Walker campaign would make a big point about the President interfering in a state election, which could potentially lose Barrett some votes. Third, if Walker were to win anyway, it would be trumpeted not just as a win for Walker, but a rejection of Obama in a state he is supposed to win in November, which coudl have broad national impact.

    Secondly, there are 4 Republican state senators also up for recall. If the Dems flip one of those, they would then control the state senate (currently it is evenly divided)and would then be able to block any further major moves by Walker.

  35. 35
    lacp says:

    @wiscomom: “He’s just not smart and seems already bored with the job.” Yet Dubyuh went on to a second term anyway….

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal there was a guy from Wisconsin, who called in with the basic attitude of (1) he wasn’t happy with Walker, his wife’s a teacher or some such and has been hurt by Walker and (2) he’s not going to vote because Barrett lost the last time and if that’s the best the Democrats can do, he might as well stay home.

    Don’t look for much to change in the short term locally or nationally.

    Honestly, if your tough enough you’ll need more mismanaged Republican Presidents to weigh down the entire Party and wipe them out.

    We may be homeless, broke and starving, but until that happens, you aren’t going to shake off Republicans in their current form, because the strategy of obstruction has worked. There are no consequences because the Democrats act as adults, to their own detriment. Republicans can be as petulant as they want, but the services their redneck voters survive on aren’t getting touched.

    This has paid huge dividends to Republicans, especially at the state and local levels that allowed them to draw districts to make Republican legislative seats safe for another decade and threaten Democratic seats.

    If When Obama wins in 2012, with a smaller margin than he did in 2008, look for the narrative to flip to “voters reject Obama” in favor of Republicans and therefore there’s a clear mandate for more Republican obstruction.

  37. 37
    SteveM says:

    Politico was telling us yesterday that if Walker wins, he’ll be the new GOP pol to watch. If the zillionaires can buy a win for that pin-eyed homunculus, what does that prove other than the fact that, given less-than-fully-engaged opposition, they can theoretically buy a win for pretty much anybody? Why not just run random wingers, backed by $25 million?

  38. 38
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @gaz:

    I was asked once to take a UA for a job I applied for and I declined. The guy asked me why and I told him that if an employer was more interested in my urine quality and rather than my work quality then I wasn’t interested in the job. He said “Bye!”

    Three days later I got a call back telling me that I had the job. They figured out that I was a stoner but they needed my electrical and design skills so they looked the other way. It was a good job and I stayed there until I decided to move on to a better paying job. One that I didn’t have to audition for with my urine, it seems that my qualifications and experience were enough for them.

    Drug testing is a scam, agreed.

  39. 39
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @gene108:

    Sigh. I hate this goddamn country sometimes. “Republicans may be hurting us, but DEMOCRATS ARE ALWAYS ILLEGITIMATE LOSER COMMIES, SO GET THE FUCK OUT OF OUR COUNTRY NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!”

    How the fuck does that continue to be such a stupidly effective electoral message? WHY the fuck does it continue to work? Just…..fuck all.

    It’s going to be sickening the day after the recall if Walker keeps running away with it like this. “WE WIN, BITCHES, DEMOCRATS FUCK OFF, WISCONSIN IS RED FOR-FUCKING-EVER!!!!” And the voters will probably react to that and make good on that boast because it seems like nothing energizes voters more than shitting on Dems, especially when it’s the GOP fucking your world over.

  40. 40
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @gene108:

    From what I’ve been reading the public isn’t thrilled by the Democratic choice and that’s going to hurt turnout. IMO the Dems should have dug up someone ‘new’ and not the last loser they had. That’s the problem with local politicians who hang around after their prime and suck up all the air, preventing better candidates from rising.

    Really, IMO if the Dems lose then they share a good part of the blame for fielding a lackluster candidate at a time when lackluster is the last thing they need.

  41. 41
    lacp says:

    @SteveM: Sounds like a plan!

  42. 42
    amk says:

    @gene108: Idjit

    he’s not going to vote because Barrett lost the last time and if that’s the best the Democrats can do, he might as well stay home.

    Plato

    Those who refuse to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

  43. 43
    wiscomom says:

    @gene108:
    Just gotta say this sounds like a fake caller to me. I don’t know any teachers who are on the fence about Walker, and Barrett won by a substantial margin in the primary.
    My observation is the opposite. Lots of previously non-partisan types, particularly if they are a teacher, are married/related to a teacher or know a teacher are the biggest anti-Walker people around. People who had Republican yard signs for years/decades are some of the fiercest Walker critics I know. All because their daughters/sons/wives/siblings/friends got screwed.

    There’s a lot of effort around here to dampen support for Barrett, and this seems like it might be part of their plan.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    @wiscomom:

    I don’t remember, if he said his wife’s a teacher. Maybe some other type of state worker.

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    How the fuck does that continue to be such a stupidly effective electoral message? WHY the fuck does it continue to work? Just…..fuck all.

    As has been pointed out on this blog, it is tribal. When a tribal elder, such as your pastor in church, tells you ‘x’ is true you will tend to accept it with less questioning.

    I was mulling over what I’ve read about the conservative reaction post-Roe v. Wade and at first it wasn’t a polarizing issue. Some folks in conservative churches decided to make it a polarizing issue and gain some political power, so the conservatives in their pews got ginned up against abortion by 1980, when it wasn’t a barn burning issue in 1974 or 1976.

    The only way to really inflict change is to have feckless leaders, like Bush, Jr., who will eventually implode under their own incompetence. There are people, who voted form him in 2000, who didn’t vote Republican in 2004, 2006 or 2008.

    The problem the Democrats have in retaining these voters in 9% unemployment.

    These aren’t ignorant people, they are mostly working professionals. They just aren’t tuned into politics much. If Obama’s not getting it done, give the other guy a chance.

    The “both sides do it” narrative that got foisted into the political consciousness in the 1990’s really did a number on a lot of people, with regards to their level of cynicism towards government.

    Low voter turn out and voter apathy favor Republicans, because most people don’t agree with them, but if most people don’t vote their opinions don’t matter.

    You can see this as a reason Republicans can be against popular things like raising the minimum wage* or tax hikes on the rich and yet pay no political price for it. The people, who will fight to the death for their tax cuts will vote.

    The people, who think a tax hike is good policy outnumber the former group, but are disillusioned and will more than likely sit home in November.

    *Every time I’ve seen raising the minimum wage on a state ballot referendum, it usually passes with something like 70% of the vote. I remember the 2004 minimum wage referendum in Florida easily passing, despite Bush, Jr. comfortably carrying the state:

    The initiative’s margin of victory was a whopping 72 to 28 percent (4.95 million votes to 1.96), far larger than George W. Bush’s 300,000 majority over John Kerry in the state.

    Link

  45. 45

    @EconWatcher:
    Yes, this is the best they can do. That’s very important to know. Frum is not a conservative-converted-to-liberal, he’s a conservative who’s mad that his side has descended into screeching like gibbons and flinging their own feces. Once upon a time the GOP was run by assholes who cared about random ideals more than human happiness or suffering. Inevitably, they liked to screw the poor in favor of the rich. The GOP’s critical voting base is made up of Tea Party types, various breeds of crazy. The assholes managed to convince the crazies that an asshole was the closest they could get as a representative of their lunatic views. That system has broken, and as one of the assholes, Frum is pretty mad about it.

  46. 46
    gene108 says:

    @beltane:

    To quote William Blake, “If a fool should persist in his folly he will become wise”. Perhaps the same thing can be said for foolish voters.

    I don’t think so. If that was true, 2010 wouldn’t have been a Republican wave election.

  47. 47
    ruemara says:

    @gene108: That caller is a huge part of the problem and instead of this somehow being Obama’s fault, maybe the people pushing that meme should yell at those guys for a change.

  48. 48
    CVS says:

    The Koch brother realize how important this election is to demoralize the opposition. The DNC either doesn’t, or doesn’t care. That’s why they win. That’s why we lose.

  49. 49
    Emerald says:

    @John of Indiana: Nah. If Walker loses, he won’t have to refuse to leave office.

    Next day the Rs will just “find” the requisite number of votes in some red county that didn’t get counted. It’s the Wisconsin way. It’s why Prosser is still on the Supreme Court.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    Republicans are apparently absolutely giddy with the thought that Walker’s win will usher in a new era of permanent GOP dominance

    Send out the Liberal Death Squads.

  51. 51
    TenguPhule says:

    Why not just run random wingers, backed by $25 million?

    2014 Republican Races in a nutshell.

  52. 52
    grandpa john says:

    @SteveM: Really? A gov. in office for a year and already the voters area trying to get him recalled. Yeah I can see how he could become a powerful nation wide symbol of someone who would be the people’s choice

  53. 53
    Steeplejack says:

    @TenguPhule:

    2014 2010 Republican Races in a nutshell.

    Fix’d.

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