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Liberal Groups Raise Over $2 Million for Wisconsin Recall

Liberal groups can report that they have raised over $2 million to support recall efforts in Wisconsin. This includes $750,000 from the PCCC and Democracy for America, $860,000 from MoveOn and $340,000 from Daily Kos.

Since the state Supreme Court race, which comes April 5 and could shift the balance of power on the highest court in Wisconsin, is publicly financed, the recall of the Republican 8 is the first opportunity for national low-dollar donors to contribute to the effort in Wisconsin.

And we might want to modify that and call it the Republican 6, because in particular 6 of the 8 races are being looked at seriously:

Union officials and progressive activists on the ground in Wisconsin say that six specific lawmakers have been targeted for recall (before Wednesday night that number had been eight). Of those, three were considered top tier “gets:” Sen. Randy Hopper (District 18) who won his last election by 184 votes, Sen. Alberta Darling (District 8) who won her last election with 51 percent of the vote, and Sen. Dan Kapanke (District 32) who also won his last election with 51 percent of the vote, in a district where President Obama won 61 percent of the vote in 2008. The other three lawmakers on the list were Sen. Robert Cowles (District 2), Sheila Harsdorf (District 10), and Luther Olsen (District 14).

“Without full capitulation this is the best possible political outcome,” said one top-ranking labor official, trying to put a good spin on a damaging development. “It is going to drive [Walker’s] negatives over 65 [percent] and we are looking at possibly winning six recall elections”

MoveOn put out a poll yesterday on two of the top three in this race, Hopper and Kapanke, and the results were favorable, though it was a one-day poll. On the other hand, it came out before Hopper and Kapanke voted for the bill stripping public employee collective bargaining rights. So those numbers could swing even worse for them.

If three Republicans are ousted by Democrats, the state Senate flips back, and Walker’s narrow window for radical transformation in the state closes.

By the beginning of 2012, Walker himself could face a recall election. And by November 2012, the entire state Assembly will be up for grabs, including those candidates who flat-out lied to teachers. It’s plausible that by January, 2013, the entire state government in Wisconsin could flip from Republican to Democratic. And they would get there thanks to a people-powered, youth-labor, progressive alliance.

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David Dayen

David Dayen