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The recall election of Gov. Scott Walker is just four days away, and it's a statistical dead heat, per latest polling. His approval rating is below 50 percent, and even though he's got about $31 million in campaign contributions, his Democratic challenger, Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, is waging one hell of a campaign with about a tenth of that amount.
It's all about the ground game now. Barrett's got some 35,000 grassroots volunteers, many of whom were instrumental in gathering almost a million signatures for Walker's recall. Walker's got backing from billionaires all over the country, like the Koch brothers who are busing in 70 paid staffers from out of state to train and coordinate activities.
Journalist John Nichols reports that notices have gone out to GOP voters in surrounding states, like Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, that they can earn money making phone calls for Walker to voters in Wisconsin. There are also reports that farmers are getting paid $125 to post "stand with Walker" signs on their roadside properties.
A video has surfaced of Walker reassuring a billionaire backer of his intentions to bust unions through "divide and conquer." He's only kept half of his promise. Yes, Wisconsin is divided since he took over, perhaps more than at any time in its history. Conquered, no. Not the unions, not union workers, and certainly not the people who are fighting like hell to preserve "the Wisconsin Way."
IN THE NEWS___________________
Bill Clinton casts Wisconsin recall as referendum on ‘divide and conquer': On the stump for Tom Barrett today in Milwaukee, the former president calls out Walker on his sleazy tactics. Plus video here about 23 minutes.
Diane Hendricks, Walker's Billionaire 'Divide and Conquer' Donor, Owed No 2010 State Taxes: And there are other years too. She's the one caught on tape urging Walker to make Wisconsin a "right to work" state; he said he'd do it through "divide and conquer." Apparently having over $2 billion is not enough of a cushion for her. Hendricks, by the way, is listed as one of the "participants" in the Koch brothers' exclusve and secretive confab held in Rancho Mirage, CA, just days after the video with Walker. The invitation says curbing "the rising power of unions" would be on the agenda. More info on that here. And more info on Walker's cross-country cultivation of billionaire benefactors here.
Wisconsin Politifact Calls Out Scott Walker Jobs Numbers As 'Mostly False': He's using methodology never before used or verified. Before the "revised" numbers came out, Wisconsin had the worst record in the US of job creation in 2011. Four hours after releasing the new and improved numbers, his campaign also released a brand, new TV ad bragging about them. Hmm... Politifact's ratings of numerous Walker's statements show that he has not told the truth about 75 percent of the time.
Investigators Turn Up the Heat on Scott Walker with Bid Rigging Probe: It's part of the John Doe investigation or what we call "Walkergate" here. A 13th person has been granted immunity and won't be able to take the fifth when spilling the beans about Walker's involvement. Walker has diverted a total of $160,000 from his campaign war chest to his criminal defense fund. This week more information surfaced about how, despite his claims to the contrary, Walker stonewallled the investigation. For a great overview of the players in the Walkergate scandal, check out this summary by Newsviner Rainbow Warrior. On the money!
National police officer organization endorses Barrett: Okay, you may be wondering why this is important. It's a little lesson in irony. The Milwaukee police union has endorsed Walker...again. They did it in 2010 too. They were MIA during last year's winter uprising, exempt from having their union rights taken away by the Wallker/GOP cabal in Madison. Oddly, a Walker TV ad condemns "Barrett's police"for allegedly not reporting crimes. The ad includes the photo of a now dead baby. which Barrett just ripped into Walker about during their second and final debate last night.
How Did Wisconsin Become the Most Politically Divisive Place in America? Cheesheads afire! Great article detailing the ins and outs (mainly the influences from out of state!) of how we got where we are now. It's a perversion of our political process in a post-Citizens United era.