As is so often the case when dealing with a Republican and elections, hypocrisy becomes a problem. They've got a pack full of victim cards and will pounce on any excuse to play one. If it weren't for be constantly offended, outraged, and aggrieved, they wouldn't have anything to talk about. And so it is that Scott Walker has taken to playing a victim card he has no right to hold.
As Wisconsin Democrats continued their push to force his recall, Gov. Scott Walker (R) came to Washington on Thursday to raise funds for the election that is all but certain to occur. But while Walker has slammed the influence of out-of-state money in the recall effort, he defended his own fundraising from non-Wisconsinites as fundamentally different from what he called the "excessive amounts" raised by unions and liberal groups.
"The people from around the country who are helping us at the grassroots level are trying to match the amazing levels of money coming in from unions from Washington and throughout the country," said Walker at a question-and-answer event at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday morning. Walker spoke at AEI before meeting with Republican donors at the Capitol Hill Club later in the day.
And here comes the hypocrisy: "According to his latest campaign finance report, Walker has raised $5.1 million since the start of the recall effort on November 15th. Nearly half of that amount, $2.4 million, has come from outside of Wisconsin."
"I’ve never seen any candidate — ever — get close to half their money from out of state," said Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, told the political journalism site Wisconsin Watch. "I used to always be stunned when I saw a candidate for state office with 10 percent coming from out of state."
To be sure, recall supporters are pulling a lot of out of state money too -- also about half of their funding -- but the differences are startling. According to Wisconsin Watch:
- The Democrats and United Wisconsin (the two biggest groups in favor of recalling Walker) took in much less money overall than the governor. As a reminder, Walker can take unlimited donations for recall-related expenses, while the Dems need a candidate to start doing that.
- Their biggest donors are much smaller than Walker’s biggest donors. That guy in Texas donating $250,000? So far, there’s no Dem equivalent.
- They seem to have a much bigger proportion of small donors. It’s hard to say how many, because they’re unitemized (legally) in campaign finance filings.
- Anti-Walkerites got a big chunk from out of state, just like Walker. (However, we’d caution that comparing Democratic party contributions to Walker’s receipts isn’t apples-to-apples. [W]e excluded contributions to the party from other political committees — such as county Democratic parties — so we could look at the individual dollars.)
The amount of out-of-state pro-Walker money is staggering. "Five million dollars is more than I’ve ever seen in a single reporting period by a candidate in the history of the state," McCabe said. For their part, state Democrats have raised $3.1 million total, while United Wisconsin -- the main organizer of the recall -- has raised $329,994. Only 10% of United Wisconsin's money is from out of state.
Meanwhile, the big money pours in for Walker.
The largest single contributor to Walker’s campaign was Bob J. Perry, a homebuilder in Houston, Texas, who gave $250,000. Perry is a prominent funder of conservative causes. He gave more than $4 million to Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, a group that helped torpedo 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. In 2010, he gave $7 million to American Crossroads, a Republican campaign fund.
When asked about the out of state money, Walker told the Huffington Post, "[E]ven money that's coming in from outside of Wisconsin in many cases is coming from people giving us 10, 15, 20 dollars, saying, 'We want to help you counter money coming from Washington and elsewhere.'"
Ten, fifteen, twenty, a quarter of a million dollars -- all the same thing really. Just reg'lar folks scraping together what little they can.
If you want to raise buttloads of money from out of state, don't claim you're the victim of buttloads of out of state money -- especially when your buttload is much, much bigger.
Then again, honesty doesn't seem to be a requirement when playing the victim card.