Wisconsin Grudge Match

If the presidential contest isn’t inspiring a whole lot of passion at the moment, you don’t have to look to far for an upcoming electoral fight that is sure to become vicious, personal and very, very expensive: the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. As recall leaders plot strategy, Walker is quietly collecting sacks of cash from wealthy out-of-state donors who view Wisconsin as something of a test case: if they can break unions and defeat highly organized progressive forces there, then there is no place in the country where the right combination of issues and unlimited money can’t give them the opportunity to roll back decades of policies they don’t like.

According to TPM’s Eric Kleefeld, the total price tag for both sides in the recall battle could reach an astonishing $100 million (an estimate largely based on the $44 million spent in last year’s legislative recall campaigns). When you remember that Wisconsin is also very likely to be a presidential battleground state (and also has an open Senate seat at stake), it’s clear it will be one of a handful of places that must be closely watched in November.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.