John Nichols on the Failed Gov. Walker Recall
Reporter John Nichols of The Nation spoke from Wisconsin about Gov. Scott Walker’s survival of Tuesday’s attempt to recall him and what it says about how special-interest and corporate money has taken over politics since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.
“I think we had an incredible test in Wisconsin of money power versus people power. And we always like to tell ourselves that if the people get organized enough, they can offset any amount of money. But in Wisconsin, we got a pretty powerful lesson about this new era we’re entering into with unlimited cash, as well as unlimited so-called ‘independent expenditures’ that go parallel to those of a candidate,” Nichols said.
“And the result in Wisconsin was an unsettling one. You saw a governor who had really put himself in a position where, I think, in most political instances, he would have been unelectable. His poll numbers last year were terrible. There was a broad sense of discomfort with him. And over the period not just of this campaign but really of the better part of a year, he used massive television advertising, as well as astounding amounts of mailings—more than $5 million worth of mailings—and huge amounts of Internet and social media communication, to basically alter people’s impressions of him sufficiently to win a 53-46 victory.”
Walker outspent his competitor, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by about 7 to 1.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.