There has been an uproar in the Democratic community as we face what has been dubbed “the most important non presidential election of the decade” between republican incumbent Scott Walker, who is on the ballot after a recall earlier this year, and his challenger – Democrat, Tom Barrett. Interest in this race has been hyped as the pundits on both sides have suggested that the results of this race are likely to set the tone for the upcoming elections this fall. It is a classic standoff. We have a crooked governor, Scott Walker, whom Mitt Romney refers to as a hero, who is well funded by the GOP and it’s SuperPacs on one hand and Tom Barrett, an underfunded Democrat who stepped up to run against Walker with little money but with the support of farmers, teachers and steelworkers who have unified against Walker.
Walker has raised more than $25 million since January 2011 to defend his seat,and has spent more than $20 million, according to data compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. In contrast, Barrett — a late entry into the contest who won the primary just last week — had raised only $832,000 by the end of the April reporting period and spent $809,000. Still, even when being outspent by vast amounts of more than 20 to 1, Barrett isn’t far behind. A Marquette Law School Poll shows that with three weeks to go until the recall election Governor Scott Walker has taken a six-percentage point lead over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 50-44 percent, among likely voters. This means that this is a race that Tom Barrett can win.
It seems that the DNC ought to step up and start funding Barret’s team. In fact it has been reported that Wisconsin’s Democratic Party has asked the DNC for $500,000 to help with its massive field operation. With less than a month until the June 5th recall election it seems like the DNC would be quicker to cough up the money and help swing the pendulum of the 2012 elections to the left, where they should be. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, to attain a win here. If the DNC recognizes that the polls suggest that very few Wisconsin voters are persuadable at this point — after huge pro-Walker ad expenditures, the numbers have barely budged — then they’ll see that the race will likely be decided by turnout.
This petition to increase funding for Tom Barrett from the DNC is hoping to get 125,000 signatures to present to Debbie Wasserman Schultz. It says, “The people have worked hard and it’s time to help.” This seems like a no brainer, the DNC should be backing Tom Barrett with more than 1/20th the monetary support that his opponent carries. It is good for Wisconsin for Tom Barrett to win. It is good for the Democratic Party for him to win. I see no reason that the DNC ought not step up and throw some money at this problem, especially when doing so means that a win is possible and beneficial to the whole party.
If you doubt if it is worth your time to click on the link to that petition and sign it, consider the contrast in the two statements below.
First we have a Wisconsin Democratic operative who says that, “there’s not enough overall national money, national support from both individual donors and D.C. coming through the door and we’ve got three weeks — we need that money now.”
Second we have RNC Chairman Reince Priebus who says, “We’re all in here, we will be involved for as much as we need to be involved. We haven’t put a limit on the number.”
If this is truly one of the most important elections of the decade, then it is surely for reasons that go beyond the juxtaposition of the ideologies of our two parties in the form of big money vs unions and workers. It is also important because it will show us just how much we allow ourselves to be led around by the nose by the person with the most money.
Let’s fix this. Make some noise with the DNC by signing the petition. After all the effort and work that had to happen to get this recall, now the Democratic Party needs to get in the game, back their player and root for a win.