Obama Campaign Under Fire for Lack of Support in Walker Recall Election
The Obama campaign is under fire for not actively supporting the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Walker's Democratic opponent in the election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, has been hugely outspent by right wing out of state donors. Brendan Fischer of PR Watch reported on Thursday that "Walker has raised 120 times as much money from outside the state as his opponent -- approximately $14.4 million for Walker versus only $120,000 for Barrett."
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has yet to provide significant financial support for the Barrett campaign, The Nation's John Nichols notes. Nichols writes that the "primary source of money for campaigning on behalf of Barrett has been unions and their allies, not the DNC."
The DNC, under pressure from groups like MoveOn, did send out a fundraising email on Wednesday to its millions of supporters asking for donations to help recall Walker.
Union representatives emphasize the national implications for the recall election and its impact on the upcoming presidential election. "This is a national campaign," International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger told The Hill. "Wisconsin is another important test to establish the tone and mood of what is to come in November."
Ruth Coniff wrote in The Progressive magazine: "You'd think the Obama campaign would see the wisdom of building a big ground organization in Wisconsin, a swing state the President needs to win, and of tapping into the intense energy of the recall. But that has never been the case."
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For weeks Democrats in Wisconsin have been putting pressure on the national Democratic Party to do more for the upcoming June 5 recall election. The Republican Governor’s Association and the national Republican Party, headed by Wisconsinite Reince Priebus, are “all in” on the Walker campaign, bringing in a string of Republican governors to campaign on behalf of Walker and spending millions on fundraising and TV ads. In response to the pressure, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, sent an email to Democrats around the country on May 23 asking for help for Walker's challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. But with less than two weeks before the election, Democrats and labor leaders are steamed. Today, the fight broke into the open when International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger, told The Hill: "I'm very disappointed that the DNC has not seen fit to make a dollar investment," Schaitberger said. "When you're facing $25 million or more in super-PAC funds, you need money. The campaign needed funds to get up on the air to fight back. ... I think that would have been a good investment going into November."
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Cameron Joseph and Kevin Bogardus writing in The Hill
Unions angry with Dems over lack of help in Wisconsin recall
Top union officials are lashing out at Washington Democrats, claiming they haven't done enough to help them unseat Gov. Scott Walker (R) in Wisconsin's recall election.
President Obama has been silent on the race since his campaign released a statement endorsing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) immediately after his primary victory two weeks ago. The Obama campaign is helping Barrett with get-out-the-vote operations, but the president has not publicly mentioned the race.
The Democratic National Committee has been similarly tight-fisted. The DNC sent out a fundraising email for Barrett, and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) will be in Wisconsin for a fundraiser next week, but the national party has refused entreaties to give the state party money.
The election is on June 5, just 10 days away.
International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger acknowledged the DNC’s help on the ground but said a major cash investment would have been worth a lot more. [...]
A Democratic strategist working for anti-Walker forces warned that union members would be less enthusiastic about working for Obama if he doesn’t step up for them.