Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that a newly-formed political group has purchased air time in 5 Wisconsin markets to run TV ads promoting Kathleen Falk. Falk is campaigning to become the Democratic nominee against Governor Scott Walker in an almost certain upcoming recall election.
The group calling itself “Wisconsin for Falk” registered as a Special Interest Committee with the Government Accountability Board (GAB) within the last week, but it’s not clear who serves on the committee or who is funding the TV ads. Here is an image of the their registration form at the GAB:
Michael Vaughn is the Treasurer. He lists a Minneapolis telephone number. The group itself lists a Madison telephone number. Bice reports that messages left have not been returned. The group’s first ad can be viewed here.
Their ad includes a disclaimer at the end saying the ad was not authorized by any candidate, candidate’s agent or committee.
The Scott Walker campaign was quick to speculate that the funding came from labor unions that have endorsed Falk. You probably know the tune…big union bosses, blah, blah, blah. Walker has been the beneficiary of advertising from similar political action groups, and he has spent the past few months traveling to out-of-state fundraisers at every opportunity picking up donations that total over 12 million dollars.
Mike McCabe of the non-partisan watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign gave a persuasive argument at last year’s Fighting Bob Fest that the legalized bribery now funding most campaigns has to be fixed before we attempt to fix anything else. I thought about McCabe’s speech when I was perusing the Wisconsin for Falk registration form, and when I read Scott Walker’s hypocritical response. The legendary Ed Garvy, the organizer of Fighting Bob Fest, has pointed out that the Democratic candidate in the recall election will not be able to compete with Walker on spending. Not even close. Garvey suggests that the eventual candidate should forget the outside funding and make Walker’s secret, out-of-state money the major issue.
I wish one of the candidates would pledge to do that. I really do.