Mary Burke, Scott Walker Dial Up Focus On Fundraising In Summer Months

WisPolitics Reports Walker Has 4 Fundraisers This Week Alone

Gov. Scott Walker during a recent visit to Gateway Technical College in Sturtevant. Photo: Gateway Technical College (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Mid-August is when some people go to the beach, or others move to college. Gov. Scott Walker, however, and perhaps his Democratic challenger Mary Burke are heading for the fundraisers.

According to an events schedule on the WisPolitics website, Walker has four fundraisers this week, including cocktail receptions in Hartland and De Pere. Hosts of those events declined comment, didn’t return calls, or appeared to have unlisted phone numbers. A spokesman for Democrat Mary Burke says Burke’s campaign doesn’t disclose their private fundraising events.

Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said that while normal people are trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, “donors are not normal people.”

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“All of the money that politicians raise comes from barely 2 percent of the population,” said McCabe.

He said it may be that Walker and Burke remember the U.S. Senate race two years ago, when Democrat Tammy Baldwin pulled ahead of Republican Tommy Thompson in the weeks following the August primaries. Some analysts say Baldwin or independent groups running ads criticizing Thompson were a big reason for Baldwin’s surge. McCabe said that this year, candidates are convinced they need the cash.

They need to be on the air running TV ads and that sort of thing,” said McCabe. “Whether those messages will resonate with voters — that remains to be seen.”

While some conservatives have noted that the candidates with the most money don’t always win, McCabe said cash can make a difference when the candidates have equal appeal. He also said that winning candidates often then cater to the big donors, including the ones they met in late August.