Gov. Scott Walker raised about $10.4 million in the most recent reporting period, while Mary Burke raised about $9.3 million.
A Burke campaign press release had originally indicated that it had raised $10.2 million, but an official filing later showed that total was off by about $900,000.
Burke said on Monday that she lent her own campaign about $4.6 million in the last three-month reporting period, bringing the overall personal loans to her own campaign to $5 million. Burke said her fundraising from other donors had still outpaced previous Democratic campaigns for governor, but that she needed to spend this money.
“What it shows is basically that’s what was needed to make sure I could get my message out, compared to the obscene amounts of money that Governor Walker has raised,” said Burke.
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Walker’s numbers were driven not by self-funding but by increased giving from political action committees, who donated nearly $2.4 million to his campaign.
A recent ruling from federal Judge Rudolph Randa made that possible by eliminating several restrictions on how much PACs could give. Common Cause’s Jay Heck said it’s tangible proof that the ruling led to more money in politics.
“I think it's unfortunate that candidates decided to utilize this loophole in the law and that outside groups are taking advantage of it. What it means for Wisconsinites is much more outside money than would otherwise be the case,” said Heck.
Randa’s ruling also eliminated any contribution limits to state political parties. Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson took advantage of that, giving the state Republican Party $650,000. The same day, the state GOP gave Walker $450,000.