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VIDEO REPORT: Outside Money Flowing To Wisconsin Senate Race

By: Chris Woodard Email
By: Chris Woodard Email

POSTED: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 --- 5:30 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard

Millions of dollars are being spent on countless ads in the Wisconsin Senate race between Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Tommy Thompson.

A lot of that money is coming from a select few outside sources.

The words come quickly but they are always there, at the end of every political ad. It's a quick mention of the people behind the ads.

Just today the conservative Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Karl Rove's political action group, announced they're spending 1.2 million dollars to start airing a new ad attacking Baldwin.

Mike McCabe is with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. He tracks spending on state races but also monitors what's going on in federal races.

He says, "Wisconsin is always a battleground because this is a state that can go either way."

Nationwide there are only two races getting more money from outside groups.

The Wisconsin Senate race is third behind the Presidential race and the Virginia Senate race.

More than 17-million dollars has been spent on ads for both candidates.

We may never truly know how much influence the ads have on people in Wisconsin they sure are spending the money to try.

McCabe says, "Considering the fact we don't have a sitting U.S. Senator running for reelection that opened this race up."

The top four outside spenders have all shelled out more than 2-million dollars.

First is the liberal Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. They've spent $2,182,934.

Second is the conservative Crossroads GPS. So far they've spent $2,179,349.

Third is the liberal Majority PAC. They've spent $2,054,738.

Fourth is the conservative Americans for Prosperity. They've spent $2,026,698.

Both sides in this race are also spending more money attacking an opponent than supporting their own candidate.

McCabe says this is despite the fact most voters already have their mind made up.

McCabe says, "They're willing to waste huge amounts of money in the slim chance they can reach and influence a few voters that will tip the election one way or another."

So whether you're undecided or not these groups are force feeding you their message one commercial at a time

McCabe says one big problem with the system is that the super pacs out there have already spent more than 300-million dollars on election advertising. He says of that money, most of is coming from the donations of only 100 people across the country.

McCabe argues that's quite a voice for a small number of people.


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