The lively October 11 debate between Vice President Joe Biden and the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, has been widely analyzed and fact-checked. But from the Wisconsin perspective, a few statements made by our fellow cheesehead brought to mind some idioms used widely in his home state.
Progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging U.S. Representative and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has improperly used his Congressional campaign funds to promote the GOP presidential ticket.
President Barack Obama's uninspired performance at the first presidential debate has led to a drop in his poll ratings and a surge for GOP challenger Mitt Romney. But one benefit for the president from his mediocre debate showing is that it provided little fodder for attack ads from the Super PACs and "dark money" groups planning to spend tens of millions in the final weeks of the election.
President Barack Obama rode into office in 2008 on a wave of small donations that some expected would change politics. The small-dollar strategy is still helping Obama fill his campaign accounts, but the electoral landscape has changed rapidly over the past four years and candidates' official campaigns are being overshadowed by unlimited spending from nominally "independent" groups funded by a handful of ultra-wealthy donors.
A Pennsylvania court has found that the state's American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-inspired voter ID law would likely disenfranchise voters and partially blocked its enforcement for the November 2012 election. Ballots cast by voters who do not have ID will still be counted, but the state will still be able to ask for identification and run ads telling voters to obtain ID before election day, potentially leading to confusion at the polls.
After a court decision in March required nonprofit groups running phony "issue ads" to disclose their donors, David Koch's Americans for Prosperity (AFP) shifted to ads expressly calling for President Obama's defeat in the November 2012 elections. At the time, they claimed the change in tactics was only because the president's record was "disastrous," but now that the decision has been overturned and AFP can again run issue ads while keeping their funders secret, they have reverted to their old strategy. Is it because the group no longer thinks the president's record is "disastrous?"
On September 6th, the Detroit News reported that Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney took a look at the latest polls and decided to pull down ads in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Romney-friendly SuperPACs did the same. The campaign and its allies are looking to move the money to swing states where the polling is more favorable.
After a close primary, the race to fill Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat is now underway, with former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson facing off against Madison's U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin. Both campaigns have sizable campaign coffers at their disposal, yet both are being assailed by huge ad buys coming from outside the state. The pro-Thompson ads come from "dark money" nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors, despite raising and spending unlimited funds for the election. The pro-Baldwin ads are aired by big-spending Super PACs that also have no limits on raising or spending but must disclose the source of their funds.
The chemical industry trade group American Chemistry Council, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has spent $648,600 on ads supporting Tommy Thompson, a former ALEC member and the Republican candidate for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat.