If you want to take a pulse on the political vibe in this country, one need only look at Wisconsin. The state has become the barometer for judging not just the public’s appetite for political battle, but the competitive landscape as well. The spotlight on anything that has six degrees of separation from a Koch brother has been great drama for Wisconsin’s ongoing soap opera, but audiences in the state and nationwide might get a better show by turning their attention leftward. Few have examined the strange pattern of money and favor trading that’s been pervading Wisconsin’s beloved circle of progressive politics.
The activity in Wisconsin over the last few months becomes crucially pertinent as the state gears up for the 2012 Wisconsin Senate race. It’s worth looking at the financial innards of the Supreme Court race and the protests against Governor Scott Walker in order to assess what the fight for the Wisconsin Senate seat, soon to be vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, will look like. What many don’t realize is that this race could have broader implications – not just in national politics, but in specific policy areas, like health care and your personal medical records, for example. Lots of money, fueled by liberal business interests and an ever-growing progressive movement in Wisconsin, has already been freely flowing.
But is anyone watching? Who are some of these donors?
Let’s start by looking back at the recent Wisconsin protests and the Supreme Court election, and then dissecting some of the money trail.