A new report by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign http://www.wisdc.org/pr121112.php indicates two-thirds of the $101 million spent on the recall was paid to groups outside Wisconsin.
“Recall candidates and groups paid $32 million for campaign-related services to Wisconsin businesses and groups and $68.8 million for consulting, printing, mailing, media and other services to businesses and groups in 40 other states and the District of Columbia.”
However, the reports shows Wisconsin still benefited economically from the recall.
“More than half of the total candidate and group spending – about $56.1 million – was used for television and radio ads so a substantial portion of the money paid to out-of-state outfits to produce and place those ads came back to the Wisconsin media outlets that aired them.”
Wisconsin citizens are the ones putting up with the ads and they are reaping the lion’s share of the economic boost.
Radio and TV stations that aired the ads do keep a lot of the money in the state, and even more importantly, they keep it local. When stations get an influx of cash they are more likely to buy new vehicles, increase their travel budgets to cover the campaigns around the state, and maybe even pay out some bonuses to employees at the end of the year.
Most Radio and TV stations are owned by out of state corporations, so a portion of that money does go up the food chain, but some stations are headquartered in Wisconsin, most notably Journal Communications in Milwaukee and Morgan Murphy Media in Madison.
Much of the recall money that left the state went to political consultants and media firms in other states. Politicians and voters have complained about the nonstop election schedule since 2010, with 8 statewide elections and 13 senate recalls. Perhaps if we keep that trend up some of those consultants and media firms will decide to relocate to Wisconsin, if only to be closer to the action, or homegrown groups will spring up to take advantage of the money in Wisconsin politics.