Traverse City Record-Eagle


December 28, 2013

Fact Check: Where do Walker's campaign funds come from?

Mary Burke says 70 percent of money contributed to Scott Walker comes from outside Wisconsin.


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign had a healthy $2.2 million on hand at last count — and that was after he dropped $2 million getting his 2014 re-election machine revved up.

Mary Burke, the Madison Democrat challenging him, tries to use Walker’s state and national fundraising prowess against him as she courts donors for her campaign.

“Will I be out-fundraised? Yes,” Burke told the Journal Sentinel Dec. 13, 2013, repeating a claim she has made on the campaign trail.

She added: “When Scott Walker raises nearly 70 percent of his money from out of state, that’s going to be hard to beat. But what I feel is I’ll be able to raise what I need to get the message out. My money is going to come largely from the people of Wisconsin.”

Only time will tell if Burke gets the nomination and is outspent by Walker. She’s expected to tap her personal wealth.

But we can take a look at her claim that Walker gets more than two-thirds of his campaign cash from outside Wisconsin.

Did the governor, in the year after his recall election, still attract that level of interest from around the country?

Different ways to count it

Burke didn’t specify a time period for her claim, so there are different ways to look at it.

For example, about 62 percent of Walker’s total fundraising from his first days as governor in January 2011 through the midway point of 2013 - the most recent reporting period available -came from out-of-state donors.

Burke campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki said she meant funds raised for the 2014 election cycle. That’s a logical way to frame it, given that Burke is jumping in during that cycle.

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