Analysis of the gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin can be stretched pretty thin suggests Gov. Dave Heineman, but one figure from that heated race could be relevant for Nebraska.
That figure: $63 million.
More than $63 million was spent in Wisconsin in the hotly contested race in which Gov. Scott Walker defeated challenger Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor, by about 53% to 46%. Tens of millions of dollars flowed into the state from outside special interest groups.
Heineman sees the victory by his fellow Republican governor as a victory for conservative fiscal policy. Heineman says Walker is attempting to turn his state’s economy around through lowering taxes, controlling spending and dealing with public pensions. The governor also believes the Barrett loss dealt a blow to labor unions, which backed the Democrat. He says the Mitt Romney campaign now might well take a second look at Wisconsin, which it earlier might have conceded to President Obama.
But it’s the money spent that has the most significance to Nebraska.
Heineman says the total expenditure in the recall election foreshadows what is to come in Nebraska.
“I guess I would give a warning to our state: get ready. I have a feeling this United States Senate race is going to be somewhere between $25-and-45 million dollars,” Heineman estimates.” That’s a lot of money for our state.”
Nebraska is among a handful of states with U.S. Senate races that could decide the balance of power in Washington. Most surround us. Nebraska, North Dakota, Missouri and Montana are among the states that could well decide whether Democrats retain control of the Senate or Republicans take over.
Heineman expects Republican Deb Fischer and Democrat Bob Kerrey to raise plenty, but millions upon millions will flow into the state from those same outside special interest groups hoping to influence the power structure of the United States Senate.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]