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More recall ads means higher prices -- not just for political groups

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July 22, 2011

By Geoff Pallay

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results

MADISON, Wisconsin: As outside money flows into organizations by the millions, much of that sum is spent on purchasing television and radio advertisements. The bulk of the ads are not extolling the virtues of one candidate versus another. Rather, the majority are negative in nature -- attacking the opponent of the group making the ad purchase.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story reported that We Are Wisconsin spent more than $400,000 in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Club For Growth was reported to have spent more than $300,000 in the same markets.[1]

With all of the money flowing to television advertisements -- one of the big winners in the recall has likely been the media outlets of Wisconsin. More ads means more revenue for their industry. But the higher prices for ads impacts all consumers -- not just the political campaigns, but also the businesses who advertise like car dealerships and local stores.

A Businessweek article from 2008 chronicled the increase in prices from the massive influx of political advertisements during the presidential campaign. The unintended consequences included in that article detailed stories of businesses like T-Mobile purchasing their own business-focused ads months earlier than usual -- in order to lock-in their prices before the political campaign spike.[2]

As organizations continue to purchase ads, President Barack Obama's political organization Organizing for America is arranging volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls this coming weekend.[3]

On the Republican side, incumbent Senator Dan Kapanke in a letter to constituents hinted that Democratic recall victories could make Wisconsin the ultimate starting point for Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.[4]

Olsen vs. Clark

A poll issued by the Mellman Group shows Fred Clark holds a 2-point lead over incumbent Republican Luther Olsen, 45-43 percent. The organization did a benchmark survey in May that had Olsen with a lead of 43-38 percent.[5]

Campaign finance deadlines

For the 6 recall elections taking place on August 9, candidates and qualifying organizations will be required to submit updated Pre-Election reports by August 1, 2011. Those reports will detail spending from July 1-July 25.[6]

See also


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