An accounting of Walker's millions raised and the travel needed to raise them in last Friday's Capital Times affirmed how little time Walker has spent in the state compared, how much time was devoted to elevating his profile with the upper echelon of right-wing Republican donors, and the fund-raising advantages he had under state law as the recall target.
Hats off to the newspaper, the sources it cites in its report, and certainly for this tidbit:
For instance, on April 8, 2011, the governor’s schedule notes his trip to the Heritage Foundation’s Annual Leadership Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., but reveals little else about the trip...
The records show that Walker gave a 15-minute speech at the event, which was headlined by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. The trip was funded by Walker’s campaign, and he was accompanied by campaign fundraiser Kelly Rindfleisch, currently facing four felony charges for alleged illegal campaign activities while working for Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive.
During the Heritage Foundation event, time was set aside when the “governor can circulate room and meet donors.”
A number of other media organizations, particularly the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, have analyzed the governor’s calendar and reported on the amount of time he’s spent on official state business and who has gained access to him.[An earlier version of this story overstated the daily average. My apologies.]
But Information regarding political, ideological, campaign or fundraising activities — typically classified as “personal time” on the official calendar — has been largely unexamined because only limited details have been included in the documents released by his office.
We were, however, able to piece together information from various media reports that accounted for much of that “personal” time, and that information reveals a governor who studiously maintained relationships with well-heeled, well-connected conservatives. It has been a strategy that has paid off time and again for Walker, who has demonstrated a Midas-like prowess at raising mountains of cash.
And as Walker traversed the nation he delivered a message both through the media and in person that Wisconsin’s economy was being held hostage by public employee unions, and that he needed the support of conservatives everywhere to combat the union forces.
To put a finer point on it, Walker did not manage to raise $25 million in three and a half months for the recall fight by waving a magic wand. He’s been greasing the skids since he took office, visiting with conservative national power brokers even before he “dropped the bomb” on labor unions.