The rent-to-own industry seeks to get out from under the thumb of the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Of particular concern is the requirement that it disclose fees in terms of annual interest rate, which can run as high as 300 percent.
The $78 million total adds up to more than $20 per vote, and more than doubles the previous record for a Wisconsin federal election.
Many voters insisted these ads had no impact on them. And some avowed that, when it came to them, the ads backfired. But Mike McCabe suspects these airwave-borne toxins are infecting the body politic “more than people realize or are willing to acknowledge.”
Wisconsin’s status as a battleground state was reaffirmed in thousands of 30-second increments. The money flowed fast and furious. Yet all this spending brought little change.
Already these expenditures by outside groups, coupled with prodigious spending by the candidates, make this the most expensive U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin history.
Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin says the huge and perhaps record-breaking sums now flowing into Wisconsin’s congressional races owe to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United.
In Wisconsin, the thirstiest race for independent spending is between Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin for the state’s open Senate seat.
About $8 million in independent expenditures by outside groups were reported through Sept. 13, putting the Wisconsin Senate race in third place among federal elections this fall, behind only the presidential race and a Senate battle in Texas.
If words matter, and they ought to, “lobbyist” is not the right one to apply to Tommy Thompson.
Thanks to $3.4 million in spending by outside groups and an ongoing ideological divide within the Republican Party, former Gov. Tommy Thompson — once the favorite — may not even make it through Tuesday’s primary.
Cynical assessments that, when it comes picking national leaders, money matters most, are common. And sadly, they’re not unfounded. Take elections for U.S. Congress. Please.
The term “outside special interests” gets bandied about a lot, but the national Club for Growth is the real deal. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Club for Growth has distanced itself from the national group’s efforts to kneecap Tommy Thompson.