In the lead-up to the Wisconsin recall election, forces for and against the state’s Republican governor Scott Walker are bitterly divided into partisan camps. It’s no secret that labor unions have played a primary role both in prompting the recall election, and in agitating anti-Walker sentiment. The public narrative on the left has always been that it’s Walker’s “anti-worker” policies that put him in this predicament in the first place. And the timing of the Occupy movement’s arrival has certainly been a convenient component that’s not only helped fuel that narrative, but it’s brought the left much needed momentum. That’s not to mention the sheer human capital Occupy brings to get-out-the-vote activities.
Little about this narrative was unanticipated, though. Let’s remember, websites to recall Scott Walker were created before the Wisconsin governor was even inaugurated. Meanwhile, this little experiment in astroturfing is estimated to cost hard working Wisconsin taxpayers over $9 million just to conduct the elections alone, according to the state’s Government Accountability Board.
Factor in an estimated $350,000 in damage repairs from the protests last year in Wisconsin, plus the costs of labor, such as added law enforcement, and the state’s taxpayers are on the hook for quite a bit. All because of politics.