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Wisconsin campaign spending more than triples in past four years

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Campaign spending for state and federal elections in Wisconsin more than tripled in the past four years, compared to the four years before that.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said Monday that $392 million were spent on campaign ads and political expenses in two-year election periods for 2010 and 2012.

That’s almost as much as it cost to build Milwaukee’s Miller Park baseball stadium for the Brewers – and it’s up dramatically from the $124 million spent on state and federal contests in the 2006 and ’08 election periods.

The Democracy Campaign says there are two big reasons for the increase. One is the recall fever spurred by Governor Scott Walker’s law that virtually eliminated most public union bargaining – and the other is Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations to spend money on political races.

The liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee has spent the most on the state’s contests since 2006 – around $26.5 million. The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group was next at $18 million, followed by the Republican Governors Association at $16 million. 

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