That’s the amount of money interest groups and the candidates already have spent on Wisconsin’s recall election, based on the Center for Public Integrity’s number-crunching of campaign finance reports.
And the number could go much higher.
In addition, most of the money is coming from outside sources. According to the Center, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has received about 26 percent of his $4 million from outside the state. Governor Scott Walker has taken in about $30.5 million, with almost two-thirds coming from outside groups and individuals.
The recall efforts began as a result of Walker ending most of the collective bargaining rights of the state’s public employee unions — an act which prompted weeks of protests. Bloomberg’s Tim Jones explains the recall has evolved into a campaign turning on the state’s economic climate and employment data.
Also on the campaign trail, Kate Andersen Brower and Lisa Lerer highlight how the rhetoric on China has escalated as President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney appeal to voters hurt by the decline in manufacturing.
As for who is better for the U.S. economy, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz yesterday told Bloomberg the election of Romney would “significantly” raise the odds of a recession.