At least two Democrat organizations are using the union-backed protest in Wisconsin to raise campaign cash. The Madison-based State Senate Democratic Committee and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee of Washington, D.C., both made fundraising appeals Friday.
The fundraising efforts came after President Obama and the Democratic National Committee mobilized activists to support the unions, which are protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal. Walker wants public-section union workers to make modest pension and health insurance contributions to help address the state’s budget problems.
The protest prompted 14 Democrats in the state Senate to flee the capital Thursday, preventing the legislature from voting. Now the embattled lawmakers, who hid at a resort in Illinois, are getting a financial boost for their obstructionism.
More than 1,600 supporters have given $80,000 to the State Senate Democratic Committee, according to ActBlue.org. Similar data isn’t available for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which is located on K Street in Washington, home to many lobbying firms.
A fundraising email from Michael Sargeant, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, asked for a minimum donation of $14 to support the 14 senators. It stated:
I am so proud of the fourteen Democrats who walked out to prevent the GOP from stripping public workers of their rights and benefits, and I’m proud of Democratic legislators everywhere who stand up for working families.
But when Democratic legislators fight for those issues – like they have in Wisconsin–their task is always easier with Democratic majorities, with Democratic leaders who share our concerns.
With your help, we can make sure we have even more leaders looking out for working families.
Meanwhile, the State Senate Democratic Committee denied that its fundraising appeal had anything to do with politics. Its executive director, Kory Kozlowski, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “This is not about raising money at all.” Kozlowski claimed the funds would cover the costs of the 14 senators hiding in Illinois.
The State Senate Democratic Committee’s goal is to elect Democrat candidates to the state Senate, eight of whom are listed on the group’s website as candidates seeking office in 2012. The website also lists fundraising events for Senate candidates.
The left’s attempt to mobilize and now raise money from the protests reveals the real story of what’s happening in Madison — it’s all about politics, preserving the Democrat-union complex and defeating Republicans in 2012.