Analysis by a state watchdog group finds incumbents state lawmakers once again have a fundraising edge. Members of the Wisconsin Legislature who are seeking reelection have a big advantage over their opponents, according to Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign . "The folks who are currently in office have three dollars out of every four raised," says McCabe. "That really creates some substantial protection for them. I think it's the way big special interests protect the status quo."
Legislative incumbents had nearly four million in their campaign accounts, while challengers had about a million dollars. "Even though it's a very large gap, it's not as large as past years," notes McCabe. "We actually seen larger gaps in past elections. Six to one, eight or nine to one. We even had one election where it was sixteen to one at this stage of the game."
McCabe says much of the cash was raised during the protracted state budget process. "When they were supposed to be budgeting, they were amassing a lot of money before challengers were even jumping in the ring . . . 270 fundraising between January 2007 and August 2008."