Vice President Joe Biden is coming to Madison Oct. 7 for a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Barrett, Barrett’s campaign confirmed Thursday.
Biden will attend a $250 per guest fundraising event at Monona Terrace, Barret spokesperson Phil Walzak said.
Biden’s appearance will help Barrett’s campaign for this election season in what is still considered a swing state, Walzak added.
However, the campaign of Republican nominee Scott Walker sees Biden’s appearance as a potential sign of unease in the White House over the election.
“The White House must be nervous about the overwhelming momentum behind Scott Walker,” Walker spokesperson Jill Bader said in an e-mail to the Badger Herald. “They continue to pull out all the stops to help their handpicked candidate Tom Barrett continue the Doyle legacy of more taxes and more spending.”
The fundraiser comes during what may already become the most expensive race for governor in Wisconsin’s history.
The primary spending by candidates for governor already equals the amount spent in the entire 2006 gubernatorial campaign, said Jay Heck, executive director for Common Cause in Wisconsin.
“They were playing commercials in March,” Heck said. “August is the usual.”
However, big-name appearances at fundraisers may not have as big an impact on voters as the campaigns anticipate.
Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, does not think voters will be swayed by Biden’s visit.
“Too much is made of endorsements, presidential and vice presidential visits,” McCabe said.
Biden’s appearance in Madison will come on the heels of a visit by President Barack Obama, scheduled for Sept. 28.
Although Biden is coming to stump for the Democrats, the growth in party and candidate fundraising can be seen on both sides.
Spending by candidates and outside groups in the 2010 race for Wisconsin governor may reach $40-50 million or more, McCabe said.
The rise in campaign donations and spending can be attributed to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision defining corporate donations as a constitutionally protected form of free speech, said Charles Franklin, political science professor at University of Wisconsin.
“It would be interesting to see if candidates who are promising to reduce state spending can do the same in their campaign spending,” Franklin said.