Andy Kroll

Andy Kroll

Senior Reporter

Andy Kroll is Mother Jones' Dark Money reporter. He is based in the DC bureau. His work has also appeared at the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Men's Journal, the American Prospect, and, where he's an associate editor. Email him at akroll (at) motherjones (dot) com. He tweets at @AndyKroll.

Get my RSS |

Scott Walker Foes Launch New Barrage Of Recall Ads

Look for plenty more ads like this in the 28 days before Walker's recall election.

| Wed May 9, 2012 11:17 AM EDT

It's day one in the 28-day campaign pitting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker against his newly anointed Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Walker's enemies on the left are wasting no time shifting the focus back to the governor as they try to galvanize Wisconsinites to vote him out of office on June 5.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) unveiled a new recall ad on Wednesday called "Remember. Recall," that draws heavily on the imagery of the populist uprising in Madison, the state capital, in the winter of 2011. PCCC say it is spending $30,000 on its opening ad volley; the ad will appear on broadcast and cable channels in Madison, including spots during the Colbert Report and the national Sunday news programs.

Here's the ad:

Advertise on

George Soros Pledges $2 Million To Liberal Groups for 2012 Fight

Cue the right-wing quackery.

| Tue May 8, 2012 11:34 AM EDT
George Soros.

Bite your nails no longer, Democrats. Billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros, the man who spawned a million right-wing conspiracy theories, has entered the 2012 political money wars in a big way, pledging $1 million each to a pair of liberal independent political groups.

Soros' pledge, as the New York Times first reported, comes as a group of Democratic donors are expected to give as much as $100 million to left-leaning causes to register new voters, get out the vote, and elect Democrats (including President Obama) in the November elections. These donors, many of whom belong to an organization known as the Democracy Alliance, only represent one segment of the universe of big-time funders on the left.

But there's a catch: These heavy-hitting Democratic donors aren't keen on cutting six- and seven-figure checks to election-centric super-PACs such as Priorities USA Action, founded by two former Obama White House aides. The donors prefer bankrolling more established organizations committed to growing the ranks of the Democratic Party and building the progressive movement at the grassroots level.

Soros, for his part, split his pledge between American Bridge 21st Century, a super-PAC building a long-term opposition research hub, and America Votes, which brings together more than 300 progressive organizations to maximize their political clout. "As he has in the past, George is focusing his political giving in 2012 on grassroots organizing and holding conservatives accountable for the flawed policies they promote," Soros spokesman Michael Vachon wrote in a Monday e-mail statement. (The Open Society Foundations, chaired by Soros, have supported Mother Jones' campaign finance reporting.)

Here's more from the Times:

The advertising-oriented Democratic super PACs, including Priorities USA and two groups founded to back Democrats in Congress, remain on the list of organizations that the Democracy Alliance recommends to its members. Robert McKay, who is the chairman of the Democracy Alliance and sits on the board of Priorities USA, said the $100 million expected to be spent this year by alliance members would include some money for election ads, but would most likely favor grass-roots organizing and research groups.

"There is a bias towards funding infrastructure as it relates to the elections," Mr. McKay said. "That means get-out-the-vote efforts" directed toward young voters, single women, black voters and Latinos, he said.

Organizations likely to be a part of the effort include Catalist, which creates voter lists for allied liberal groups; ProgressNow, a network of state-based Web sites for liberal opinion and activism; and the Latino Engagement Fund, a new group that works to register and turn out Latino voters for Democrats. Conservative independent groups are financing similar outreach to Latino voters: the American Action Network, which spent $26 million against Democratic candidates in 2010, last year unveiled the Hispanic Leadership Network, which will seek to mobilize center-right Latino voters.

Scott Walker Recall: Wisconsin Dems Choose Standard-Bearer Today

Electability conundrum: Protester darling and union favorite, or hard-boiled pol with a track record?

| Tue May 8, 2012 6:00 AM EDT

Democrats in Wisconsin are headed to the polls to pick a challenger to face Gov. Scott Walker in his recall election on June 5. The two leading candidates, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, offer voters a clear-cut choice: Do you pick the candidate who captures the progressive spirit and populist outrage that triggered Walker's recall? Or the one with the best showing in the polls?

If the recall election were held today, survey after survey shows, Barrett would stand the best chance of defeating Walker in a head-to-head fight. A former five-term US congressman who lost to Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial race, Barrett held a razor-thin 1 percentage point lead over Walker in last week's Marquette University Law School poll, and a slew of others put him well within striking distance. 

$16 Million Later, Scott Walker's Still Deadlocked in Recall Fight

Walker's frozen approval ratings could spell trouble for him in the June 5 recall election.

| Thu May 3, 2012 1:12 PM EDT
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Gov. Scott Walker and his conservative allies have spent nearly $17 million to boost his candidacy in Wisconsin's looming recall election. What have they got to show for it?

Nothing, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll.

Despite all the TV ads attacking Democrat Tom Barrett and touting Walker's supposedly job-centric agenda in Wisconsin, all the mailers, websites, and other campaign messaging, Walker trails Barrett by a single percentage point, 47-46, in the new Marquette poll. (The margin of error for the recall election is ±4 percentage points.) What's more, as the Washington Post's Greg Sargent notes, the Marquette poll shows that Walker's approval rating remains frozen at around 50 percent. All that spending and the people of Wisconsin are just as divided as ever on the performance of their governor.

There's more good news in the poll for Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee who lost to Walker in Wisconsin's 2010 gubernatorial election. He leads former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, the other top Democrat in the May 8 recall primary, by a healthy 17 point margin, 38-21. Barrett, it seems, has all but sewn up Democratic nomination, even after labor unions dropped millions to boost Falk.

Should Falk somehow pull off a last-ditch, she'd face an uphill battle against Walker. In the Marquette poll, she trails the governor 49 percent to 43 percent.

More good news for Democrats: President Obama leads presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney 51 percent to 42 percent in the Marquette poll.

Tue Nov. 18, 2014 7:00 AM EST
Wed Oct. 15, 2014 3:01 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 24, 2014 3:22 PM EDT
Thu Apr. 24, 2014 6:06 AM EDT
Mon Jan. 13, 2014 1:19 PM EST