Based on emails from the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, the Tea Party-affiliated political action committee seems more like the Campaign to Support Scott Walker. Daily—sometimes multiple times a day—the organization sounds out emails blasting the move to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
The emails don't mince words. An April 15 email (subject line: Fox News + Wall Street Journal ALERT) tells subscribers that "If Obama's operatives and the union bosses win, they will export their tactic of million-dollar funded RECALLs against Republican governors across the country, and they will likely win Wisconsin's 10 Electoral Votes for Obama in November."
"But," the email goes on to say, "if they lose, it will deal a massive blow to Obama, his allies and the labor union bosses."
And those aren't just any allies. Another email went into more detail: "The complete power and force of the state and national Democrat Party, combined with millions upon millions of dollars from state and national unions, plus millions more from left wing groups like MoveOn.org and billionaire liberal donors such as George Soros. We cannot let them win."
In just the last two weeks, the group has spent over $34,000 on negative ads against the recall efforts, urging viewers to standby Walker and his anti-union policies.
The PAC grew out of Tea Party Express—one of the biggest Tea Party groups in the country—though the two are now separate. Among the leadership is Joe Wierzbicki, a political consultant who works at a firm with Tea Party Express leader Sal Russo. The firm has produced some of the ads CDBO put out in Wisconsin, and Wierzbicki previously served as a coordinator for Tea Party Express. "Tea Party Express does their thing and we do ours," wrote Wierzbicki in an email. "On occasion we have overlapping goals. However, we endorse our own candidates (sometimes opposing candidates in a given race) and have our own staff."
I wrote Wierzbicki (as well as several others who did not write back) to ask why a group ostensibly focused on a national campaign had focused so specifically on Wisconsin's gubernatorial skirmishes. Here are his answers:
The reason we've been so focused on Wisconsin is that the ramifications of the RECALL election are huge. There are ten Electoral Votes at stake here in Wisconsin, and this will likely be one of the most important swing states come November. Furthermore, what happens here in June will have an impact on other targeted/swing states—momentum will swing either to Barack Obama and his allies, or to those with an opposite philosophical/ideological persuasion (such as the views of our team at The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama).
I think for many of our supporters, Wisconsin represents sort of an opening chapter in the presidential fight. It is my belief that those on the opposite side (ideologically) feel the same. I'm sure they feel if they can defeat Walker then it will show voters rejected his agenda, and therefore are more inclined to be supportive of the policy goals of Barack Obama. It works the same way for us—this is the opening chapter of the presidential race.