The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a fundraising email in support of the Wisconsin recall on Thursday, in another sign that the national party is stepping up its involvement for the June 5 election.
"We’ve gotten a lot of questions about the upcoming Wisconsin election," Brynne Craig, the DCCC field director, wrote in the email. "Here’s the answer: our Wisconsin team is in."
"If Republicans are going to launch an assault on worker's rights and the middle class, we're going to stand up and fight them every step of the way from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C. We already have field organizers on the ground in key districts -- but we have to get going quickly," she added, asking for donations of $3 or more, with a goal of reaching 5,000 contributions.
The DCCC is devoted to electing Democratic congressional candidates, while the six recalls that will be taking place are for races at the state level (governor, lieutenant governor and state Senate). The donations will go to the DCCC, not directly to the campaigns of any of the recall candidates. But a spokesman told The Huffington Post that the group's congressional organizers are now focused on the recalls.
The DCCC's solicitation comes as other Democrats at the national level are increasing their involvement.
The Obama campaign recently jumped in, organizing phone banks and canvassing operations to get out the vote for the June 5 election.
On Tuesday, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) called Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), the Democratic candidate trying to unseat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), pledging to host a fundraiser and provide grassroots support.
"The DNC is going to use both its substantial network of volunteers and supporters, and our online resources to help build the ground game that will be necessary to win on election day," DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell told HuffPost Tuesday.
The Plum Line's Greg Sargent recently reported that Wisconsin Democrats felt like they weren't getting enough support at the national level and wanted the DNC to commit $500,000 to the recall effort.
Below, more on the history of the Walker recall:
In 2010, a surge of Tea Party momentum and backlash against Democrats helped elect conservatives including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who became the state's first Republican governor since 2002. Walker promised to cut taxes and create 250,000 new jobs, but a deeper look into his past also showed a politician who had inflamed tensions with unions before. The Washington Post reports on his time as Milwaukee County Executive, during which the collective bargaining rights of unions already appeared to be one of his most ambitious targets: During his eight-year tenure in Milwaukee County, Walker never raised property taxes. He cut the county workforce by 20 percent, improved its bond rating and gave back hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own salary as part of the effort to trim spending. But he also saw his relations with local unions deteriorate. Union leaders say Walker never negotiated in good faith and had a singular solution to every budget problem: cut. Under his watch, the county privatized public jobs, laid off workers and placed others on furlough. [...] Walker argued that collective bargaining was the biggest hurdle to balancing the budget and that unions had little incentive to give ground because they almost always prevailed in arbitration. He said that the cuts he proposed were intended to prevent layoffs and accused union leaders of being uninterested in compromise.
After taking office, Walker announced a number of controversial proposals, including eliminating collective bargaining rights for state employees and reducing public employee benefits, as part of a "budget repair bill." He said the reforms were necessary to prevent the layoffs of thousands of workers. Facing anger from unions, Walker announced his readiness to mobilize the state's National Guard in response to any disruptions. The announcement was met with backlash by public sector workers across the state.
The fight over Walker's proposed budget was contentious, with Wisconsin Democratic state senators crossing state lines to Rockford, Ill. in an attempt to stall the vote. In March 2011, Walker signed the budget, significantly curtailing collective bargaining rights for union-affiliated public employees. Thousands of protesters gathered in Madison, and labor leaders and Democrats vowed to fight back.
In the months following his signing of the bill, Walker's opponents organized, announcing their intentions to recall the governor and his supporters. They erected a tent city and believed they'd won a surprise victory over a conservative state supreme court judge, before amended voting totals from one county reversed the victory. Walker continued to defend his policy but said he had made mistakes in the political execution. Correction: A previous version of this text inaccurately stated the final results of the Supreme Court race.
Wisconsin Democrats scored a victory in their attempt to unseat Republican state legislators when they defeated six "fake" Democrats running in the party's primaries. Four of the six Republicans targeted for recall held onto their seats in the general election.
Petitions to recall Walker and his lieutenant governor gathered nearly a million signatures each, far exceeding the 500,000 needed. Election officials ordered a recall election.
Democratic candidates are now fighting for the chance to face Walker in the recall election. Amanda Terkel reports: Recalling a sitting governor is no easy task; it's been done just twice in U.S. history. But while Republicans are amassing money and ground support in the next few months to fend off the opposition, Democrats are still figuring out who among them will be the strongest candidate to run against the governor. The process is pitting traditional allies against each other, as the candidates try to show off their pro-labor credentials while also making the case that they are best equipped to beat Walker in the general election. There are currently four Democratic candidates competing in the May primary. Former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett are considered the two frontrunners, with state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) and Secretary of State Doug La Follette also in the race.