Wisconsin governor greeted as Republican rock star

By Sean Murphy

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 18 2012 1:35 p.m. MDT

Walker got loud cheers and a standing ovation both when he was introduced and when he completed his speech. As he approached the podium, a woman yelled out, "We're with you, Scott!" He replied, "We're with you too."

All of the traveling helped him raise $12.1 million between January 2011 and mid-January of this year. That is the most ever raised by a candidate for state office in Wisconsin, breaking the record Walker himself set by raising $10 million on his way to victory in 2010.

"We've never seen this kind of thing before in living memory," McCabe said. "There's no precedent for it. We've never seen this much outside money in state elections in Wisconsin."

McCabe predicts the total amount spent on the recall election will be between $60 million and $80 million, shattering the previous record of about $37 million from the 2010 governor's race Walker won.

While Walker is tapping a national fundraising base, it's not so easy knowing where he has been, where he is or where he plans to go. His campaign refuses to release his private schedule, saying there are under no obligation to do so.

Deputy Campaign Manager Dan Blum did not respond to a question asking why Walker was spending so much time out of state when he faces a recall.

Part of the problem with publicizing his schedule is that protesters tend to follow wherever he goes.

Union organizers claimed victory after Walker canceled an appearance at a November fundraiser in Wichita, Kan., with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Walker would not say why he backed out, but unions said their promise of having thousands of protesters there scared him away. Still, the governor was undeterred by about 200 protesters who lined the streets outside the Oklahoma City event.

During a Tuesday visit to Springfield, Ill., Walker was confronted by an estimated 4,000 demonstrators, many of them union members from Chicago and elsewhere.

One of them held a sign that said, "Go back to Wisconsin. Oh, wait they don't want you either."

Bauer reported from Madison, Wis. Associated Press writers Jim Salter in St. Louis and John O'Connor in Springfield, Ill., also contributed to this report.

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