Olsen, Hopper Recall Efforts Boosted by Non-Wisconsin Elements

MacIver News Service | July 8, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] Democrats’ efforts to win control of the Wisconsin state senate through a series of recalls here is drawing millions of dollars and dozens of key campaign operatives from out of state, an ongoing MacIver News Service investigation has learned.

The group named “We are Wisconsin” has a decidedly non-Wisconsin infrastructure, with more than $1 million in PAC donations transferred to it earlier this week from national union sources and many of its key operatives coming from out of state.

Patrick Devney and Viet Shelton are two of We Are Wisconsin’s communications directors working on the recall elections.  Neither man appears to be from Wisconsin.

Devney is working to recall Senator Olson.  According to the Baraboo News Republic, Devney is from Appleton.  However, he cannot be found to have a Wisconsin address in online phone directories, which tend to go back at least 10 years.  Devney has worked on campaigns in NebraskaWashingtonVirginia and Louisiana as recently as February of this year.

Shelton is working to recall Senator Hopper.  He comes to Wisconsin from the State of Washington where he was labeled a rising star in Democratic politics.  Shelton was the campaign director for Transportation for WashingtonWashington Governor Chris Gregoire’s deputy communications director, and worked for the Democratic National Committee.  He describes himself as a “campaign addict”  and “for the summer, in Wisconsin” on his twitter profile.

Democrat efforts, in general, have turned to out-of-state help.  Click here to see an online form specifically looking for “Wisconsin Out-of-State Volunteers.”

Hopper and Olsen will face their Democratic challengers in a general election recall contest on August 9th.

Second in a series of reports by the MacIver News Service.