Numerous candidates for statewide office and the legislature in every election try to hoodwink the public into believing the exorbitant amount of special interest cash they accept shows they are popular among voters.
There have already been claims like that by the two Republican candidates for governor - Scott Walker and Mark Neumann - about their fundraising for the last six months of 2009.
Walker's campaign raised $1.8 million in the last half of 2009, including $1.74 million in individual contributions. Walker says 74 percent of the donations were $50 or less.
Neumann's campaign raised $1.32 million, nearly all of it in individual contributions. Neumann says 93 percent of the donations were $250 or less.
But that's not an accurate description of where they got most of their money. While a large amount of their donations were relatively small, most of their campaign cash came from big contributions.
Walker's campaign received $811,898 in contributions ranging from $500 to $10,000. It represents 47 percent of his $1.74 million in individual contributions in the last six months of 2009.
Excluding Neumann's $1.09 million contribution to his own campaign, he really raised $234,461 from individual donors. Of that $178,850, or 76 percent, came from $500-plus contributions.
Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett boasted about how quickly he raised $811,867 in the last few months of 2009. Even though he didn't try to characterize most of it as coming from small donors, he fares the worst of the three. The campaign raised $655,788 in individual contributions and 78 percent, or $514,460, came from $500-plus contributions.