A recent poll by the University of Wisconsin shows not only that a vast majority of Wisconsinites disapprove of Gov. Walker and his fellow Republicans in the state legislature, but also that 65% of Wisconsinites now believe that our state government is run for a few big interests rather than for all the people.
He thinks that 65% line is such a winner, he repeats it a few paragraphs later and by that time the "big interests" have become "big, special interests." Who these big, special interests are, he doesn't say explicitly, but his meaning couldn't be any clearer if he hadn't actually written wink, wink, nudge, nudge. He is, of course, counting on you the reader to read "big interest" and think "big business" or "corporations" or better yet "Koch brothers."
While this makes for great rhetoric, it's a lousy way to depict reality since Democrats in Wisconsin and beyond also have their own "big, special interests." Labor unions, both public and private, and trial lawyers are known as solid Democratic constituencies with deep pockets and a willingness to fund candidates and PAC's. Make no mistake, these interests are just as "big" and "special" as any that exist on the right. It was only partially tongue-in-cheek when the right side of the cheddarsphere referred to former Governor Jim Doyle as a "wholly owned subsidiary of WEAC."
I believe the 65% figure Barca cites comes from this UW Badger Poll conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, but the relevant question doesn't distinguish between big interests that back Republicans and those that back Democrats. If I had been asked if government was run for a few big interests, I also would have said yes. The only difference being that I would have been thinking about AFSCME & WEAC rather than the Chamber of Commerce.