According to GAB rules
, candidates for local office, like Barrett, who is currently only running for another term as mayor, can accept money from lobbyists at any time.
"A lobbyist may make, deliver, or convey a campaign contribution at any time to a candidate for a local, non-partisan state, or national office unless the candidate is currently a partisan elected state officeholder," reads the GAB's guideline for campaign contributions by lobbyists.
Why is this significant? The rules are different for candidates already running for state office. Those candidates can only collect lobbyist cash between June 1 and the date of the general election -- which is currently anticipated to be June 5.
That means other Democratic challengers who have already entered the governor's race, including former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk
, cannot collect lobbyist money outside of the window that begins on June 1 and ends on Election Day.
A Barrett spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Barrett has not publicly tipped his hand about a run yet, but his posturing is a sign that he is leaning toward running and is aiming to be in the best possible financial shape.
Barrett currently has about $453,000
in his campaign account. He only netted about $17,000 since February. Walker's already raised millions and Falk is expected to get the lion's share of union money in the recall campaign.
Barrett lost to Walker by about 6 points in the 2010 open governor's election.