Outside Interference in State Elections

Email date: 10/15/10

In this update:
1. Jensen keeps busy while waiting for new trial
2. Koch Industries plans intervention in state elections
3. Help WDC monitor outside interest group electioneering

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Jensen keeps busy while waiting for new trial
The clock on our Big Money Blog keeps ticking, and tomorrow it will have been eight years since former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen was criminally charged with misconduct in public office. Jensen’s attorneys used one legal maneuver after another to drag out his prosecution, but he was finally convicted by a jury in 2006 and sentenced by the judge to 15 months in prison. Jensen’s legal team then challenged the verdict and got it overturned on a technicality, winning their client a new trial. Since then, they've gotten the new trial moved from Dane County where the first trial was held to Jensen’s home county of Waukesha.

Meanwhile, the former speaker has resurfaced in Wisconsin politics in a big way, spearheading the efforts of a group called the American Federation for Children which has registered as a corporation making independent expenditures in state legislative races. This reincarnation of the Republican front group All Children Matter also is sponsoring undisclosed phony issue ads. Word is the group intends to dump something on the order of $100,000 into each of a dozen or so key Assembly races in the final days before the November 2 general election.

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Koch Industries plans intervention in state elections
Koch Industries, the primary financial backer of Tea Party operations around the country and a major funder of climate change denial efforts nationally, has signaled its intention to sponsor campaign ads in 21 state legislative races as well as the elections for governor and attorney general in Wisconsin. The company is the largest privately held corporation in the United States.

Our latest blog posted Wednesday highlights the dubious activities of two corporate-funded party front groups that are weighing in heavily in state legislative contests.

For more information on all the interest groups that are trying to sway voters and influence the outcome of the 2010 elections in Wisconsin, go here and here.

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Help WDC monitor outside interest group electioneering
Trying to keep track of all the organizations that are pouring money into state elections is a daunting task, and the Democracy Campaign is working overtime monitoring all the activity. Tips from concerned citizens around the state are invaluable to us, and we encourage you to use our Hijack Hotline to let us know about mailings you receive from interest groups, automated messages that are left on your voice mail or telephone answering machine, radio ads you hear and television ads you see.

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Spread the word by sending this message to people you know. To support the Democracy Campaign’s efforts to make people matter more than money, go here.

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