Senate, Assembly Leaders Top Anti-Reform List

Representatives at odds with the represented on condition of democracy

February 14, 2013

If voting records are any indication, the Legislature is exceedingly unlikely to tackle the scourge of money in politics, plug holes in porous campaign finance disclosure laws, update obsolete ethics protections or reform partisan redistricting – despite public opinion showing strong tripartisan objections to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and widespread support for changes to the political system.

A Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis of votes on nearly four dozen campaign finance, ethics and good government reform measures from the 2001-2002 legislative session through the 2011-2012 session shows legislators who currently control both the Senate and Assembly have most regularly sided with powerful special interests and voted against reform legislation the majority of the time.

At or near the top of the list of legislators who have cast the most anti-reform votes over the years are Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Glenn Grothman (see table below).

Poll after poll shows the public is repulsed by unlimited election spending unleashed by the Citizens United ruling and is convinced reform is needed. And when votes have been taken in local communities and states across the country, a supermajority has condemned Citizens United and called for change,” WDC director Mike McCabe said. “The voting records of those who control the agenda at our State Capitol reveal a striking disconnect between most citizens and the lawmakers who are supposed to be representing them.”

The Democracy Campaign is part of a coalition of groups calling for the Legislature to authorize a statewide vote on the Citizens United decision and the need for reform.

Of the 43 bills included in the analysis, 25 had bipartisan sponsorship, 10 had Democratic sponsors, four had Republican sponsors, and four were introduced by committees meaning they were not sponsored by individual legislators.

Table
Legislators Who Voted Against Political Reform Most of the Time

(Ranked by Most Anti-Reform Votes)

Legislator Pro-Reform
Votes
Anti-Reform
Votes
% Anti-Reform
Vos, Robin – A63 9 18 67%
Stone, Jeff – A82 16 18 53%
Grothman, Glenn – S20 6 17 74%
Kerkman, Samantha – A61 10 16 62%
Kestell, Steve – A27 10 15 60%
Fitzgerald, Scott – S13 7 14 67%
Pridemore, Don – A22 8 14 64%
Suder, Scott – A69 9 14 61%
Bies, Garey – A01 9 14 61%
Petrowski, Jerry – S29 9 14 61%
Nass, Steve – A33 9 13 59%
Ott, Al – A03 10 13 57%
Kramer, Bill – A97 3 12 80%
Lazich, Mary – S28 3 12 80%
Honadel, Mark – A21 4 12 75%
Kleefisch, Joel – A38 4 12 75%
Mursau, Jeff – A36 4 12 75%
Nerison, Lee – A96 4 12 75%
Ott, Jim – A23 4 12 75%
Strachota, Pat – A58 4 12 75%
LeMahieu, Daniel – A59 5 12 71%
Williams, Mary – A87 5 12 71%
Ballweg, Joan – A41 4 11 73%
Kedzie, Neal – S11 7 11 61%
Leibham, Joe – S09 8 11 58%
Nygren, John – A89 2 10 83%
Petersen, Kevin – A40 2 10 83%
Tauchen, Gary – A06 2 10 83%
Lasee, Frank – S01 5 9 64%
Brooks, Ed – A50 1 8 89%
Knodl, Dan – A24 1 8 89%
Vukmir, Leah – S05 5 8 62%
Murtha, John – A29 2 7 78%
Ripp, Keith – A42 2 7 78%
Jacque, Andre – A02 0 6 100%
Larson, Tom – A67 0 6 100%
August, Tyler – A32 0 5 100%
Bernier, Kathy – A68 0 5 100%
Craig, Dave – A83 0 5 100%
Endsley, Mike – A26 0 5 100%
Farrow, Paul – S33 0 5 100%
Kapenga, Chris – A99 0 5 100%
Klenke, John – A88 0 5 100%
Kooyenga, Dale – A14 0 5 100%
Krug, Scott – A72 0 5 100%
Kuglitsch, Mike – A84 0 5 100%
Loudenbeck, Amy – A31 0 5 100%
Marklein, Howard – A51 0 5 100%
Petryk, Warren – A93 0 5 100%
Stroebel, Duey – A60 0 5 100%
Thiesfeldt, Jeremy – A52 0 5 100%
Tranel, Travis – A49 0 5 100%
Weininger , Chad – A04 0 5 100%
Moulton, Terry – S23 3 5 62%
Steineke, Jim – A05 0 4 100%
Knudson, Dean – A30 0 3 100%
Severson, Erik – A28 0 3 100%
Tiffany, Tom – S12 0 3 100%

Complete List of Legislators and Their Voting RecordsFull Analysis