Only Two White House Hopefuls Answer Reform Questions

In this update: 1. Ziegler in court . . . not to judge cases, but to defend herself 2. Lawmakers caught double dipping 3. Poll shows Legislature’s approval rating dropping Only Two Whitehouse Hopefuls Answer Reform Questions

Email date: 11/27/07

In this update:
1. Reform network releases responses to presidential questionnaire
2. State’s voter registration system still not working
3. Making sense of electronic campaign finance data

The horde of candidates seeking the presidency are well on their way to making this the first billion-dollar campaign for the White House. Maybe they were too busy raising money to bother answering questions on political reform issues posed by a network of 20 civic and public interest groups in a region of the country that is a key battleground. Only two candidates responded to the Midwest Democracy Network’s reform questionnaire. To see which two, go here.

All the other candidates not only ignored statewide citizen groups in vote -rich states like Illinois, Michigan and Ohio as well as an up-for-grabs purple state like Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota. They also ignored tens of thousands of voters who called the campaigns urging the candidates to answer the questions. Their silence speaks volumes.

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The contract to do the work was signed more than three years ago. It’s been almost two years since the deadline for completing the work came and went. And with Wisconsin’s presidential primary election less than three months away, the computerized statewide voter registration system developed for Wisconsin by the global outsourcing firm Accenture still doesn’t work.

This project is the very definition of boondoggle.

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Democracy Campaign research director Mike Buelow is the featured author of this month’s "Your Right to Know" column that is distributed to newspapers across the state by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Mike is a former Associated Press reporter and is a member of the council. His subject is the shortcomings in the system of electronic disclosure of campaign finances. If the local newspaper in your area has not yet printed Mike’s article, you can read it here. You also can find more information about the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council here.

The latest Wisconsin Survey conducted by St. Norbert College for Wisconsin Public Radio also shows the Legislature’s approval ratings are lower than ever. State residents who are dissatisfied with the Legislature’s performance now outnumber satisfied citizens by nine percentage points.