Health Reform Opponents Outgive Supporters 7-to-1

In this update: 1. Interests with stake in outcome of health reform debate donated $21 million since ’99 2. Ziegler to take office with cloud overhead 3. Is AT&T starting to sweat? 4. Cindy Sheehan to headline Fighting Bob Fest 5. Living in Richistan Health Reform Opponents Outgive Supporters 7-to-1

Email date: 7/30/07

In this update:
1. Interests with stake in outcome of health reform debate donated $21 million since ’99
2. Ziegler to take office with cloud overhead
3. Is AT&T starting to sweat?
4. Cindy Sheehan to headline Fighting Bob Fest
5. Living in Richistan

Apparently, even when told a universal health care reform plan would be a jobs-killing, tax-raising, immigrant-attracting, government-run nightmare, two out of every three Wisconsin residents still support it. Yet most of their elected representatives are paralyzed on the issue.

The Democracy Campaign today issued a second report that sheds light on state officials’ health care paralysis. Last week we pointed out that Republicans who control the state Assembly and who have blocked the universal health care plan that was added to the state budget bill in the Senate have received nearly $2 of every $3 they’ve raised in campaign donations from opponents of health care reform. And we showed that the governor, who has been unenthusiastic at best toward the universal health care plan, has received almost half of his campaign money from reform opponents.

Our latest analysis compares campaign giving by opponents and supporters of health care reform and shows that the campaign contribution race is not close. Opponents have given over seven times more than supporters.

A spokesman for Governor Jim Doyle last week repeated a remark the governor made earlier that Doyle is not a fan of the Senate health care plan because he "lives in the real world." The governor’s "real world" is this: Since 1999, he has received nearly $7.3 million, or 48%, of his campaign money from opponents of health care reform while supporters have given him just over $850,000 or 6% of what he has raised.

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On Wednesday, Annette Ziegler will be sworn in as the newest member of the state Supreme Court. But she begins her 10-year term on the high court with an ethical cloud hovering over her head as an investigation by the state Judicial Commission triggered by a Democracy Campaign complaint continues.

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AT&T appears to be getting nervous that its cable TV bill, once considered a done deal, is no longer a fait accompli. The lengths to which the company is going to regain legislative momentum is the subject of our latest Big Money Blog.

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Nationally known anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan will be the main attraction at this year’s Fighting Bob Fest, to be held on Saturday, September 8 at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo. For more information about this annual progressive chautauqua, now the largest political convention in Wisconsin, go here. To register in advance for the event, go here.

Fighting Bob Fest has been such a big success here in Wisconsin that the idea is spreading.

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This says a lot about the times we live in.