Chief Justice Plugs Publicly Financed Campaigns

In this update: 1. Supreme Court chief justice calls for campaign reform 2. Clean Elections bill to be introduced 3. Reversal of Thompson conviction creating widespread fallout Chief Justice Plugs Publicly Financed Campaigns

Email date: 4/11/07

In this update:
1. Supreme Court chief justice calls for campaign reform
2. Clean Elections bill to be introduced
3. Reversal of Thompson conviction creating widespread fallout

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson testified yesterday at a public hearing in support of public financing of election campaigns.

Her statements come in the wake of what the Democracy Campaign’s director yesterday called the "ugliest Supreme Court race our state has ever seen, not to mention the most partisan and most expensive by far – a cash-soaked, special interest-contaminated smearfest." To read the Democracy Campaign’s testimony, go here.

Legislation establishing full public financing of state Supreme Court races has been introduced as Assembly Bill 250.

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On Monday, two Madison lawmakers announced they will introduce legislation calling for full public financing of all state elections. The reform plan is modeled after the highly successful systems already in place in Arizona and Maine.

For more information on the components of the proposal, go here.

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The shocking decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction of state purchasing officer Georgia Thompson on bid-rigging charges is getting national attention, from the New York Times to a U.S. Senate committee.

The fallout from the appeals court’s decision is drifting over not only federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic but also the governor.

The truly sad thing about this entire episode, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out in a recent editorial, is that there would have been no suspicion of wrongdoing and no reason to prosecute Georgia Thompson if Wisconsin had public financing of state campaigns.