Campaign Reform Study for City Elections OK'd

In this update: 1. Madison City Council green lights campaign reform study 2. Plot in Troha scandal thickens 3. Ziegler case an example of broken honor system Campaign Reform Study for City Elections OK’d

Email date: 3/21/07

In this update:
1. Madison City Council green lights campaign reform study
2. Plot in Troha scandal thickens
3. Ziegler case an example of broken honor system

The Madison City Council voted 12-6 last night to create a seven-member citizen study committee on clean elections charged with issuing recommendations on how to implement a system of full public financing of city elections for council members, mayor and municipal judge.

The study committee is to be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council, likely sometime after the April 3 election, and is supposed to report back its recommendations within six months.

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The scandal revolving around Kenosha casino developer Dennis Troha has taken on a new dimension and prompted a new federal investigation, this time focusing on a sweetheart deal Troha received from Congress.

Federal lawmakers who helped grease the skids for the legislation that benefited Troha, including Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, now are saying they had no idea their action would help their campaign donor.

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The Democracy Campaign’s decision to file a formal request yesterday with the state Judicial Commission for an investigation into state Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler’s handling of conflicts of interest she had in 16 cases came after weeks spent going over court records as well as Ziegler’s Statement of Economic Interests on file with the state Ethics Board. WDC’s review found repeated violations of the state Judicial Code of Conduct.

An excellent feature story in last month’s Milwaukee Magazine puts a finger on a systemic problem exemplified by Ziegler’s ethical lapses: an honor system that is less than honorable.