Flip-Flopping Away to the Tune of Big Donors

In this update: 1. Opponents of independent DNR gave Doyle millions, backers gave thousands 2. WDC: State’s new online campaign finance reporting system a "mess" 3. Major newspapers call for redistricting reform Flip-Flopping Away to the Tune of Big Donors 

Email date: 9/1/09

In this update:
1. Opponents of independent DNR gave Doyle millions, backers gave thousands
2. WDC: State’s new online campaign finance reporting system a "mess"
3. Major newspapers call for redistricting reform

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Doyle got millions from opponents of DNR bill, thousands from backers
On the eve of an Assembly committee vote on a legislative proposal to better insulate the state Department of Natural Resources from political pressure, the Democracy Campaign issued a report showing that opponents of the bill have donated more than $4 million to Governor Jim Doyle compared to the just over $17,000 he has received from supporters of the plan returning control of the agency to a citizen board.

Our analysis sheds new light on the change of heart the governor had earlier this year on this issue. When Doyle was the state’s attorney general, he opposed making the DNR a cabinet agency under the control of then-Governor Tommy Thompson. When he campaigned for the state’s highest office and throughout his first term as governor and most of his second term, Doyle remained a supporter of restoring the responsibilities of the Natural Resources Board that had been in place from 1927 to 1995. But he announced in March that he had changed his mind.

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State’s new online campaign finance reporting system a "mess"
The Democracy Campaign testified today at an informational hearing held at the Capitol by the Assembly Committee on Elections and Campaign Reform on how the state’s online system for reporting campaign contributions and expenses is working . . . or not working. To read WDC’s testimony, go here.

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Major newspapers call for redistricting reform
In a democracy voters are supposed to choose their representatives. But once every decade, it’s the other way around as the representatives choose their voters. The next time this will happen is 2011. Isn’t there a better way to handle the redrawing of congressional and state legislative districts that is required after every census? The Democracy Campaign thinks so, and editorials in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal show that the state’s two largest newspapers agree.