Public Hearing Next Wednesday

In this update: 1. Public comment on reform to be heard May 27 in Eau Claire and Madison 2. Ellis-Erpenbach bill to be reintroduced 3. WDC to air radio message on need for judicial reform 4. Going beyond false choice of poor elections or no elections Public Hearing Next Wednesday 

Email date: 5/22/09

In this update:
1. Public comment on reform to be heard May 27 in Eau Claire and Madison
2. Ellis-Erpenbach bill to be reintroduced
3. WDC to air radio message on need for judicial reform
4. Going beyond false choice of poor elections or no elections

Everything is set for the public hearing next Wednesday, May 27 on the Impartial Justice bill overhauling state Supreme Court elections and another Democracy Campaign-backed campaign reform measure requiring full disclosure of special interest electioneering.

The joint Senate and Assembly hearing will start at 2 p.m. and testimony will be taken in both Eau Claire and Madison. We’re told this is the first regular state legislative hearing in Wisconsin to be held in two locations simultaneously via teleconferencing. Public comment will be heard in the Old Library on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and in Room 411 South in the State Capitol. For more information about the hearing, go here.

If you cannot attend the hearing in either location, please contact members of the Assembly committee and the Senate committee to urge them to support both reform bills.

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The comprehensive campaign finance reform plan offered in past years by Senators Mike Ellis of Neenah and Jon Erpenbach of Middleton with the enthusiastic support of the Democracy Campaign has been redrafted and will be formally reintroduced soon. Improvements have been made to the legislation, making it even stronger than the versions put forward in previous sessions.

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The Democracy Campaign has produced a radio message about the threats to fair and impartial courts and the need for judicial reform, with plans to begin airing it the day after the public hearing on the Impartial Justice bill and disclosure of interest group campaigning. You can listen to the spot here.

We are committed to airing the ad on selected stations across the state with news and talk formats. To help us spread this message as far and wide as possible for as long as possible, go here and make a tax-deductible donation to the Democracy Campaign.

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Most everyone would agree that Wisconsin’s spring elections leave a lot to be desired. Even when there are compelling contests, voter turnout has remained disturbingly low. Some are suggesting that the answer is to do away with spring elections altogether. If the only choice was poor elections or no elections, maybe such an extreme step would at least be worth discussing. But there is a third way, as one of our recent posts on the Big Money Blog points out.