Payday Lender Money Flows at Capitol

In this update: 1. Payday lenders throw record amounts of money at lawmakers 2. Will U.S. Supreme Court turn back the clock? 3. A hoedown for hell-raisers 4. Follow the money on newly updated database 5. WDC testimony airing on WisconsinEye Payday Lender Money Flows at Capitol 

Email date: 9/9/09

In this update:
1. Payday lenders throw record amounts of money at lawmakers
2. Will U.S. Supreme Court turn back the clock?
3. A hoedown for hell-raisers
4. Follow the money on newly updated database
5. WDC testimony airing on WisconsinEye

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Payday lenders throw record cash at lawmakers
The Democracy Campaign today issued a report showing that payday lenders have seriously ramped up their campaign giving and lobbying in their latest effort to kill legislation regulating the industry’s practices. For audio commentary on our findings, check out our podcast.

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Will U.S. Supreme Court turn back the clock?
Do corporations, labor unions and other organized special interest groups have too little say in the political arena? Are their voices muffled in election campaigns? For all but a relative handful of Americans, the obvious answer to these questions is a resounding “no.” But the U.S. Supreme Court may be fixing to answer "yes," and in so doing wipe away laws that have been on the books for more than a century. The case is Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and until recently was getting very little attention. It bears watching. The stakes for democracy in this country could not be higher.

Syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne does a good job of putting what’s at stake in perspective in this commentary. So do editorials in the Washington Post and New York Times.

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A hoedown for hell-raisers
Baraboo is the place to be this Saturday. The eighth annual Fighting Bob Fest will be held there at the Sauk County Fairgrounds. Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe will be a main-stage speaker again this year. Mike is scheduled to speak at 9:40 a.m. He also will lead a breakout session at noon on how to make people matter more than money in politics. Video clips of speeches Mike has made in past years at Fighting Bob Fest have been posted on YouTube and are archived here.

In addition, WDC will have an exhibit table in the main hall. Anyone interested in helping staff the table should contact Beverly at 608-255-4260. Hope to see you there!

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Follow the money on newly updated database
We just added more than 7,300 new records of contributions to state campaigns to our searchable online database this week. Go here to follow the money.

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WDC testimony airing on WisconsinEye
Wisconsin’s state-level version of C-SPAN is airing the testimony given at a state Assembly hearing last week on what’s wrong with the state’s online reporting system for campaign finances. Batting leadoff was the Democracy Campaign. To see WisconsinEye’s coverage, go here.