More Action Coming on Reform

In this update: 1. Early Senate action promised on reform 2. Assembly fundraising ban whets appetite for more 3. Doyle holding on tight to tainted campaign cash More Action Coming on Reform 

Email date: 1/23/09

In this update:
1. Early Senate action promised on reform
2. Assembly fundraising ban whets appetite for more
3. Doyle holding on tight to tainted campaign cash

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker announced yesterday that the Senate will take action on two major campaign reform bills early in the new session. One requires full disclosure of special interest electioneering. The other is the Impartial Justice bill reforming state Supreme Court elections. The Democracy Campaign strongly supports both reforms.

The Senate passed both bills last session, but they were not brought up for a vote in the Assembly. Party control of the Assembly changed hands in last fall’s elections, however, and now the majority of members in the Assembly are on record in favor of both bills.

The electioneering disclosure legislation mirrors new rules approved by the state Government Accountability Board in November. Last week, the GAB took the required formal steps to send the proposed rules to the Legislature and set the review process in motion. As part of that process, the board has recommended a public hearing for March 30.

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The Assembly’s new leadership decision to adopt a rule banning campaign fundraising while the state budget is under construction is getting favorable reviews. But while this step is being lauded by newspapers across the state, the editorials also take pains to stress that it needs to be followed by many more steps. To read some of the commentary, go here, here, here and here. To watch a WisconsinEye interview on the subject with Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe, go here.

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Governor Jim Doyle might be taking the old saying that a fool and his money will soon part a little too literally. That’s the gist of our latest Big Money Blog as well as another posted a few days earlier.