Email date: 9/3/08
In this update:
1. Why is Doyle warming to nuclear option?
2. Wisconsin’s biggest political event
3. New board taking hard look at "issue ads"
When Governor Jim Doyle changed his longstanding position on building new nuclear power plants in early August, the conventional political wisdom was that the governor was aligning his stance on the issue with Barack Obama’s. Doyle was an early supporter of the Illinois senator’s presidential bid.
The Democracy Campaign has unearthed another possible explanation for the governor’s change of heart. Go here to see what we found.
Fighting Bob Fest has become the largest annual political gathering in Wisconsin, and perhaps in the entire nation. The seventh Bob Fest will be held this Saturday at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo, and promises to be the biggest one yet.
TV talk show pioneer Phil Donahue will be speaking, as will United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter and "Deep Economy" author Bill McKibben. Also headlining the list of speakers is 98-year-old Doris "Granny D" Haddock, who walked across the country at age 90 in support of campaign finance reform, and Texas rabblerouser Jim Hightower.
Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe also will be speaking on the main stage in the morning, and will be participating in a lunchtime breakout session entitled "Justice in the Balance" about the assault on fair and impartial courts by wealthy special interests.
To see the day’s schedule, go here. Hope to see you Saturday.
After listening to extensive testimony at its meeting just before the Labor Day weekend, the new Government Accountability Board directed its staff to develop a new disclosure rule dealing with the phony "issue ads" that have become a blight on state campaigns and have given birth to a flourishing underground political economy. The board plans to take up the rule at its October 6 meeting.
The Democracy Campaign testified in support of board action at last week’s hearing and also submitted a memo to the board on the issue in advance of the meeting. A daunting alliance of groups is working to block any change, including the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists, Coalition for America’s Families, Greater Wisconsin Committee, Wisconsin Bankers Association, Wisconsin Builders Association, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Grocers Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsin Right to Life. They are joined by the Alexandria, Virginia-based Center for Competitive Politics and the Terra Haute, Indiana-based law firm Bopp, Coleson and Bostrom in seeking to keep the current ineffective disclosure rules unchanged.