New Disclosure Rule to Take Effect Aug. 1

In this update: 1. Rule closing “issue ad” loophole on course to take effect August 1 2. Legislative study committee looking at judicial recusal and discipline 3. Number of legislative candidates up sharply 4. Blog on redistricting picked up as newspaper column New Disclosure Rule to Take Effect Aug. 1

Email date: 7/15/10

In this update:
1. Rule closing “issue ad” loophole on course to take effect August 1
2. Legislative study committee looking at judicial recusal and discipline
3. Number of legislative candidates up sharply
4. Blog on redistricting picked up as newspaper column

______________________________________________________________

Rule closing “issue ad” loophole on course to take effect August 1
Back in March we reported that the state Government Accountability Board took a stand for the public's right to know and accountability in election advertising by approving new rules the Democracy Campaign helped write closing the “issue ad” loophole used for years by special interest groups to avoid disclosing their electioneering activity.

An update. . . . The deadline for legislative review has now passed, and the GAB issued the order certifying the new rules on Tuesday. They take effect August 1.

______________________________________________________________

Legislative study committee looking at judicial recusal and discipline
A special committee was established this week to study the state’s system for disciplining judges who run afoul of the judicial ethics code and to recommend new standards for when judges should be disqualified from hearing and ruling on cases. The 12-member committee plans to begin its work August 5.

Milwaukee's Shepherd Express has an article on the series of controversial actions by the state Supreme Court that inspired the formation of the study panel.

______________________________________________________________

Number of legislative candidates up sharply
Yesterday we posted information about the number of candidates running for the state Legislature. The number is considerably higher than in the past several elections, mostly due to the fact that about twice as many legislators as usual decided not to seek reelection. Nearly a third of all candidates will be on the primary ballot for those openings created by the departure of legislative incumbents.

______________________________________________________________

Blog on redistricting picked up as newspaper column
Newspapers like the La Crosse Tribune are turning our latest Big Money Blog about the problems with the way legislative and congressional districts have been redrawn in the past into a guest commentary. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also weighed in on the topic in today’s edition, endorsing the redistricting reform plan put forward by Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett as an interim step, but also calling for a constitutional amendment making an independent nonpartisan body responsible for the redistricting that is done every 10 years after each census.