Email date: 8/31/10
In this update:
1. Chicken soup for the citizen’s soul
2. Most candidates mum on democracy issues
3. Board moves to cement corporate disclosure rules
Chicken soup for the citizen’s soul
Today’s politics got you down? Need a quick pick-me-up? Then Baraboo’s where you'll want to be on Saturday, September 11. That’s when the 9th annual Fighting Bob Fest will be held at the Sauk County Fairgrounds, starting at 8:30 a.m.
Bob Fest is the nation’s largest annual political festival, featuring live music, lots to eat and drink, and a parade of speakers. About 1,000 people attended the first one in 2002, and attendance has grown to more than 8,000 in more recent years.
Speakers will include the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Air America radio host Thom Hartmann, award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast, Free Speech for People Campaign director John Bonifaz, Texas populist Jim Hightower and many others. Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe will be speaking on the main stage in the morning and also will be leading a noon breakout session on ways to fight the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allowing unlimited corporate election spending.
The Democracy Campaign will have an exhibit table in the main hall. Anyone interested in helping staff the table should contact Beverly Speer at 608-255-4260.
On the Thursday night before Bob Fest, there will be a kickoff party at the High Noon Saloon in Madison celebrating independent media. For you social networkers, there’s a page on Facebook about the event you can use to RSVP and invite friends.
Most candidates mum on democracy issues
The Democracy Campaign once again teamed up this year with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and Common Cause in Wisconsin in quizzing candidates for state office on issues relating to the health of our democracy. The results are now in. While more than 140 candidates answered our questions, an improvement over 2008, a majority still blew off the survey. To see how candidates in your area answered, or whether they answered at all, go here.
Board moves to cement corporate disclosure rules
Yesterday the state Government Accountability Board voted unanimously in favor of rules requiring registration, reporting and advertising disclaimers for corporate election spending. Earlier this year, the board had temporarily put the requirements in place as emergency rules and last week a legislative committee approved an extension so they would remain in effect through the November election. The GAB’s latest action aims to make them permanent.
The rules are in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 21 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Before the vote, the Democracy Campaign’s director testified in support of making the rules permanent.
Other WDC-backed disclosure rules closing the “magic words” loophole used by interest groups sponsoring so-called issue ads were approved earlier this year by the GAB but are now tied up in court.