Following the Money Ain't So Easy Anymore

In this update: 1. The least transparent election in memory 2. Damned either way 3. Odds and ends Following the Money Ain’t So Easy Anymore

Email date: 10/7/10

In this update:
1. The least transparent election in memory
2. Damned either way
3. Odds and ends

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The least transparent election in memory
The Democracy Campaign updated its database of contributions from political action committees (PACs) again this past weekend. And in recent days we’ve added more information to our Hijacking Campaign 2010 feature about the electioneering being done by outside interest groups. But it is harder than ever to see the origins of the money groups are using to do all this campaigning. A recent report by a national watchdog group showed that in 2004 and 2006 nearly all of the groups spending on federal elections were publicly reporting their funding sources. Just under half were disclosing their donors in 2008 and less than a third are in 2010.

For a sampling of recent media coverage of outside group involvement in state and national elections, go here, here and here.

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Damned either way
In our latest Big Money Blog, WDC’s director reflects on the sorry state of both major political parties and the average voter’s dilemma.

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Odds and ends
How the outcome of the 2010 elections will affect our political landscape for the next decade was the subject of a story by Public News Service that was aired by close to two dozen Wisconsin radio stations and was picked up by Clear Channel and distributed nationally to 460 news talk stations across the country. A commentary by WDC director Mike McCabe on this same topic continues to get picked up, most recently by The Capital Times, which posted it online this morning.

A column by Democracy Campaign research director Michael Buelow focuses on a law that was supposed to shine light on state contracting. Enforcement of the law was initially neglected and is just now starting to show some results four years after its enactment.

Junkets for elected officials with travel, lodging and speaking fees paid by corporations and special interest groups have long been common in Washington, D.C. But now this practice has filtered down to the state level, as this Milwaukee Magazine story reveals.