Email date: 1/4/10
Happy New Year from all of us at the Democracy Campaign!
In this update:
1. Newspaper calls anti-reform lawsuits "unworthy"
2. It’s time to make yourself count
Newspaper calls anti-reform lawsuits "unworthy"
Just before the year’s end, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial exposing the absurd premise of two lawsuits challenging Wisconsin’s new public financing law for state Supreme Court elections. The lawsuits assert that giving candidates the means to answer attacks by big-money interest groups hinders free speech.
The second of the two lawsuits in federal court was filed by County Judge and former Supreme Court candidate Randy Koschnick, who pulled a John Kerry on the subject of publicly financed high court elections. To see what we mean, check out our latest Big Money Blog.
Defending the Impartial Justice Act against what the Journal Sentinel politely dismissed as "unworthy" lawsuits will be just one of the challenges in store for us in 2010. Another big one will be closing the loophole special interest groups have been exploiting to secretly spend unlimited sums of money to influence elections, as the Democracy Campaign’s director noted recently in a commentary published in a number of newspapers across the state.
It’s time to make yourself count
In 2010, the U.S. census will define who we are as a nation. Taken every 10 years, the census affects political representation and directs the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in government funding. The stakes are high for northern states, where losing population could cost them seats in Congress not to mention much-needed federal funds. In a state like Wisconsin which gets below-average federal support as it is, we can ill-afford any segment of our population to be undercounted.
Census questionnaires are mailed or delivered to households in February and March. April 1 is Census Day. Census takers will work through July to visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail. For more information on the census, go here. There is a great deal you and local organizations in your community can do to make the census a success. For more on how to get involved, go here.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of an accurate count. Every year, well over $300 billion in federal funds is awarded to states and communities based on census data. Community planners use census data to decide where to build schools, roads and hospitals. Census data affect your voice in Congress and the state Legislature, as state lawmakers use them to redraw districts.