Email date: 1/14/10
In this update:
1. State Senate to debate campaign disclosure legislation next week
2. U.S. Supreme Court still undecided on key campaign finance case
Senate to debate campaign disclosure legislation next week
The state Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on WDC-backed legislation closing the “issue ad” loophole special interests exploit to secretly spend unlimited sums of money to influence state elections.
The bill requires interest groups to fully disclose their campaign activity and abide by limits on campaign contributions as candidates and registered political action committees (PACs) must do. The gaping loophole in Wisconsin’s campaign finance rules allowing wealthy interests to operate outside the law has become the single greatest ill in state elections. The votes are there to cure this ailment. The majority of members of both houses are on record in favor of closing the issue ad loophole, including 25 of the Senate’s 33 members.
Before next Tuesday, contact your senator to urge support for Senate Bill 43.
U.S. Supreme Court still undecided on key campaign finance case
A decision by the nation’s highest court in a pivotal campaign finance case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was expected last summer. Then the court’s majority significantly expanded the scope of its review, prompting many observers to fear a ruling before Thanksgiving that would turn back the clock on campaign finance regulation decades if not a century or more. Christmas came and went with no decision. Court observers then speculated a ruling would come this past Monday or Tuesday, but it didn’t happen. Our latest Big Money Blog offers commentary on the court’s indecision and what it might mean.