The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

Email date: 3/7/11

In this update:
1. Cost of state legislative races topped $19 million in 2010
2. Campaign money game becomes front-page news
3. Vigil continues at Capitol this week

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Cost of state legislative races topped $19 million in 2010
Despite the severe economic downturn, the political economy continued to prove recession-proof as spending in state legislative elections reached its highest level for any election year also featuring a statewide race for governor, a report issued this morning by the Democracy Campaign shows.

Audio commentary on our findings is posted online on our podcast.

The narrow interests that supplied most of the money to fuel campaign spending already have been richly rewarded by the lawmakers who now control the Legislature, as WDC reported last week. Tax breaks and other favors have been pushed through in the first few weeks of the new session for those who gave $2 out of every $3 majority legislators raised for their 2010 campaigns, while low-income taxpayers in Wisconsin face the prospect of losing hundreds of dollars in tax credits and massive cuts have been proposed in funding for public schools, local communities and health care assistance for the poor, elderly, disabled and family farmers.

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Campaign money game becomes front-page news
The more the media and public have been able to examine Governor Scott Walker’s so-called budget repair bill, the clearer it has become that it has more to do with politics and power and campaign donations than balancing a budget. The Democracy Campaign provided analysis of campaign money that became the basis of front-page stories in the Wisconsin State Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Angry citizens have been flocking to our website in droves to see lists of donors to Walker and his Republican allies in the Legislature. There have been more than 4.5 million hits to wisdc.org since the Capitol protests erupted three weeks ago. Several spontaneous efforts to boycott businesses that contributed heavily to Walker’s campaign have sprung up, including Facebook pages like this one and this one.

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Vigil continues at Capitol this week
Our citizen vigil is continuing this week. Several sign-wielding WDC members participating in the vigil in recent days appeared in TV coverage by Democracy Now. For more information on the vigil or to sign up to take part, go here.