The 5% Solution

In this update: 1. One way out of the trap we’re in 2. Searchable online donor database updated 3. Division by design 4. IRS warns donors to election groups The 5% Solution

Email date: 5/17/11

In this update:
1. One way out of the trap we’re in
2. Searchable online donor database updated
3. Division by design
4. IRS warns donors to election groups

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One way out of the trap we’re in
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday became the latest Wisconsin newspaper to publish a commentary by the Democracy Campaign’s director about why our Ending Wealthfare proposal is needed and what it would do. This reform blueprint could just as well have been called The 5% Solution. Here’s why....

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Searchable online donor database updated
The Democracy Campaign added more than 18,000 new records of campaign donations to our online database this week. The database is now updated through December 31, 2010 for candidates in last fall’s election as well as incumbent senators who did not face re-election in 2010. It also is up to date through March 21 for candidates in the 2011 state Supreme Court election and through April 18 for candidates in the special legislative elections held on May 3.

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Division by design
An analysis by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel political reporter Craig Gilbert shows there is more lock-step partisanship in the U.S. House of Representatives than ever. There are many causes of increased polarization, but one that rarely gets mentioned is the way districts are drawn. A Journal Sentinel editorial describes how redistricting damages democracy while at the same time hurting taxpayers. A recent Big Money Blog spells out how redistricting contributes to the hyper-partisan and polarized politics Gilbert documented.

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IRS warns donors to election groups
Last October we blogged about how special interest groups and party fronts were keeping voters in the dark about how they funded their campaign advertising by gaming the tax code to avoid having to disclose their donors. Now it appears the Internal Revenue Service is beginning to catch on. The IRS has issued a warning to at least a half dozen major donors that they may be breaking federal tax laws.

A small step, but a good one.