WDC Alleges Campaign Finance Law Violations

In this update: 1. WDC accuses Walker, donors of 24 campaign finance law violations 2. New national report: WDC plan “extraordinarily powerful” 3. Following the money in senate recall elections 4. Insulting Wisconsin’s heritage 5. Things worth watching WDC Alleges Campaign Finance Law Violations

Email date: 7/6/11

In this update:
1. WDC accuses Walker, donors of 24 campaign finance law violations
2. New national report: WDC plan “extraordinarily powerful”
3. Following the money in senate recall elections
4. Insulting Wisconsin’s heritage
5. Things worth watching

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WDC accuses Walker, donors of 24 campaign finance law violations
The Democracy Campaign today filed complaints against Governor Scott Walker and 10 wealthy campaign donors alleging two dozen violations of state campaign finance laws. Read more here. For audio commentary on today’s action, go here.

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New national report: WDC plan “extraordinarily powerful”
A Washington, D.C.-based academic research institute today issued a new report exploring the possibilities for public financing of election campaigns in the wake of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The research is based on an analysis of data from recent elections in six Midwestern states including Wisconsin. To read the full report, go here.

On page 17 of the report, the authors offer analysis of the Democracy Campaign’s new campaign reform proposal, concluding that the “combination of policies would have extraordinarily powerful effects.”

The organization offering this assessment is no liberal thinktank. The report’s lead author once was a speechwriter for Dick Cheney and formerly worked on Capitol Hill as a congressional aide for the House Republican Conference.

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Following the money in senate recall elections
Money is pouring into the upcoming senate recall elections. The Democracy Campaign is following the money and posting updated information here almost daily. We could use your help as we try to track the involvement of outside interest groups in these races. You can use our Hijack Hotline to notify us of any interest group campaigning you are seeing.

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Insulting Wisconsin’s heritage
These are hard times for our state’s traditions of clean, open and honest government. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is an embarrassment to the state. Unfortunately, some are misplacing blame for the high court’s sorry condition. Our latest Big Money Blog took exception to this response. It has since been published as a guest commentary in the Wausau Daily Herald and the Small Business Times.

The Legislature didn’t do the Supreme Court any favors in the state budget. That’s the subject of another recent blog post, which Wisconsin Public Radio picked up on.

Meanwhile, legislative leaders continue to keep the public in the dark about redistricting plans that many Capitol observers expect will be acted on soon. It’s been more than a week since the Democracy Campaign filed open records requests for redistricting maps and other information pertaining to the drawing of new legislative districts to accommodate population changes based on the 2010 census. WDC has not yet received a response even though the law requires a response “as soon as practicable and without delay.” We have heard rumblings that Assembly and Senate leaders will use attorney-client privilege as an excuse for refusing to comply with our request and denying public access to their plans and the new district maps that have been drawn.

Last week minority Democrats put forward a plan to reform the redistricting process.

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Things worth watching
Veteran journalist Bill Lueders recently joined the staff of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and in his new role is launching a Money and Politics Blog. We are bookmarking Bill’s blog and urge you to do the same.

The terrific citizen advocacy group ABC for Health does a regular webcast and interviewed Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe on the influence of money in politics for the latest edition.