Tell 'em to Close the Unlimited Fundraising Loophole

n this update: 1. WDC launches petition drive against unlimited recall fundraising 2. Interest groups seeking to control state courts 3. Finding a jobs bill as hard as finding a job 4. Eye on ALEC 5. The Wisconsin smokeblower behind Cain’s presidential bid Tell ’em to Close the Unlimited Fundraising Loophole

Email date: 11/1/11

In this update:
1. WDC launches petition drive against unlimited recall fundraising
2. Interest groups seeking to control state courts
3. Finding a jobs bill as hard as finding a job
4. Eye on ALEC
5. The Wisconsin smokeblower behind Cain’s presidential bid

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WDC launches petition drive against unlimited recall fundraising
As highlighted in our last E-Lert, a quirk in state law allows public officials targeted for recall to engage in unlimited campaign fundraising. Starting today, you can join the Democracy Campaign in voicing opposition to the loophole that makes this possible by signing our online petition.

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Interest groups seeking to control state courts
A new national report issued last Thursday shines a spotlight on unprecedented attacks aimed at intimidating judges and weakening courts. Wisconsin is a particularly conspicuous battleground, as the Huffington Post reported.

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Finding a jobs bill as hard as finding a job
Pledging to focus on job creation like a “laser beam,” state lawmakers convened a special jobs session amid much fanfare. Despite praying for divine intervention to create jobs and cut government regulations, legislators proceeded to focus on proposals to increase fines for fake 911 calls, end the state’s “Earn a Buck” deer hunting program, restrict insurance coverage of abortions and roll back sex education. The Oshkosh Northwestern was not impressed.

Among the collection of “jobs” bills taken up during the special session was one prompted by a campaign donor limiting attorney fees in consumer protection cases.

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Eye on ALEC
If you were unable to attend the recent “All About ALEC” conference focusing on the dating service for corporations and politicians that doubles as a bill mill known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, you can watch it on WisconsinEye. Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe’s presentation begins at about the 47-minute mark of part 1 of the archived video.

Meanwhile, the November issue of The Progressive magazine features an article about a group very much like ALEC except it concentrates on putting friendly politicians in office in the first place.

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The Wisconsin smokeblower behind Cain’s presidential bid
Sexual harrassment allegations are not the only thing dogging current Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain these days. Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on possibly illegal dealings by the Cain campaign. At the center of the controversy is longtime Wisconsin political operative Mark Block, who serves as Cain’s campaign chief of staff. Block, who has achieved some degree of notoriety thanks to his appearance in Cain’s bizarre “Smoking Man” campaign video, is no stranger to illegal election campaigning. He was fined $15,000 for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel money into a 1997 Wisconsin Supreme Court election and was barred from having any involvement in state elections for several years.