Saying Please and Giving Thanks

In this update: 1. Please can we have some records? 2. One money-in-politics law being enforced . . . sort of 3. WDC keeps shining light on unlimited recall fundraising 4. How small money can beat big money Saying Please and Giving Thanks

Email date: 11/23/11

In this update:
1. Please can we have some records?
2. One money-in-politics law being enforced . . . sort of
3. WDC keeps shining light on unlimited recall fundraising
4. How small money can beat big money

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Please can we have some records?
Six weeks ago the Democracy Campaign filed an open records request with the state Government Accountability Board seeking evidence that a key campaign finance disclosure law is being enforced. Still no answer. Our latest Big Money Blog tells the rest of the story.

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One money-in-politics law being enforced . . . sort of
Twelve donors flagged by the Democracy Campaign in June, July and earlier this month for making campaign contributions in excess of the legal limit have paid fines totaling $40,541.50 to settle their cases with state election authorities. The fines were as large at $9,225 and as small as $300 and averaged nearly $3,400.

Numerous other donors have resolved their cases by filing sworn affidavits indicating that candidate committees incorrectly reported some or all of their contributions as individual contributions when, according to the sworn statements, they were made jointly with a spouse. A substantial number of candidate committees have yet to file amended reports correcting the public record. It is a criminal offense under Wisconsin law to knowingly file a false campaign finance report.

Several other cases involving donations that were the subject of Democracy Campaign complaints remain unresolved.

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WDC keeps shining light on unlimited recall fundraising
The Democracy Campaign’s director was on Wisconsin Public Television over the weekend talking about money and recall elections and pointing out the loophole in state law enabling public officials targeted for recall to engage in unlimited campaign fundraising for a period of time. He also has done a flurry of other interviews on the subject, including with Milwaukee Public Radio and Public News Service, which provides news coverage to commercial radio stations statewide.

If you have not already done so, you can voice your opposition to unlimited recall election fundraising by signing our online petition.

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How small money can beat big money
In a New York Times op-ed, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig writes, “campaigns financed by the 1 percent will never earn the confidence of the 99 percent, or appear to any of us as anything other than corrupt.” The solution Lessig offers bears a striking resemblance to the Democracy Campaign’s Ending Wealthfare plan.