Small Change for Big Change

In this update: 1. New reform thinking aims to boost power of small donors 2. Senators reach across party lines to call for fair redistricting 3. The enemy within Small Change for Big Change

Email date: 8/23/12

In this update:
1. New reform thinking aims to boost power of small donors
2. Senators reach across party lines to call for fair redistricting
3. The enemy within

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New reform thinking aims to boost power of small donors
New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice teamed up with the national reform group Democracy 21 yesterday to put forward some new thinking on how to finance congressional election campaigns. The plan works around obstacles erected by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that crippled conventional public financing programs and left reform initiatives here in Wisconsin ranging from the Impartial Justice Act to the Ellis-Erpenbach bill impotent and effectively obsolete by invalidating a key feature — so-called triggered matching funds — upon which their effectiveness depends.

The groups’ proposal for congressional elections focuses on boosting the power of small-dollar donors. The Democracy Campaign has developed a new approach to financing state elections based on the same idea.

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Senators reach across party lines to call for fair redistricting
Two state senators, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, teamed up this week to write a commentary suggesting that it’s time to take the task of drawing legislative districts out of the hands of legislators and give it to an independent redistricting authority. Senators Dale Schultz of Richland Center and Tim Cullen of Janesville are calling for reform that has long had the support of the Democracy Campaign. Add your voice to theirs by contacting your legislators to urge them to support redistricting reform because in a democracy voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.

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The enemy within
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. There must be a dozen different variations of that time-honored observation of Edmund Burke’s floating around on the Internet. Regardless of exactly how he said it, the essence of Burke’s warning rings true today. Our latest Big Money Blog, which also was published on madison.com, is a testimony to its staying power.