Email date: 9/11/12
In this update:
1. Groups launch campaign to end legal bribery
2. You call these elections?
Groups launch campaign to end legal bribery
At events in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison, a coalition of 15 citizen groups including the Democracy Campaign kicked off a new push to modernize Wisconsin's ethics code for public officials that is supposed to guard against government corruption but currently does not account for the influence of money in election campaigns.
As WDC director Mike McCabe said at this morning's Capitol press conference: "We believe it is important to say out loud what most ordinary people across the political spectrum have been thinking for some time now . . . that all the money in election campaigns has become a modern form of bribery."
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You call these elections?
Overtly partisan manipulation of how state legislative districts are drawn ends up producing precious few competitive elections for assembly and senate and, as a result, very few places where voters are truly able to choose which party they want to represent them. Money also has a huge impact on who can run competitively for office and who can't, and almost always favors those already holding power. Combine the incumbent-friendly effects of redistricting with the pronounced advantage current officeholders have in the campaign money chase and the mixture is toxic for democracy.