Racing to Dig or Racing to Court?

In this update: 1. With votes coming on bill, WDC report on mining money makes headlines 2. The driving force behind the most expensive election in history 3. Ambassadors wanted Racing to Dig or Racing to Court?

Email date: 2/5/13

In this update:
1. With votes coming on bill, WDC report on mining money makes headlines
2. The driving force behind the most expensive election in history
3. Ambassadors wanted

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With votes coming on bill, WDC report on mining money makes headlines
After a public hearing that adjourned before many in attendance could testify, legislative leaders wasted no time in scheduling votes on controversial mining legislation. Committees in both the Assembly and Senate are scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow. With mining deregulation clearly on the fast track, the Democracy Campaign’s report last week showing nearly $16 million in campaign donations to the governor and state legislators definitely caught the eye of media throughout the state.

WBAY-TV in Green Bay aired a detailed story about our findings, as did Wisconsin Radio Network, Wisconsin Public Radio and the Public News Service that provides coverage to radio stations and other news outlets statewide.

As campaign contributions continue to pour in, the debate over mining kicks into high gear with committee votes tomorrow. More than a few observers are wondering aloud what’s the big rush, since the bill in its current form is almost certain to face a stiff legal challenge. Any new mining law will more than likely end up employing more lawyers than miners.

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The driving force behind the most expensive election in history
Because of the disfiguring effects it is having on American democracy, the Supreme Court’s infamous decision in the Citizens United case is sure to wind up being one of the very few high court rulings your average citizen can name.

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Ambassadors wanted
Calling the Democracy Campaign “one of the most important independent voices in state politics,” the editorial page editor of the Kenosha News recently wrote a column touching on WDC’s loss of major funding but also focusing on our advocacy for reform of legislative redistricting.

We already have responded to the Joyce Foundation’s decision to end its support of our work by cutting expenses by more than $31,000 and by raising more than $47,000 in less than a month. Considering we had been receiving $232,500 annually from the Joyce Foundation, a sizeable hole in our budget remains. That means more belt-tightening, and it means we still have our work cut out for us in identifying alternative funding sources.

That’s where you come in. Roughly 2,300 people giving $100 each, or twice that number giving $50, would make up for the funding we are losing. In a state of 5 million people, there must be a few thousand who believe clean, open and honest government is worth fighting for.

If everyone who is signed up to receive our E-Lerts would send a $50 gift today, our problem would be solved. If you’ve already responded to our pleas for help and given as much as you can, please accept our heartfelt thanks. But please also consider another way to help. We need ambassadors who will find two or three other people who are not yet WDC members, tell them our story, explain our value, and urge them to join.