Who Will Tell the People?

In this update: 1. Examining the media and journalism’s future on tap for May 8 2. Campaign finance disclosure reform proposed at state and federal levels 3. Maine becomes 13th state to call for Citizens United ruling to be overturned 4. The mess at WEDC 5. What Democrats need to come to terms with Who Will Tell the People?

Email date: 5/1/13

In this update:
1. Examining the media and journalism’s future on tap for May 8
2. Campaign finance disclosure reform proposed at state and federal levels
3. Maine becomes 13th state to call for Citizens United ruling to be overturned
4. The mess at WEDC
5. What Democrats need to come to terms with

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Examining the media and journalism’s future on tap for May 8
A distinguished panel of journalists discussing the future of the media and how to ensure an informed citizenry in the digital age will be the highlight of the Democracy Campaign’s annual membership meeting next week. Participants in the panel discussion entitled “Who Will Tell the People?” will include award-winning Wisconsin State Journal investigative reporter Dee Hall, longtime radio newsman Tim Morrissey who also writes the “Rifles at Dawn” blog, and career newspaperman Bill Lueders who now reports for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and serves as president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.

The meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 at the High Noon Saloon on Madison’s near east side.

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Campaign finance disclosure reform proposed at state and federal levels
Bipartisan legislation reforming Wisconsin’s campaign finance disclosure laws was just introduced this week. This state-level reform initiative comes at a time when the federal Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a proposal to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political giving. The Democracy Campaign strongly supports both initiatives.

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Maine becomes 13th state to call for Citizens United ruling to be overturned
Maine is the latest state to call for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case allowing unlimited interest group spending on elections to be reversed. Legislation authorizing a statewide vote on the ruling in Wisconsin is being readied for introduction. The Democracy Campaign and 25 other state groups have been petitioning for such a vote. It’s not too late to sign the petition if you haven’t already done so.

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The mess at WEDC
In 2011, what used to be the state Commerce Department was semi-privatized and renamed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Back in 2005, the Democracy Campaign issued a blistering report questioning how decisions were made in the Commerce Department. A recently completed state audit of its embattled successor agency shows the problems at WEDC run even deeper.

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What Democrats need to come to terms with
The Democracy Campaign’s director pulled no punches this week in assessing the condition of the state Democratic Party. His latest post on our Big Money Blog produced considerable chatter on Facebook and Twitter, as well as some name-calling from a former state party chairman. Truth stings sometimes.