Unraveling a Tangled Web

In this update: 1. Reported targets of John Doe probe were biggest recall election spenders 2. ALEC asked member lawmakers to sign loyalty pledge 3. Calls for redistricting reform continue to fall on deaf ears at Capitol 4. Agribusiness flexes its political muscle Unraveling a Tangled Web

Email date: 12/9/13

In this update:
1. Reported targets of John Doe probe were biggest recall election spenders
2. ALEC asked member lawmakers to sign loyalty pledge
3. Calls for redistricting reform continue to fall on deaf ears at Capitol
4. Agribusiness flexes its political muscle

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Reported targets of John Doe probe were biggest recall election spenders
Political committees and outside electioneering groups named in various media reports as possible targets of a second John Doe investigation into suspected political wrongdoing in Wisconsin accounted for more than half of all the campaign spending in the 2011 and 2012 recall elections and two-thirds of the spending in last year's election for governor. Read more about this on our Big Money Blog.

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ALEC asked member lawmakers to sign loyalty pledge
Internal records showing the inner workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council are shedding new light on how the corporate-funded lobbying and bill-writing shop functions. Among the revelations is evidence that ALEC sought a signed loyalty pledge from member lawmakers where they promise to put ALEC's interests first.

ALEC has comically argued it is not a lobbying operation, and so far has succeeded in fooling regulators such as Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board.

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Calls for redistricting reform continue to fall on deaf ears at Capitol
Republican leaders in the state Assembly and Senate continue to ignore repeated calls from the Democracy Campaign and numerous other groups, editorial boards and citizens for public hearings on proposed legislation turning the redistricting process over to an independent authority. They also staying mum on a more recent proposal for a statewide referendum on redistricting reform.

Democrats, meanwhile, are having a Christmas Carol moment on the subject.

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Agribusiness flexes its political muscle
If you are concerned about the impact of factory farming on water quality and land use, you will want to read the new report by a leading environmental group on the political influence of big agribusiness. The report frequently cites Democracy Campaign data and research.