A Gift to the Wealthiest of the Wealthy

In this update: 1. Who wins under bipartisan deal on political donation limits 2. Journalistic ethics going out the window on John Doe coverage 3. Become a sustainer A Gift to the Wealthiest of the Wealthy

Email date: 12/20/13

In this update:
1. Who wins under bipartisan deal on political donation limits
2. Journalistic ethics going out the window on John Doe coverage
3. Become a sustainer

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Who wins under bipartisan deal on political donation limits
A ploy to loosen restrictions on campaign contributions that was passed on a bipartisan vote in the state Assembly appears to be attracting support from both parties in the Senate. The proposed legislation helps lobbyists and wealthy political donors, that much is clear. Testifying against Assembly Bill 225 at Wednesday’s public hearing, Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe called it a "gift to the four one-thousandth of 1% whose style is cramped by Wisconsin’s limits" and a “kick in the gut for everyone else.” You can watch Mike’s testimony here.

Tell your senator AB 225 is the last thing Wisconsin needs, and urge support for a statewide referendum on money in politics instead.

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Journalistic ethics going out the window on John Doe coverage
An online news service called Wisconsin Reporter has been about the only media organization reporting much of anything about a second John Doe investigation into possible political wrongdoing in Wisconsin. The web-based service has been passing along to its readers juicy accounts from anonymous sources about the supposed inner workings of the criminal probe, all the while savaging the investigators and impugning their motives. Meanwhile, Republican political operatives Eric O’Keefe told the Wall Street Journal that he has been subpoenaed in the case and gave Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper his take on the scope of the investigation and its targets.

In its stories Wisconsin Reporter is not disclosing that O’Keefe was involved in launching its parent organization in 2009, nor is it disclosing many other key pieces of information about the ties it has to the apparent subjects of the investigation. Disclosure of such conflicts of interest is a cornerstone of journalistic ethics that is being ignored in this instance. Not surprising considering the operation doing almost all of the reporting on John Doe 2 is the media mouthpiece of those who evidently are under investigation. Real journalists are essentially saying “buyer beware.”

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Become a sustainer
As politicians scheme to increase the clout of the lobbyists and the wealthiest political donors, and as a well-funded propaganda machine masquerading as a news organization seeks to skew public impressions of an investigation into whether political crimes have been committed in Wisconsin, the public needs light shined on such shenanigans. In this season of giving, give the gift of truth telling to the state of Wisconsin by becoming a Democracy Campaign sustainer and signing up to make automatic monthly or quarterly gifts.

We call these sustainers who provide us with a steady and reliable flow of income our “Democracy Defenders.” To join their ranks, you can use our online donation form. On the form, choose a donation amount. Under “donation type” switch from the default option of “one-time donation” to “recurring donation.” Then use the drop-down menu to designate whether you want to make your automatic credit card donation each month or every three months. Thanks for considering taking this step to help provide the Democracy Campaign an ongoing flow of funding that we can count on.