Email date: 2/17/14
In this update:
1. If at first you don’t succeed . . .
2. Look who’s back in the Capitol
3. Money talks. Big money shouts.
4. Foreign nationals taking advantage of Citizens United
If at first you don’t succeed. . .
We are not giving up our pursuit of a statewide referendum on money in politics and whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to reverse the effects of the disastrous Citizens United decision. The state Assembly voted last week to keep our resolution letting voters have a say bottled up in committee, so now we turn our attention to the Senate. The resolution was just introduced in the Senate. We’ll work on getting senators to take it up and vote on it. You can help by contacting your senator to urge support for Senate Joint Resolution 68.
Look who’s back in the Capitol
Disgraced former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen made a reappearance at the State Capitol last week, shilling for the national school privatization group that now employs him as its lobbyist. While Jensen has kept a low public profile until now, his group has for years been pouring millions of dollars into Wisconsin elections to advance its agenda.
Money talks. Big money shouts.
Used to be July 4th was the unofficial start of election season, and campaigns kicked into high gear after Labor Day. The Republican Governors Association is spending big money this week to air TV ads in Wisconsin. Now we know what the RGA is doing with all the money it has been receiving from Wisconsin Indian tribes on both sides of the dispute over a proposed Kenosha casino while Governor Walker delays a decision on whether or not to approve the project.
This is not the first time this national group has taken an interest in our state. The RGA spent more than $14 million on Wisconsin’s 2010 and 2012 elections for governor.
Another major backer of Republican campaigns in Wisconsin is throwing its weight around in court, suing in hopes of derailing a criminal investigation into possible illegal election activities. The Club for Growth has dumped more than $10 million into Wisconsin elections just since 2007, with more than $9 million of that spending coming in 2011 and 2012.
Foreign nationals taking advantage of Citizens United
Some of the destructive effects of the Citizens United decision have been well chronicled. But not receiving much attention yet is how the ruling opens the door to foreign nationals pouring money into American elections.