Senate Moving on Campaign Finance Deform

In this update: 1. Senate launching sneak attack on campaign disclosure, donation limits 2. The candidacy tax Senate Moving on Campaign Finance Deform

Email date: 3/4/14

In this update:
1. Senate launching sneak attack on campaign disclosure, donation limits
2. The candidacy tax

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Senate launching sneak attack on campaign disclosure, donation limits
A Senate committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on two campaign finance deform bills. Senate Bill 654 aims to kill a disclosure rule approved by the Government Accountability Board several years ago and enshrine the “magic words” loophole enabling interest groups to skirt Wisconsin’s disclosure laws by sponsoring phony issue ads. Senate Bill 655 gives lobbyists more opportunities to make political donations and scales back reporting of Internet political activity, among other things.

Please attend this hearing if you can. If you are unable to make it on such short notice, contact members of the committee and also urge your own senator to oppose SB 654 and SB 655.

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The candidacy tax
Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe was on Wisconsin Public Television’s “Here and Now” program over the weekend talking about our recent report on legislative fundraising. All of that money effectively acts as a wealth primary that determines who can run for office and who can’t. At one point during the interview Mike told the show’s host, Frederica Freyburg, that “poll taxation making people pay to vote was outlawed back in the civil rights era, but what do we have now but a candidacy tax.”

Keeping up our ongoing commitment to follow the money, we just updated our database of contributions from political action committees with the latest records of PAC donations to Wisconsin politicians.