Voters Take Two on the Chin

In this update: 1. Assembly votes to limit early voting, expand lobbyists' political giving 2. WDC unearths another way wealthy donor tried to buy influence 3. Outside front groups meddling in local elections Voters Take Two on the Chin

Email date: 3/21/14

In this update:
1. Assembly votes to limit early voting, expand lobbyists’ political giving
2. WDC unearths another way wealthy donor tried to buy influence
3. Outside front groups meddling in local elections

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Assembly votes to limit early voting, expand lobbyists’ political giving
The state Assembly voted overnight to restrict the hours for early voting and ban weekend voting altogether while giving lawmakers seven additional weeks to squeeze lobbyists for political donations. With the lower house approving actions previously taken in the Senate, Governor Walker’s signature is all that stands in the way of these duel blows to the power of voters. That makes now a good time to let the governor know that less time for voting and more time for lobbyists to pass checks to elected officials is one of the last things Wisconsin needs. Tell him to veto Senate Bill 324 and Senate Bill 655.

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WDC unearths another way wealthy donor tried to buy influence
It’s already been widely reported that multimillionaire businessman Michael Eisenga doled out tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to state legislators, the governor and lieutenant governor as he was trying to interest them in changing Wisconsin’s divorce and child support laws to his own personal benefit. What wasn’t known until now is that he also sent a hefty sum to a national Republican group that recently launched a television advertising campaign to boost Governor Scott Walker’s bid for reelection.

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Outside front groups meddling in local elections
Smear campaigns by shadowy front groups have become a fixture in state and national elections. Now they are beginning to appear in small-town elections. A group calling itself Operation Prosperity is blanketing Polk County with mailings and other election advertising backing an entire slate of county board candidates. The group claims to be sponsored “solely by local Polk County residents and businesses,” but its mailings come with an Arlington, Texas postmark.

The billionaire Koch brothers’ group Americans for Prosperity, meanwhile, is targeting local races in Iron County.