Smoking Grassroots

In this update: 1. Campaign spin produces tortured definition of "grassroots" 2. Politicians liberally using election funds for legal defense 3. Getting off to a good start Smoking Grassroots

Email date: 7/24/14

In this update:
1. Campaign spin produces tortured definition of “grassroots”
2. Politicians liberally using election funds for legal defense
3. Getting off to a good start

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Campaign spin produces tortured definition of “grassroots”
Politicians love saying their fundraising prowess shows how much voters love them. The numbers tell a vastly different story. Makes you wonder what they’re smoking.

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Politicians liberally using election funds for legal defense
One of the many sad commentaries on the condition of Wisconsin’s once-proud reputation for clean politics is the growing use of election campaign funds to pay lawyers to defend public officials who either are under investigation or have been charged with wrongdoing. Governor Scott Walker has taken the practice to unprecedented heights, with payments to attorneys defending him in two different John Doe proceedings now surpassing $1 million.

A former Republican Assembly leader is now trying to use campaign funds to defend himself against sexual assault charges. State law clearly says campaign funds can only be used by officials to defend themselves in cases involving alleged violations of election or campaign finance laws. Enforcement of that law has begun to waver, however. Two years ago, the agency charged with enforcing it blessed the use of campaign contributions by state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser to defend himself against charges of judicial misconduct unrelated to either election or campaign finance laws.

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Getting off to a good start
The Democracy Campaign’s fiscal year drew to a close at the end of June. We once again finished the the year in the black, with income surpassing our budgeted goal by 20%. We’re thrilled that our bottom line remains in good shape, and are thankful to all who made this possible by making generous tax-deductible gifts. But starting July 1 the slate was wiped clean and we have to make ends meet again in this new fiscal year. We hope you will help us get off on the right foot.

If you are not currently supporting the Democracy Campaign financially, there’s no time like the present to join. One of the best ways you can help us is by becoming a sustainer and making planned monthly or quarterly gifts to create a steady flow of funds we can depend on to carry on our work. To join the ranks of WDC’s sustainers, go to our secure online site and under “Donation Type” choose “recurring donation.”

Thank you for your support!