A Few Feed the Beast

In this update: 1. Elite corps of donors fund shadow campaigns 2. Whither John Doe? 3. Hope to see you Saturday A Few Feed the Beast

Email date: 9/10/14

In this update:
1. Elite corps of donors fund shadow campaigns
2. Whither John Doe?
3. Hope to see you Saturday

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Elite corps of donors fund shadow campaigns
Just over 800 wealthy individuals, corporations, unions and trade groups from Wisconsin funneled $5.3 million during the first 18 months of the 2013-2014 election cycle to federal committees known as “527s” that reroute much of the money back to our state to influence elections including the governor’s race in particular, a new Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

For more on our findings, check out our podcast.

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Whither John Doe?
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments yesterday on whether a state investigation into suspected political corruption in Wisconsin should be allowed to proceed. The judges seemed skeptical that the matter belongs in federal court at all.

Newspapers across the state have been weighing in. The Appleton Post-Crescent found what’s been uncovered by the probe so far “eye-opening” and “appalling.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the investigation needs to continue.

When the federal appeals court will decide and what that decision will be is anyone’s guess. But this much is clear. The stakes are incredibly high. And the most important question that needs answering is whether conduct that amounts to money laundering will be permissible in Wisconsin.

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Hope to see you Saturday
This Saturday is the 13th annual Fighting Bob Fest. The fun starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs all day until 5:30 at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo. The Democracy Campaign will be there for the 13th time. Stop by our booth in the exhibit hall and say hello.

Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. on the main stage. Mike will be speaking to the Madison Civics Club in the morning before heading to Baraboo.