Big Money Bulletin

This page serves as an archive for past Big Money Bulletins, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s bimonthly newsletter for members.

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The archive goes back to June 2001. All bulletins are in pdf format and require a pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat which can be downloaded for free here.

2020 | 2019 | 20182017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001


Number 118, February 2020
Banning gerrymandering is hot!
Citizens United 10 years on; Just say no to Article V; WMC says shut up; ATC's money talks; Matt hits the road in March; Big Share in March; You're invited this April.


Number 117, October 2019
Constitutional shenanigans
Koch's new target; End gerrymandering talking points; Insurance interference; Marsy's Law April referendum; Fair Maps Summit in Marshfield.

Number 116, August 2019
Taxes and democracy
Bipartisan proposal to end gerrymandering; Unlocking the vote; Corporate donations; Planned Parenthood and WEAC; Justice Stevens; Financial drought.

Number 115, June 2019
Complaint against Hagedorn; Lame duck amicus brief; Influence peddling on energy and conservation; Cure for the ills of democracy.

Number 114, April 2019
Support governor's plan for fair maps
Campaign spending records shattered in 2018; Senator Larson offers campaign finance reforms; Corporations give big; Marlene Ricketts and SEIU named influence peddlers; A valentine for democracy; WDC's annual celebration in May.

Number 113, February 2019
Citizens United and MLK
Good news on fair maps; Record campaign spending for governor; NRA and High Ground Political Fund; American Transmission Company hedges its bets; Legislation under the influence; Wisconsin's top federal campaign contributor; Baraboo and America in the age of Trump.


Number 112, October 2018
Rothschild on the road
Legal win for disclosure; Stories in the news; Bradley Foundation and the Democratic Governors Association peddle influence; Corporate welfare for Badger Meter; Realtors wax Roth; Business group rates Wisconsin justices; Get out and vote.

Number 111, August 2018
Getting the Word Out
Questions for candidates; July's influence peddler; High court rewards funders; Walker, NRA and Russia; Reading recommendation.

Number 110, June 2018
Nancy MacLean's Urgent Message
Local democracy on the ropes; Walker's dose of oxycontin; GWC and AFC vie for influence; Foxxconn cronyism; WMC's bragging rights; Avoiding political burnout; WDC at Madison's Farmers' Market.

Number 109, April 2018
Come to Our Annual Celebration in May
Come hear Nancy MacLean; Sweet victories; Still peddling influence; "Tort deform"; Encroaching on local control; Marine sanctuary sinks; Census mischief.

Number 108, February 2018
Standing up to a bully
Campaign contributions climb; Color and representation; WMC peddles inlfuence; DNR caves to Kohler; Anti-labor laws pending; Legislature offers assistance to landlords; Citizens United examined.


Number 107, October 2017
Victories for Fair Maps!
Objecting to "riot" bill; State top court erodes rights; Earlier legislation prepared the way for Foxconn deal; UW regents back GOP with dollars; Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce leads in lobbying; Builders peddle influence; Some words in favor of hope.

Number 106, August 2017
Shame on the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Cleaning up campaign finance; Door County harvest; Love finds Governor Walker; Regulations on the chopping block; Wisconsin Hospital Assocation named influence peddler; The case for civic activism.

Number 105, June 2017
Annual meeting wrap-up
MMAC peddles influence; Fair Maps movement gains traction; WMC pushes for child labor; Walker rewards financial backers; GOP coddles polluters; Judicial transparency sought.

Number 104, April 2017
Annual meeting in May
WDC attacked by Wiconsin's Chief Justice; No to Article V; NRA strikes again; Too much Wisconsin Progress; Cultivating influence; Lincoln County says no to gerrymandering.

Number 103, February 2017
The threat from Trump
12 things you can do to defend democracy; Unrig the maps; Diapers full of cash; Betsy DeVos and Wisconsin; Mark your calendar-Annual Meeting; Share big with The Big Share


Number 102, October 2016
The path ahead
Complaints against Wisconsin Club for Growth and Rep. Knudson; WMC's high yields; Realtors cash in; Post-election party.

Number 101, August 2016
Good news x 4
Eric Bott and the Dairy Business Association named influence peddlers; A cozy Supreme Court pick; Spreading the manure thick; Kohler to slice state park; Fighting Bob Fest.

Number 100, June 2016
An inspirational annual gathering
Shannons and Menard featured influence peddlers; Electoral maps in court; Special interest follies; Getting the word out.

Number 99, April 2016
Come to our party!
Annual Meeting Invitation; Influence peddlers; Buying Wisconsin's Supreme Court; Saying no to Citizens United; Zombie homes; Local control eroded; Landlords empowered; Redistricting.

Number 98, February 2016
A public telling on big money
Diane Hendricks, influence peddler of the month; Local control under assault; John Doe; Privatizing water; Civil service deform; Dems for nuclear power; Mark your calendar.


Number 97, October 2015
Strangled by a twisted first amendment
NRA, influence peddler of the month; Another power grab; A celebration of voting; $1,000 an hour lobbyists; The Kohl's connection; From beyond the grave?

Number 96, August 2015
Save the GAB!
Influence peddlers; State Supeme Court calamity; More lead in paint; State AG backs polluters; Golf course owner scores; Contact your legislator; Fighting Bob Fest.

Number 95, June2015
A great celebration!
Enbridge the environmentalist; Vote no on AB176; Business may skimp on taxes; Paper is king; Insurers grease the skids; Voucher payoff; Our phone keeps ringing; Quadruple our pleasure.

Number 94, April 2015
Come celebrate our 20th anniversary
Caucus scandal revisited; Testimony on campaign finance; Switchblades all around; The Menard file; Breaks for big dairy; Making the Times.

Number 93, February 2015
A note from Matt Rothschild
Scott Walker's top contributors; Randa's revenge; Special interest follies; Koch brothers and Citizens United; Fighting back.


Number 92, October 2014
Insurance industry gives a lot, gets more
ID not required to vote; Road builders buy place on ballot; Judge OKs dark money scam; High court conflicted in John Doe case; Shake up needed at WEDC; more.

Number 91, August 2014
Legislative fundraising sets records
Walker remains a money magnet; Outside money's influence growing; How to become a sustainer; 28th Amendment National Roadshow; Fighting Bob Fest; WDC is hiring; Why local control gets clipped.

Number 90, June 2014
Reform champion knocks it out of the park
Political donation limit dumped; Wrecking ball hits anti-corrution laws; Film proceeds go to WDC; WDC seeks IRS action on Koch ads supporting Walker; Pictures worth 2,000 words.

Number 89, April 2014
Author and activist Lawrence Lessig headlines WDC annual meeting
Supreme Court drops another bomb; Wisconsin communties move to amend; Leadership change coming to WDC; Less for voters, more for lobbyists; Kissing the ring in Vegas.

Number 88, February 2014
Citizen groups call for Assembly vote on Citizens United referendum
The color of money; Old boy's club rules money game; Coin-operated Capitol, WDC's goal-line stand; Kudos from a national reporter; Signs of our times.


Number 87, October 2013
35 Groups rally to put 'r' back in 'free speech'
What Shaun McCutcheon wants; WDC honored; Politicians push for more cash, less disclosure; Big contributors in 2013; Check bundling on the rise; Become a sustainer.

Number 86, August 2013
Push for Citizens United referendum
Money flows to power; Business leaders warm to reform; 12th Fighting Bob Fest; Now it gets tougher; Renewed attack on campaign finance disclosure.

Number 85, June 2013
Assembly votes to double donation limits

Favors galore in state budget; WDC seeks probe of voucher group; Donations follow sand mining surge; Public TV falls under Koch spell; Attacking press freedom.

Number 84, April 2013
Election spending triples after Citizens United
Big money voucher push; Outsiders control high court race; Who opposes reform most often; Journalism's uncertain future; WDC on the big screen; Feingold praises WDC.

Number 83, February 2013
WDC loses funding
There’s gold in them thar hills; Road interests pay for protection; The Citizens United effect; Redistricting wreaks havoc; NRA looming over gun debate.


Number 82, October 2012
'End legal bribery' campaign launched
Taking it to the streets; Dark money rising; US judged a "failing" democracy; One way to change the world; TV peddling junk food.

Number 81, August 2012
Spending in governor recall hits $81 million
Flaws in disclosure laws; WDC pushes for reform hearings; TV ad disclosure rule survives scare; Walker uses legal fund for PR; Voter ID lie; more.

Number 80, June 2012
Money screams in recall elections
Big donor buffet; Groups call for election money overhaul; Roemer pulls no punches; Trouble with the Democratic brand; Who's writing our laws.

Number 79, April 2012
WDC honored for openness advocacy
WDC asks for IRS investigation; Seven in ten voters favor banning Super-PACs; Prosser in hot water; Disclosure rules survive in cort; Voter ID law struck down; Judge toss GOP redistricting plan.

Number 78, February 2012
Outside money floods into recall
Gableman in hot water; WDC challenges voter ID law in court; Imagining a new kind of politics; Campaign disclosure under assault; Legislators took secrecy oaths on redistricting; Man behind the mine.


Number 77, October 2011
$44 spent on senate recall elections
Stimulus package for TV; Legislative fundraising in overdrive; Plan to kill disclosure law; Walker probe heats up; Taking activism to work; The first problem; National journal lauds WDC.

Number 76, August 2011
Study: WDC plan ‘extraordinarily’ powerful
Spending records fall in recall; Upheaval puts WDC in spotlight; Partisan redistricting condemned; GOP junks Impartial Justice; Illegal Walker donations flagged; Campaign scofflaws held to account.

Number 75, June 2011
WDC puts forward ‘Ending Wealthfare’ Plan
Clean elections dollars used for Voter ID; Vouchers backers give a lot, get a lot; Complaints filed against senators; MapLight Wisconsin Launched; Citizens form Make Our Votes Cout; Join the Small Dollar Democracy.

Number 74, April 2011
Living the Chinese curse
Over $5 million spent on court race; Reform law faces multi-front assault; Railroad exec gets busted; Cronyism in Walker administration; Business interests outgive unions; Farewells and welcomes.

Number 73, February 2011
Citizen Vigil kicked off at the Capitol
Political ventriloquism; $37 millions spent on governor's race; Best legislature money can buy; $2 for a better Supreme Court; Scott Walker: Transit Chameon; History at the State Capitol.


Number 72, October 2010
‘Founders never said money is speech’
One recession proof economy; Web tools for tech-savvy voters; Big donor under investigation; The third stage of ownership; Keeping WDC alive and kicking; A hero's last words.

Number 71, August 2010
WDC website gets facelift, new features
Money chase intensifies; Supreme Court blocks disclosure; Disclosure fairs poorly in D.C.; A progressive pick-me-up; Full classroom for Redistricting 101; A distasteful nondecision.

Number 70, June 2010
Corporate spending disclosure rules OK'd
Supreme Court blocks Arizona law; Legislators rely on outside cash; Legislation under the influence; Fattest cats in Wisconsin politics; WDC flags overzealous donors; Jensen gets home court edge; more.

Number 69, April 2010
State board closes ‘issue ad’ loophole
D.C. group threatens to sue WDC; Flip-floppers at the trough; Loan sharks make record donations; Elite donors fuel “527” groups; WDC flags violations; Going to court do defend reform; more.

Number 68, February 2010
Citizens unite against ‘Citizens United’
Photos of the demonstration against ‘Citizens United’ decision; Most Americans oppose Supreme Court’s ruling; Disclosure reform clears Senate; WDC goes to court to defend reform; Business groups shape Wisconsin Supreme Court recusal rule; Fundraising ban proves effective.


Number 67, October 2009
Impartial Justice bill nears goal line
Hearings to shape reform bill; Online reporting system a ’mess’; Loan sharks grease political skids; Doyle dances to money tune; Gableman faces misconduct charge; Updating Old Glory; more.

Number 66, August 2009
Legislative fundraising down in first half of ’09
Legislative races cost $20 million; Spending up in spring elections; Stakes are high in Supreme Court case; Bad budget amendment bounced; State follows WDC’s advice on electronic filing; WDC tweets; Fighting Bob Fest on September 12; more.

Number 65, June 2009
Assembly committee approves reform bills
Legal double standard challenged; Jamming the revolving door; Ellis-Erpenbach resurrected; WDC bird-dogs missing records; Campaign cash compromises court; 113 million reasons for the status quo, more.

Number 64, April 2009
Momentum building for court election reform
Justice Bradley to headline WDC annual meeting; Events held throughout state to highlight judicial reform; Midwest groups urge reform on Obama; State sunshine laws lacking; WDC flags problems with state’s online reporting system; State board OKs reform agenda; Interest group spending passes $1 million mark in two spring races, more.

Number 63, February 2009
Assembly bans budget-season fundraising
WDC launches; Project zeroes in on court reform; Action on reform bills coming soon; A traffic jam on the low road; "527s" do big business in Wisconsin; Will justice be done in Jensen case?


Number 62, October 2008
WDC-backed disclosure rules gaining steam
High court judge in hot water; Interest groups con voters; Wall street cashes in as it crashes; Outsiders fill incumbents’ accounts; Doyle changes nuclear tune, more.

Number 61, August 2008
Candidates keep voters guessing on reform
Spending record falls in court race; the madness continues; Democrats winning money game; support for reform runs deep, more.

Number 60, June 2008
WDC ranks legislators on reform issues
Big money flows to’527s’; High court tut-tuts Ziegler; Justice for sale; Lawmakers slink out of town; Campaigns without borders, more.

Number 59, April 2008
Supreme Court election exposes broken system
How a bill really becomes law; Official gets snared in casino probe; Gains made on democracy reform; Public wants better court elections; A symbol of the problem, more.

Number 58, February 2008
Doyle calls special session on campaign finance reform
Accenture told to hit the road; Book examines democracy’s health; Poll: Wisconsin voters want reform; Supremes sing reform’s praises; Politicians say the darndest things, more.


Number 57, October 2007
Bangin’ for reform
Ziegler guilty of judicial misconduct; Political ‘tourists’ flock to Wisconsin; Midwest reform groups question presidential candidates; Another black eye for Wisconsin, more.

Number 56, August 2007
Storm for reform
Lawmakers use budget to raise campaign funds; Health care reform opponents shower state officials with money; Supreme court race sets record; A new sheriff in town; more.

Number 55, June 2007
Senate passes 3 WDC-supported reforms
Ziegler fined for breaking ethics law; Business outgives union 12-1; Midwest groups call for action from FCC; TV stations allergic to democracy; more.

Number 54, April 2007
WDC files ethics complaint against Ziegler
Ugly court race prompts new calls for reform; Clean election bills in on the way; Thompson conviction reversed; more.

Number 53, February 2007
WDC hits paydirt with ethics reform victory
Ethics win sets stage for campaign reform fight; Campaign spending sets records; more.


Number 52, October 2006
WDC blows whistle, Green cash ruled illegal
Survey shows broad support for reform; Local TV ignores democracy; Legislative fundraising sets records; more.

Number 51, August 2006
Reform groups quiz candidates on ethics
The high cost of ’free’ speech; Green exceeds PAC limit; Health takes back seat to contributions; more.

Number 50, June 2006
State Assembly stonewalls reform
Over 150 rally for ethics reform; Jensen get lecture, prison; Doyle returns tainted contributions; more.

Number 49, April 2006
Ethics reform at a crossroads
Parade of lawmakers to jail continues; WDC tracking shadow campaigns; Doyle vetoes rent-to-own bill; Green says cheese; more.

Number 48, February 2006
First-ever ‘public-telling’ draws over 300 to Capitol
Ethics reform bill on the move; ’Paper trail’ bill signed into law; Legislative fundraising up again; more.


Number 47, December 2005
People’s Legislature rallies for Capitol reform
Feingold gets ’Mr. Smith Award’; Milwaukee TV licenses challenged; Tainted Illinois cash heads north; Poll documents ethical decline; more.

Number 46, October 2005
People’s Legislature to meet Lobbyists’ Legislature
Voter-list fiasco worsens; Burke convicted of corruption; Singing the Capitol corruption blues; more.

Number 45, August 2005
Fighting Bob Fest
Big donors trump local control; Voters take backseat to donors; Celebrating WDC’s first decade; more.

Number 44, June 2005
Accenture lawsuit yields important victory
Business feeds at taxpayer trough; People’s Legislature gains steam; New bills reflect reform priorities; more.

Number 43, April 2005
People’s Legislature moves to Milwaukee
Donors get corporate welfare; Watered-down reform bill loses; Happy birthday to us; more.

Number 42, February 2005
People’s Legislature draws over 1,100
Reform bills introduced; WDC opposes TABOR; Campaign spending sets record; more.


Number 41, December 2004
WDC pushes ’Power to the Voter’
Outsourcing democracy; WDC to air TV ad; People’s Legislature.

Number 40, October 2004
Truth in campaigning loses by one vote
WDC outs outsourcing deal; Insiders have edge; Bogus Polls; Peoples Legislature.

Number 39, August 2004
Truth in campaigning faces critical test
2 million voters get no choice; Fat cats give big to 527s; "Issue ad" loosely defined; more.

Number 38, June 2004
Election board gets cold feet on disclosure
Media conference a big hit; More heroes needed; Big Media speaks; more.

Number 37, April 2004
Our democracy, our airwaves
Reform bill gutted, killed; Campaign $ under radar; Caucus scandal update; more.

Number 36, February 2004
Money shouts at Capitol
Obscene TV; Velvet discrimination; Politically rich get richer; more.


Number 35, December 2003
Campaign cash drives legislative agenda
Court victory for reform; Conflicts of interest tolerated; more.

Number 34, October 2003
WDC hangs out Capitol’s ‘dirty laundry’
Big donors hedge their bets; ’Pay to play’ ban signed; Budget protects donors; more.

Number 33, August 2003
WDC complaints yield fines for illegal contributions
McCain-Feingold, Part 2; Studies make case for reform; out-of-state money pours in; more.

Number 32, May 2003
WDC files complaints against fat cat donors
Budget writers rake in cash; State gets ’C’ for lobby laws; FCC pushes media monopolies; more.

Number 31, March 2003
‘Graft Tax’ grows
$23 million governor; Money decides legislative races; An unbalanced budget; more.

Number 30, January 2003
The ‘Graft Tax’
WDC launches media campaign; Hours of ads, minutes of news; Exposing anti-reform hypocrisy; more.


Number 29, November 2002
Scandal shakes up legislature
How a bill really becomes law; Profiteering on democracy; McCain-Feingold to the rescue; more.

Number 28, September 2002
‘Free speech’ costs a bundle
Grassroots or AstroTurf; Clean Sweep; Court strikes blow for reform; more.

Number 27, July 2002
Budget repair includes campaign finance reform
Reform plan details; McCain-Feingold; Public supports free air; more.

Number 26, May 2002
Campaign reform in special session agenda
Our democracy, our airwaves; WDC wins emergency rule; more.

Number 25, March 2002
Leaders block reform
Campaign war chests bursting; ’Wealth primary’ cheats voters; TV gouges democracy; more.

Number 24, January 2002
2002 promises to be a year of reform
Small change buys big change; WDC grades top politicians; Elections Board whitewash, more.


Number 23, November 2001
Corrupt caucuses are history
Reasons caucuses had to go; Budget on the action block; Prophetic lobbyist memo; more.

Number 22, August 2001
Action on reform bill
Budget becomes cash cow; Parties use issue ad dodge; more.

Number 21, June 2001
Illegal campaigning exposed
Welfare for incumbents; Fat cats feeding candidates; Special interests come courting; more.