Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's press releases and special reports cover issues central to our mission, including campaign fundraising, political corruption and more.

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Influence Peddler of the Month – Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin

Marsy's Law

September 3, 2019

A group that has spent less than three years lobbying in Wisconsin and only about $1.6 million has scored a rare legislative feat and put a proposed amendment to Wisconsin’s Constitution to a vote by state residents.

Shipbuilder Contributed $15K to Electioneering Group Ahead of $31M State Grants

Fincantieri Marinette Marine

August 26, 2019

A northern Wisconsin shipbuilder contributed $15,000 to a group that helps elect Democratic governors shortly before Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced a plan for $31 million in state support to help the company expand.

Dem Electioneering Groups in Wisconsin Raise 5X More than GOP Groups in First Half of 2019

Party Share of Cheese Wheel

August 23, 2019

Pro-Democratic electioneering groups in Wisconsin raised five times as much as their Republican counterparts in the first half of 2019. All told, three dozen special interest groups that raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence state and federal elections received nearly $3.2 million from Wisconsin contributors during this period, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Republican Lawmakers Led Fundraising in First Six Months of 2019

Democratic Donkey and Republican Elephant Atop Cash

August 15, 2019

Legislators and legislative fundraising committees raised $2.2 million between January and June 2019.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Wisconsin Education Association Council

WEAC

August 1, 2019

Though sharply hobbled by a GOP anti-union law known as Act 10, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) remains among the top special interest campaign contributors to Democrats and liberal candidates in state elections.

GOP Accepts Bulk of Corporate Contributions in First Half of 2019

Business

July 23, 2019

Corporate contributions to the state GOP and two Republican legislative campaign committees were nearly five times higher than the corporate contributions to their Democratic counterparts during the first six months of 2019.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on Gov’s Veto Power

Vetoed

July 18, 2019

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has long maintained that the veto power in the hands of the Wisconsin governor is excessive and is contrary to how the legislative process should work in a democracy.

2019 Supreme Court Race Cost Record $8.2 Million+

Justice Hidden by Cash

July 17, 2019

Candidates and outside special interest groups spent a record of more than $8.2 million in last spring’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Call To Action: 3 Things You Can Do to Ban Gerrymandering in Wisconsin

Fair Maps

July 11, 2019

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court abdicated its responsibility to ban partisan gerrymandering, it’s now up to all of us, here in Wisconsin, to solve this problem ourselves.

PAC, Corporate Contributions Hit Record $27M

Hundered Dollar Bills

July 2, 2019

Contributions from special interest political action committees (PACs) and corporations soared to a record of more than $27 million in 2018, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

Planned Parenthood Logo

July 1, 2019

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which provides reproductive and other health care services and education, has spent more than $3.4 million on lobbying and electioneering activities in Wisconsin elections, through its electoral arm, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

Tesla Gets Help from Assembly GOP Budget Changes

Tesla car recharging

June 26, 2019

GOP Assembly lawmakers added a provision to the proposed state budget that makes it easier for Tesla Motors, which has made more than $28,000 in corporate and individual campaign contributions to legislative fundraising committees, to sell cars in Wisconsin.

GOP Lawmakers Received Millions from Real Estate Industry Amid Landlord Bills

Real Estate Game Board

June 18, 2019

Republican legislative and statewide candidates accepted nearly $5.8 million in campaign contributions from the real estate industry while the GOP-controlled legislature approved a batch of bills that favored landlords over tenants.

Foxconn Case Judge Was Former Walker Aide, Contributor to GOP Candidates

Foxconn Sign

Posted: June 12, 2019
Updated: June 14, 2019

A state administrative law judge who ruled in favor of a plan to take up to 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan mostly for a massive Foxconn manufacturing plant was a former aide to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

DOJ Reviewing Case Against Accused Polluter, Big Campaign Donor

Toxic Waste Barrel

June 11, 2019

The state Justice Department is reviewing allegations that Johnson Controls International failed to report releasing hazardous chemicals that later contaminated drinking water in northeastern Wisconsin.

GOP Budget Committee Seeks to Restrict Local Control Over Quarries, Sand Mining

Quarry Entrance

June 10, 2019

Communities would be prohibited from regulating air and water pollution and blasting at quarries, sand mines, and gravel pits under a plan approved by the legislature’s GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Wisconsin Conservation Voters

Wisconsin Conservation Voters

June 3, 2019

Wisconsin Conservation Voters, formerly called the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, is a statewide lobbying, voter education, and advocacy organization on environmental issues and policy.

Big Dairy Opposes Increased Factory Farm Fees for Clean Water Programs

Manure Spreader

May 30, 2019

GOP legislative leaders have delayed action on a proposal by Gov. Tony Evers to increase fees on factory farms to help cover some clean water programs.

Menard, Big GOP Donor, Polluter to Get Honorary Doctorate

Menards Store, Diploma and Mortar Board

May 23, 2019

John Menard Jr., mega-GOP campaign contributor and recipient of record penalties for environmental violations in Wisconsin, is set to receive an honorary doctorate by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, his alma mater.

Four Dozen Wisconsin Laws Since 2009 Came from “Model” Bills

Wisconsin State Capitol

May 21, 2019

About four dozen state laws enacted between 2009 and 2018 were the result of “model” bills often from outside of Wisconsin and frequently backed by powerful business and ideological interests, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

See the Big Wisconsin Donors Who Gave to Dubious Electioneering Group

The White House

May 20, 2019

More than 250 Wisconsin contributors gave about $115,900 to a political nonprofit group accused of using only a tiny fraction of the money it raised to help federal candidates aligned with President Donald Trump.

Special Interest Groups Spent $225M+ in 10 Years on State Elections

Ballot Box Obscured By Cash

May 13, 2019

Special interest groups spent $226.1 million on legislative and statewide elections over the past 10 years, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Submits Amicus Brief in Lame-Duck Case

Law Case Books

May 7, 2019

On May 3, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign submitted a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in one of the lame-duck lawsuits. On May 6, the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted the motion and accepted the brief for filing.