Press Releases

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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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.

Sand Mine Owner and Big GOP Donor Sued by Neighbors

Blair Sand Plant

May 1, 2019

Forty Trempealeau County residents who live next to two frac sand mining operations have sued the company, which is owned by a big state Republican Party contributor.

Influence Peddler of the Month – WEC Energy Group

Power Line Tower from Underneath

May 1, 2019

WEC Energy Group has been the leader in political giving since 2010 among about 30 natural gas and electric utilities across the country that make campaign contributions to influence Wisconsin state elections.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Urges Joint Finance to Keep Fair Maps Funding in State Budget

Legislation Art Work from Wisconsin State Capitol Dome

April 29, 2019

Letter sent to members of the Wisconsin State Legislature's Joint Finance Committee encouraging them to keep funding for nonpartisan redistricting in the state budget.

45 Wisconsin Counties Want to Ban Gerrymandering

Counties Backing Fair Maps

April 18, 2019

On April 16, three more counties joined in the growing consensus to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

WDC Files Complaint Against Hagedorn Campaign Committee

Brian Hagedorn

April 15, 2019

The campaign committee of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice-elect Brian Hagedorn failed to file occupational information required by law for 159 individual contributions totaling $70,106, according to a complaint filed Monday by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Special Interests Doled Out $4.3M in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Justice Hidden by Cash

April 10, 2019

Special interest groups spent nearly $4.3 million on outside electioneering activities leading up to last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

SEIU Logo Inserted into Ballot Box

April 1, 2019

After several years of mostly funneling money to other special interest groups, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) directly spent more than any other union on outside electioneering activities in last November’s general election.

Outside Spending Groups Make Homestretch Push for Hagedorn

Foot Race Finish Liine

March 29, 2019

Outside electioneering groups have spent nearly $2.8 million to oppose or support the candidates in next Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

Unions, GOP Dump $300K into WI Supreme Court Campaigns

Lady Justice Behind Piles of Cash

March 26, 2019

Labor union political action committees (PACs) and state and local Republican Party committees contributed about $300,000 since early February to the two candidates who will face off in next Tuesday’s election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Outside Groups for Neubauer Swamping Hagedorn

Hand Above Water

March 21, 2019

Special interest groups have spent about $1.3 million on outside electioneering activities in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

State Permit for Posh Golf Course Lands in Sand

Golfer in Sand Trap

March 19, 2019

A state judge has quashed a state permit granted by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration that allowed a major GOP contributor to build a golf course along Lake Michigan.

Electioneering Groups Weigh in on WI Supreme Court Race

Scales Backed by Cash

March 8, 2019

Less than a month before the April 2 elections, six special interest groups are spending more than $400,000 on outside electioneering activities in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

Wisconsin Contributors Gave Record $10.3M to Electioneering Groups in 2018

Personalized Wisconsin License Plate

March 6, 2019

Nearly 800 Wisconsin contributors gave a record $10.3 million in 2018 to political nonprofit groups that sponsor electioneering activities to influence state and federal elections.

Record $35.8M Spent on Fall Legislative Races in 2018

Cash Flying Out of Briefcase

March 6, 2019

Spending by candidates and special interest smear groups in the 2018 fall legislative races hit a record $35.8 million, according to a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Marlene Ricketts

First Place Tropy with Cash Floating Down

March 1, 2019

Marlene Ricketts lives in Omaha, Neb., but she is throwing some of her money around in Wisconsin. In fact, she is tied for first for making the single largest campaign contribution in Wisconsin in 2018.

School Voucher Backers Rip Evers Plan to Freeze Programs

School Voucher Covered by Ice

February 26, 2019

Assembly and Senate Republican leaders say they’ll oppose a plan by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to freeze enrollment in the state’s school voucher programs, whose supporters spend millions of dollars to elect state GOP candidates.

Check Out the Latest Large Contributors to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates

Lady Justice Behind Piles of Cash

February 20, 2019

Two appeals court judges vying for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court raised more than $400,000 combined during the first five weeks of the year.

A Valentine to Democracy in Wisconsin

Money Out Voters in Wisconsin

Sen. Larson Unveils a “Campaign Integrity Package” at a press conference Feb. 14, at 11:00 a.m., in the Senate Parlor

February 14, 2019

MADISON—At a press conference this Valentine’s Day, Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee is unveiling nine bills that address Wisconsin’s broken campaign finance system.

See the $100,000 and Up Donors to the Dems or GOP in Wisconsin

Money raining down on Democratic donkey and Republican elephant

February 8, 2019

Here is a look at donors who gave $100,000 checks or more to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin or the Republican Party of Wisconsin last year.

Evers to Propose Ending “Dark Store” Loophole Backed by WMC

Vacant Building

February 5, 2019

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he wants to close a loophole that big box stores and other companies use to lower their tax assessment and force homeowners to pay higher property taxes.

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