Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Statement on Passage of Ethics Reform Bill

Posted: January 30, 2007
Updated: February 28, 2007

The ethics enforcement reform bill approved by both houses of the Legislature today creating a new politically independent Government Accountability Board is a significant improvement over the outdated and ineffective system of enforcement of ethical standards that the new oversight and enforcement agency will replace.

People’s Legislature ‘Bangs the Pan’ for Reform

Posted: September 18, 2007
Updated: September 19, 2007

The People’s Legislature

Madison - Between 150 and 200 members of the People’s Legislature today took part in the “Storm for Reform” on the front steps of the Capitol, demanding an end to the state budget stalemate and prompt action on political reforms.

OSU Study Warns of Problems with Voter Database

Analysis praises reforms, warns of problems with voter database

December 3, 2007

Madison - The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today called for heightened attention to the condition of the state’s electoral system after a new study by The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law offered both words of praise and warning to the state.

Midwest Democracy Network Releases Responses to Presidential Candiate Questionnaire

Only Edwards and Obama Answer Questions

November 27, 2007

Midwest Democracy Network

Madison - The Midwest Democracy Network (MDN) – a nonpartisan alliance of 20 civic and public interest groups from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin – today released full and unedited responses to a detailed questionnaire on federal political and government reform issues from former U.S. Senator John Edwards and U.S. Senator Barack Obama, the only candidates to reply to the survey. The questionnaire, sent to all the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates on September 11, covers campaign finance, government ethics, communications policy, election laws, voting rights, and congressional redistricting.

Cable Bill Supporters Got 12 Times More Than Foes

November 9, 2007

Madison - State senators who voted for a controversial bill to change the way cable television providers are regulated in Wisconsin accepted $1.2 million in campaign contributions from special interests that support the proposal compared to less than $100,000 to senators who voted against it, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Testimony to the Government Accountability Board

November 1, 2007

Thank you for holding this public hearing to gather input on the characteristics the individual you will hire as Legal Counsel to head up the staff of the new Government Accountability Board should possess.

Students Contribute $86,000+ To Candidates

Analysis reveals some students gave to same candidates at same time as parents

October 22, 2007

Madison - Contributors identified as “student” in campaign finance reports gave $86,243 to candidates for statewide office and the legislature from 2002 through June 2007, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Outside Money Drowns Outs Voters' Voices In Legislative Races

Legislators got most big contributions from outside their districts

October 10, 2007

Madison - Wisconsin legislators elected last November collectively accepted 70 percent of their large individual contributions in the 2006 election cycle from special interest contributors who could not vote for them, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

People’s Legislature to Whip Up Storm Tuesday at Capitol

September 13, 2007

The People's Legislature

Madison - The grassroots citizen reform movement known as the People’s Legislature will rally next Tuesday, September 18 at noon for an end to the state budget stalemate and a special session on campaign finance reform. The event – dubbed the “Storm for Reform” – will be held on the steps to the State Street entrance to the west wing of the Capitol.

Midwest Democracy Network Questions Presidential Candidates on Reform Issues

September 11, 2007

Midwest Democracy Network

Today the Midwest Democracy Network (MDN), an alliance of reform organizations in five states, called on presidential candidates to explain their positions on a variety of campaign and government reform issues.

Doyle State’s Top Political Tourist Attraction

Nearly $1 of every $5 in contributions came from outside Wisconsin

August 20, 2007

Madison - Democratic Governor Jim Doyle accepted $1.8 million of his $9.26 million in large individual campaign contributions his first four years in office from donors outside the state, including nearly half of it in 2006 alone from donors who had never given to anyone in Wisconsin before, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Digital TV Rules Lack Public Benefit, 28 Groups Tell FCC

Broad Coalition Asks Commission to Define the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters

August 15, 2007

Over the past 12 years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has repeatedly failed to redefine broadcasters’ public interest obligations in light of the nation’s ongoing transition to digital television, a coalition of 28 groups said in a filing at the FCC today. The groups echoed the warnings of FCC Commissioner Michael Copps that this "record of inaction" may "go down . . . as the Commission’s major failing in its efforts to move the digital transition forward."

Legislators, Gov Use State Budget To Milk $2 Million From Special Interests: Legislators Listed by Total Raised

August 13, 2007

Table of Legislators listed by total raised.

Legislators, Gov Use State Budget To Milk $2 Million From Special Interests

August 13, 2007

Madison - Wisconsin legislators and Democratic Governor Jim Doyle raised $2.05 million in campaign contributions during the first six months of 2007 by tapping special interests at extravagant golf outings and other fundraisers while spending and policy decisions were being made for the proposed 2007-09 state budget, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review shows.

Health Care Reform Opponents Hold $7 to $1 Edge in Contributions

July 30, 2007

Madison - Special interests that oppose a universal health care plan in the Senate Democrats’ proposed state budget contributed $18.08 million to current legislators and the governor from 1999 through 2006 – over seven times more than the $2.5 million in contributions from supporters of the plan, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

High Court Race Cost Record $5.8 Million

Over half the money was secretly raised and spent by outside interests

July 23, 2007

Madison - Spending by outside special interests and the candidates in the 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court race topped $5.8 million, more than four times the previous record spent in a high court race, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Special Interests Deny Treatment To Ailing Health Care System

July 23 2007

Madison - Why are Republican legislators and Democratic Governor Jim Doyle so reluctant to even discuss major changes to make health care more affordable and accessible when their constituents have cited it as one of their top priorities?

27 Violated Contribution Limit in 2006

Individuals represent broad sample of powerful special interests

June 26, 2007

Madison - Twenty-seven wealthy contributors violated the annual $10,000 limit on campaign contributions to state political candidates and committees in 2006, including a State Capitol lobbyist, a long time state and national Republican Party bigwig and business owners and executives from a wide array of powerful special interests, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

WDC Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Wisconsin Right to Life Lawsuit Against Campaign Reform Act of 2002

June 25, 2007

Madison - Today’s ruling by a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court chipped away at both the letter and spirit of the McCain-Feingold law and favored the corrupt status quo in national politics.

Midwest Reform Groups Call on FCC to Hold TV Broadcasters Accountable for Inadequate Coverage

June 12, 2007

Midwest Democracy Network

Madison - An alliance of Midwest civic and political reform groups is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose stronger public interest obligations on local television broadcasters as part of the new regulatory framework that will govern the pending transition from analog to digital broadcasting.

Age-Old Rivalry Is A No-Contest Match

Campaign contributions from business interests swamp labor contributions for Democrats and Republicans

May 29, 2007

Madison - Business interests have made $12 in campaign contributions

$6 Million Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Is Part of a Disturbing National Trend

May 17, 2007

A new national analysis of 2006 judicial elections draws many disturbing parallels to Wisconsin’s recent $6 million race for the Supreme Court, concluding that more state judicial contests are being infected by the spread of big money campaigns that are dominated by special interest groups.

Citizens Demonstrate for Judicial Ethics

May 7, 2007

Madison - More than 40 citizens picketed in front of the Supreme Court chambers today for fair and impartial courts – and judges who are accountable to the law, not beholden to special interests.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Testimony on Campaign Finance Reform

Senate Committee on Campaign Finance Reform, Rural Issues and Information Technology

April 10, 2007

Thank you for holding this hearing today. We just endured the ugliest Supreme Court race our state has ever seen. Not to mention the most partisan and most expensive by far. A cash-soaked, special interest-contaminated smearfest that came on the heels of a $32 million race for governor and a contest for attorney general where over $8 million was spent - five times more than ever before for that office - mostly on ads filled with half-truths and outright lies about who’s softest on sex crimes. We’ve seen what the current campaign finance system gets us. You need look no further than what we just experienced these past several weeks to see the need for reform.

WDC Requests Ethics Probe of Supreme Court Candidate

Request for investigation cites 16 cases of conflict of interest by Ziegler

March 19, 2007

Madison - The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today asked the Wisconsin Judicial Commission to investigate whether state Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler violated the Judicial Code of Conduct by handling cases in which she or her husband had a significant financial or business relationship with one of the parties.

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