Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Letter Concerning the Elections Board’s May Decision on Issue Ads

June 2, 2004

I understand your frustrations and the frustrations of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and I would like to say up front that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is 100 percent committed to campaign finance reform. This was simply the wrong time for the Elections Board to promulgate an emergency rule.


Campaign donations come from elite sliver of society, pack discriminatory wallop rivaling poll taxes, literacy tests

January 26, 2004

Madison - Over half of campaign contributions to candidates seeking state office come from less than 4 percent of Wisconsin’s more than 900 zip codes, a new Wisconsin Democracy Campaign study shows.

Legislative Fundraising Up 55%

Legislative Incumbents Hold 8-1 Cash Advantage Over Challengers; Governor’s Finance Report Shows SBC is Calling

August 2, 2004

Madison - Officeholders hell bent on keeping the Legislature a gated community have amassed more than $2.8 million and an 8-1 cash advantage over their challengers to keep their jobs this November, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

'People’s Legislature to Meet January 4

December 16, 2004

A multi-partisan group of citizens today announced at a Capitol press conference that a "People’s Legislature" will be convened on Tuesday, January 4 in Madison to focus attention on how the people’s business has given way to a money-driven special interest agenda, engage people who feel shut out of the state political process, mobilize support for political reforms and begin building a homegrown grassroots movement to take back state government and restore democracy.

Utility Projects Fire Up Contributions to Doyle

Utilities Send $50,000 governor’s way amid favorable state decisions

November 18, 2004

Madison - Three utilities contributed $50,660 to Governor Jim Doyle’s campaign shortly before and after the state approved their controversial coal plant and electrical transmission line projects, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

WDC Proposes Reform Agenda

5-step 'Power to the Voter' program aims to restore democracy

November 18, 2004

Madison - Responding to political corruption, an epidemic of uncontested races for state offices and growing polarization and partisan animosity at the State Capitol with a new call for reform, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today offered a five-part prescription for what ails democracy in the state.

State Donors Give Record Sums to Federal Campaigns

Contributions top $19 million, far outpace 2000 giving

October 27, 2004

Madison - Wisconsin contributions to federal candidates, parties, political action committees and unregulated groups through mid-October of the 2003-04 election cycle total $19.2 million, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

9 Get ‘Nero Award’ for Blocking Reform

5 Election Board Members, 4 Repeat Winners Cited

October 19, 2004

Madison - Five partisan appointees on the state Elections Board joined Wisconsin’s governor and three top legislative leaders in receiving "Nero Awards" handed out today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for ignoring public demands for reform and failing to provide leadership needed to clean up a Capitol engulfed in political scandal.

Challengers Face Uphill Fight

Officeholders Have $9-$1 Cash Advantage Over Challengers

September 27, 2004

Madison - Legislative officeholders had nearly $3.1 million in campaign funds and a $9-$1 advantage over their challengers two months before the November general election, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Fat Cats Dominate List of State Donors to 527s

$2 out of every $3 raised comes from just 24 wealthy donors

September 8, 2004

Madison - Most of the Wisconsin contributions to national groups that can accept and spend unlimited amounts of cash to influence the November elections come from wealthy contributors who also give generously to state candidates, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

WDC Calls for New Vote on Disclosure Rule

Letters to Governor, State Democratic Party Chair and Elections Board Member

September 2, 2004

Public Let Down Again

September 1, 2004

The state Elections Board today rejected by one vote a proposed truth-in-campaigning rule, once again refusing to close a gaping loophole in Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws allowing special interest campaign ads to escape disclosure requirements and campaign contribution limits.

State Contributions to ‘Shadow Parties’ Top $1 Million

August 25, 2004

Madison - A Milwaukee brewing heir and a state labor union contributed a quarter of a million dollars between April and June to groups that accept and spend unlimited and unregulated donations to influence federal elections, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Taxpayers Fleeced as Big Campaign Donors Get Sweetheart Privatization Deal

State pays $165,000 for job previously done by $11-an-hour state worker; Doyle top recipient of HNTB Corp. donations

August 18, 2004

Madison - Top executives of the company the state is paying nearly $80 an hour to maintain a road sign inventory after eliminating the job of a state employee who did the work for a fraction of that amount have made over $140,000 in campaign donations to Wisconsin politicians in the past decade but kicked their giving into high gear three years ago, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has found.

2.2 Million Voters Face No-Choice Election

44 of 115 Legislative Races Uncontested for November General Election

Posted: July 8, 2004
Updated: July 22, 2004

Madison - Nearly 2.2 million Wisconsin voters will have no choice in who represents them in the state Assembly or Senate because only one candidate so far is seeking a place on the November ballot in 44 of 115 legislative races, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today. (Uncontested races listed below.)

Fattest of State’s Fat Cats Open Checkbooks to ‘Shadow Parties’

So-called 527 groups enable corporations, unions and wealthy individuals to get around federal soft money ban

July 6, 2004

Madison - The groups known as 527s are tax-exempt political nonprofit groups that get their name from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service code under which they are organized. Nationally, 527s - including such groups as the electioneering arm of MoveOn.org, America Coming Together and the Club for Growth - raised $179 million between January 2003 and March 2004 to spend on direct mail campaigns, negative broadcast advertising and voter registration drives.

Wait ’Til September

Elections Board buys time on issue ad disclosure rule

May 19, 2004

The state Elections Board today delayed action on a rule proposed by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign requiring full disclosure of phony issue ads sponsored by special interest groups and banning the unlimited and anonymous "soft money" donations that pay for them.

Contributions from Groups with a Stake in TABOR

from Supporters and Opponents of the So-Called “Taxpayer Bill of Rights ” (TABOR) 1993 - 2003

May 6, 2004

Gard Sets Record for Out-of-District Donations

In his first year as Assembly Speaker, John Gard raised more large individual contributions from powerful special interests outside of his Assembly District than any previous candidate for the Legislature, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Special interest electioneering more hidden than disclosed

Allies of both major parties now use soft money-fueled ‘issue ads’
to evade reporting requirements, keep public in the dark about campaign finances

April 5, 2004

Madison - For the first time, more electioneering by organized special interest groups in 2002 state races escaped detection by Wisconsin’s campaign finance disclosure system than was accounted for publicly, a report released today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows.

Four Violate Contribution Limits in 2003

Sunlight, Tougher Enforcement Yield Sharp Drop in Violations

March 24, 2004

Madison - A dog track owner and a gasoline station magnate were among four individuals who violated state law in 2003 by contributing more than $10,000 in a year to state political candidates and committees, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Updated Contributor Database Shows Sizable Casino, Loan Shark Donations to Governor

March 17, 2004

Madison - Two Indian tribes and Washington D.C. lawyers whose firms represent tribes contributed more than $10,000 to Democratic Governor James Doyle in the last half of 2003, according to the latest campaign finance information posted by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Check-Bundling Tactic Hides Special Interest Clout

March 8, 2004

Madison - Campaign contributions to legislative candidates through a fundraising tactic that conceals large special interest contributions from the public grew by 89 percent between 1998 and 2002, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Statement of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on campaign finance reform legislation

Senate Bill 12

March 3, 2004

The new version of Senate Bill 12 is no compromise, and it is not reform. The original SB 12 was bipartisan, something any sincere and meaningful effort at reform must be.

Money Shouts at Capitol

Special Interest Giving Mirrors Legislative Votes

February 23, 2004

Madison - Legislators who voted with powerful special interests on key legislative proposals received more than four times more campaign contributions on average from those wealthy contributors than legislators who did not side with them, a new Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

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