Academic Study Shows Link Between Campaign Donations and State Contracts

February 4, 2003

A new study by a University of Michigan researcher identifies a strong connection between campaign donations by construction and road-building contractors and major state contracts awarded by former Governor Tommy Thompson’s administration.

Costly Breaks to Big Donors Survive Budget Crisis

Special interests out only $1 million of $5 billion so far in budget plan

March 19, 2003

Madison - The proposed state budget could cost property taxpayers, seniors and college students hundreds of dollars a year while wealthy special interests who make large campaign contributions lose only $1 million of an estimated $5 billion a year in tax breaks, pork barrel spending and other policy favors, a new report by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows.

Statement of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance reform

December 11, 2003

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law is constitutional is an historic victory for the cause of political reform. The ruling not only significantly aids efforts to rescue democracy from moneyed special interests intent on corrupting the political process, but also represents a major step toward giving the First Amendment back to average citizens.

State Elections Board Does It Again

Nothing, that is

December 10, 2003

Madison - The state Elections Board remained true to its see-no-evil track record today when it dismissed complaints and over 200 pages of accompanying evidence that Democratic Governor James Doyle and Republican Assembly Speaker John Gard repeatedly violated state campaign finance disclosure laws by failing to reveal the occupations and employers of hundreds of big campaign donors.

State Elections Board to Act Tomorrow on WDC Complaints Against Governor, Assembly Speaker for Disclosure Violations

Doyle, Gard face up to $123,000 in fines for illegal donations

December 9, 2003

Madison - The state Elections Board could fine Democratic Governor James Doyle and Republican Assembly Speaker John Gard a combined $123,000 when it meets Wednesday to consider Wisconsin Democracy Campaign complaints that the veteran politicians violated state campaign finance laws by failing to fully disclose the source of hundreds of campaign donations.

Public Input Suppression Act of 2003

Bought leaders treat democracy as enemy of economy in pushing ‘jobs’ bill

November 11, 2003

Madison - A business deregulation bill being rammed through the Legislature by leaders marinated in campaign contributions from the plan’s backers would make it more difficult for people to object to environmental and other concerns about business expansions and locations that affect the public, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Cash and Carry Lawmaking

Legislature’s fall agenda heavy on rewards for big donors

November 3, 2003

Madison - The state Legislature’s agenda for the final floor session of the year is full of arcane special interest measures that will never make the public’s to-do list but are coveted by wealthy campaign contributors, a new report by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows.

WDC Files Complaints Against Governor, Assembly Leader for Illegal Donations

Doyle, Gard Face $123,000 in Fines for Disclosure Violations

October 14, 2003

Madison - Democratic Governor James Doyle and Republican Assembly Speaker John Gard violated state campaign finance laws by repeatedly failing to fully disclose the source of nearly $115,000 in campaign contributions, according to complaints filed today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

"Buy-Partisan Politics"

Bi-Partisan Dollar

Bet Hedging Widespread Among Big Donors, New Study Shows

October 1, 2003

Madison - Hundreds of contributors representing powerful special interests shell out generous contributions to both Democratic and Republican candidates to gain influence regardless of who wins the governor’s office and which party controls the Legislature, a report by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows.

Wisconsin Gets a Lackluster Grade for Campaign Finance Disclosure

State receives a ‘C-’ in a new national study

September 17, 2003

Madison - A new national study by the Campaign Disclosure Project gives Wisconsin a C- for campaign finance disclosure.

WDC Renews Media Campaign for Reform

September 15, 2003

Madison - The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today announced it is running a new series of newspaper and radio ads throughout the state to remind the public that an overwhelming vote of support for campaign finance reform in a 2000 referendum has been ignored by state lawmakers who continue to stonewall reform legislation three years after the vote.

4 Get 'Nero Award' for Blocking Reform

Gard, Panzer, Doyle & Freese Cited for ‘Fiddling While Dome Burns’

September 10, 2003

Madison - Wisconsin’s governor and three top legislative leaders were given “Nero Awards” 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.

A 3-Lie Budget

Legislators, Governor Break Promises, Hand More Perks to Big Donors, Up ‘Graft Tax’ to $1,358 Per Taxpayer

August 11, 2003

Madison - Promises that the state budget would be balanced, taxes would not be increased and the pain of solving the fiscal crisis would be universally shared were all broken because the Legislature and governor refused to require their wealthy donors to sacrifice in order to close the state’s $3.2 billion deficit, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Special Interests Lubricated Political Machinery as State Budget Took Shape

$1.9 million flowed in during budget process on heels of record giving in 2002

August 5, 2003

Madison - Special interests scrambled to get what they could from the state budget by contributing $1.28 million to legislators’ campaigns and leadership committees in the first half of 2003 after doling out a record amount of contributions in election year 2002, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Do-Nothing Board Becomes Do-Little Board for a Day

Elections Board lets half of rich donors off the hook, while other half get slap on the wrist

July 30, 2003

Madison - The state Elections Board today fined 19 wealthy donors and an ex-governor for making or accepting illegal campaign contributions in response to complaints filed by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Donors, Ex-Governor Face Nearly $317,000 in Fines

State Elections Board to act tomorrow on WDC complaints alleging illegal campaign contributions

July 29, 2003

Madison - Wealthy donors and a former governor accused of violating state campaign finance laws that limit to $10,000 the total amount of campaign contributions an individual can give in a year or a gubernatorial candidate can accept face fines totaling nearly $317,000 when the state Elections Board meets Wednesday. (Actual fines levied.)

TV Industry Profiteering on Democracy

July 23, 2003

Local television stations around the country jacked up the prices of candidate ads by an average of 53% in the two months before the 2002 election, exploiting a campaign-driven spike in demand, according to a study released today by the national Alliance for Better Campaigns.

Feds Investigating Wisconsin Money Laundering

July 8, 2003

The FBI is investigating allegations of campaign money laundering in Maryland and Wisconsin by a Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Party committee, the Washington Post is reporting today.

State Budget Amounts to 'Fiscal Feudalism'

Watchdog calls on Doyle, lawmakers to go back to drawing board

June 18, 2003

Madison - Both Governor Jim Doyle’s proposed budget and the alternative version crafted by Republicans who control the Legislature are fatally flawed because they leave Wisconsin in a precarious financial position in order to protect $5 billion worth of political perks for special interest campaign donors, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Out-of-State Donors Pour Record Cash into State Races

Contributions from outside Wisconsin topped $1.2 million in 2002

June 2, 2003

Madison - Large contributions from wealthy out-of-state donors to Wisconsin candidates for statewide office and the Legislature soared to a record $1.2 million in 2002 - a third of it to Democratic Governor Jim Doyle - a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis released today shows.

WDC Files 43 Complaints Against Fat Cat Donors, Ex-Governor

Action prompted by six-fold increase in contribution limit violations

May 13, 2003

Madison - Forty-two wealthy contributors violated a state campaign finance law in 2002 that imposes a $10,000 a year limit on the total amount of contributions they can make to political candidates and committees, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Budget Writers Take $3 Million in Special Interest Contributions

Will committee tend to special interest donors or constituents in budget talks?

April 21, 2003

Madison - A legislative committee considering the governor’s 2003-05 state budget has accepted $3 million in campaign contributions from special interests whose perks are left mostly untouched in the budget plan at the expense of the general public, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

WDC Endorses New Impartial Justice Bill

Amid Growing Concerns Over Supreme Court’s Independence, Democracy Campaign to Make Push for Judicial Reform

April 2, 2003

Madison - Growing conflicts of interest on the state’s highest court underscore the need for a sweeping overhaul of the way state Supreme Court campaigns are conducted, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today in announcing its formal endorsement of the soon-to-be-introduced "Impartial Justice" campaign reform bill.

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