Doyle Grants-for-Campaign Cash Connection Warrants Investigation

AG Should Recuse Himself from Corruption Probe, WDC Says

June 12, 2002

Madison - The district attorneys investigating apparent illegal campaigning and so-called "pay to play" activity in the Capitol should expand their probe to examine possible links between government grants made by Attorney General Jim Doyle to several charitable groups and the campaign donations individuals connected to the groups made to Doyle’s campaign for governor, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Unfair Fight

Legislative officeholders have 14-1 cash edge on challengers

August 1, 2002

Madison - Legislative officeholders who auctioned off two state budget bills to attract special interest campaign contributions have built up a 14-1 cash advantage over challengers with only three months to go before the November elections, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Campaign Reform Law

December 12, 2002

The campaign finance reform plan (summary) that was enacted last summer as part of a state budget repair bill was ruled unconstitutional Wednesday by U.S. District Court judge Barbara Crabb.

Election Turns on a Dime

Money Rules as Four of Five Races Won by Candidates Who Spent the Most

November 13, 2002

Madison - Legislative candidates who spent the most money during the pre-election cycle won 82 percent of the races, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

36,000 Ads Aired at Cost of $12.8 Million

Final Tally Shows 36,000 Ads Aired in State’s Top 3 TV Markets at Cost of $12.8 Million

November 12, 2002

Madison - Local television stations in Wisconsin’s three largest TV markets have aired close to 36,000 political ads this year and charged candidates, parties and issue groups $12.8 million for the air time, according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

WDC Grades Candidates on Disclosure

Candidate reporting improved but money laundering & phony ‘issue advocacy’ by front groups undermine meaningful disclosure

Posted: October 28, 2002
Updated: October 29, 2002

Madison - Candidates have improved disclosing the source of their large special interest contributions, but recent charges in the caucus investigation and growing difficulty in identifying the true source of millions of dollars in negative issue ads being aired paint a bleak picture for openness and accountability in Wisconsin election campaigns, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

24,000 Doses of Poison

Stations in Top 3 Wisconsin Markets Charge $7.6 million for Air Time

October 22, 2002

Madison - Through October 15, local television stations in Wisconsin’s three largest TV markets have aired nearly 24,000 political ads this year and have charged candidates, parties and issue groups over $7.6 million for the air time, according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Special Session Must Address Root Causes of Corruption

Broken Campaign Finance System is Common Thread in Criminal Charges

October 21, 2002

Madison - Any special legislative session in response to the Capitol scandal needs to focus on the enactment of comprehensive campaign reforms if lawmakers are serious about ending corrupt practices in state government, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today in response to Governor Scott McCallum’s call for a November 13 special session.

TV Political Ad Frenzy Kicks into High Gear

Over 7,500 Campaign Ads Aired in Last Month in Top 3 Wisconsin Markets

October 3, 2002

Madison - With a month to go until Election Day, local television stations in Wisconsin’s three largest TV markets already have treated their viewers to over 19,500 political ads this year and have charged candidates, parties and issue groups nearly $6.3 million for the air time, according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

WDC to Broadcasters: Let 'Em All Debate

September 19, 2002

Madison - The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association should reconsider the eligibility criteria it has established for participation in the gubernatorial debate the association plans to sponsor, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Odds Worsen for Challengers

Officeholders Have 16-1 Fundraising Edge on Opponents

September 17, 2002

Madison - Legislative officeholders had $3.3 million in campaign cash on hand - $16 for every $1 raised by their challengers - heading into the home stretch to November’s general election, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

TV Political Ad Spending on Record Pace

$4 Million Already Spent Through Labor Day in Top 3 Wisconsin Markets

September 16, 2002

Madison - Local television stations in Wisconsin’s three largest TV markets have already taken in over $4 million this year from the sale of over 12,000 political ads, according to figures released today by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Deafening Silence

While 52 Candidates Pledge ‘Clean Sweep,’ Most Incumbents Take the Fifth on Political Reform Specifics; Challengers 3 Times as Likely to Answer

August 14, 2002

Madison - Most current office holders went into hiding when challenged to go beyond vague statements of support for political reform and take a public stand on key details of campaign finance reform legislation as well as other political reforms, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported today as it released responses to its “Clean Sweep” questionnaire.

Governor Candidates Woo Elite, Not Grassroots Support

August 7, 2002

Madison - The major party candidates for governor, some of whom boast that their talent for raising a lot of money indicates broad voter support, are accepting two-thirds of their campaign contributions from only an elite sliver of donors who gave $500 or more, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Candidates Asked to Pledge 'Clean Sweep' of Capitol

July 29, 2002

Madison - The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today asked candidates for the state legislature, governor and lieutenant governor to take a public position on specific campaign finance changes and other reforms as part of a "Clean Sweep" campaign WDC is launching.

WDC Urges Partial Veto of Campaign Reform Plan in Budget Repair Bill

July 12, 2002

Madison - Governor Scott McCallum should use his partial veto authority to eliminate a poison pill in the campaign finance reform plan lawmakers included in the budget repair bill, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Number of Unopposed Candidates Skyrockets in Legislative Races

51 of 116 Races to be Uncontested in November

July 10, 2002

Madison - Runaway fundraising by incumbents who were able to use the state budget as an auction block and a lack of campaign finance reform have combined to make the legislature an easy job to get or keep for more than four dozen candidates this fall, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Budget Bill Is Special Interest Protection Plan

Legislators’ plan squanders one-time money for temporary fix rather than derailing special interest gravy train

July 9, 2002

Madison - A legislative budget plan now on Gov. Scott McCallum’s desk plugs the state’s $1.1 billion deficit mostly by squandering one-time money rather than going after the perks and breaks worth millions of dollars to powerful special interests, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Testimony Before Judiciary Committee

Committee on the Judiciary, Consumer Affairs and Campaign Finance Reform,
July 2, 2002

Posted: July 3, 2002

(Testimony by Mike McCabe, Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign)

Testimony by Mike McCabe, Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Governor’s Task Force on Ethics Reform in Government, June 24, 2002

June 25, 2002

I applaud your willingness to take on the task of considering and ultimately proposing ethics reforms for our state government. You have your work cut out for you. It is a sad commentary on the current ethical climate in Wisconsin that a task force such as yours is deemed necessary.

McCain, Feingold & Company Unveil Free Air Time Proposal

June 19, 2002

Madison - Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin), John McCain (R-Arizona), Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey) and Representative Martin Meehan (D-Massachusetts) today launched the next phase of campaign finance reform at the national level by unveiling the key elements of a bill that will reduce the cost and increase the flow of campaign communication on the nation’s television and radio stations, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign announced.

Skindrud's Unguarded Caucus Comments Expose Hypocrisy of Anti-Reform Lawmakers

June 12, 2002

Madison - Remarks made in a Cross Plains restaurant in the presence of two newspaper reporters by veteran legislator Rick Skindrud about clandestine campaign activities in the legislative caucuses underscore the hypocrisy of state lawmakers who supported the use of taxpayer money for illegal campaigning by state employees to ensure their own re-election but oppose campaign reforms featuring public financing of election contests that would level the playing field for all candidates, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Public Supports Free Air Time

But Few Know Public Owns Airwaves & Broadcasters Get Free Licenses

June 11, 2002

Madison - Americans overwhelmingly support proposals to require that broadcasters provide free television time for candidates to discuss issues just before elections, according to a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in Washington, DC.

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