See Who Is Holding Up the 'Dark Store' Bills

Posted: December 13, 2017
Updated: January 10, 2018

Six months ago, a group of bipartisan legislators sponsored two bills that would close a loophole that big box stores and other companies use to lower their tax assessments.

WDC Statement on GOP Attacks on Elections, Ethics Commission Administrators

I appear before you today to give you our views on the disgusting witch hunt that has been launched against Brian Bell, your Ethics Commission Administrator, and Mike Haas, the Elections Commission Administrator, and indeed anyone who was connected with the old Government Accountability Board.

Special Election Candidates Advance in Legislative Races

Here's a look at the fundraising and contributors to the Democratic and Republican candidates who won primaries on Tuesday in three special elections for vacant legislative seats. Candidates in two of the races – the 10th Senate District and the 58th Assembly District – will face off in a Jan. 16 election.

Walker Appoints GOP Senator as New Ag Secretary

Republican Gov. Scott Walker on Friday appointed a longtime western Wisconsin Republican state senator as the state’s new agriculture secretary.

Koch Brothers, WMC Behind Mining Law

 December 12, 2017

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a controversial bill into law on Monday that ends the state’s sulfide mining moratorium at the behest of powerful business and rightwing ideological interests that have spent more than $14 million to help elect him.

Republican AG Sides with Construction Industry on State Sprinkler Rule

Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel is siding with the construction industry, which has donated nearly $170,000 to his campaign, saying the state can’t require sprinkler systems to fight fires in apartment buildings with 20 units or fewer.

Kwik Trip cashes in on Walker support

Last month, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state’s economic development agency, announced that Kwik Trip could receive up to $21 million in income tax credits for a $300 million expansion project in La Crosse. The company claims the project will directly create more than 300 jobs. The amount of state aid the company receives depends on how many jobs the project actually creates during the next five years.Gov. Scott Walker’s administration plans to give up to $21 million in tax giveaways to Kwik Trip, a convenience store chain whose owners and employees have contributed more than $90,000 to the Republican governor.

Special Election Candidates Self-Funding

Seven candidates in two special elections for vacant Assembly and Senate seats have loaned or contributed about $272,715 of their own money to their campaigns, according to recent campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.

Business Lobby Opposes GOP Bills on 'Dark Store' Tax Loophole

Big box chain stores like CVS Pharmacy, Lowe’s, Target, Menards, and Walgreens would no longer be able to use a legal loophole to slash their property taxes under a pair of bills sponsored by GOP lawmakers. The state’s largest business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) , which usually sides with Republicans, opposes the bills because businesses would pay more taxes.

Tavern Industry Opposes Measure to Change Liquor Laws

The state’s tavern industry says it opposes a Republican bill that would change some state alcohol licensing and sales regulations.

Testimony Before the Wisconsin Ethics Commission on Campaign Finance Transparency

I'm here today for two reasons: to give you feedback on your website, and to take the opportunity to discuss briefly some of the ruinous changes in our campaign finance law that adversely affect the reporting you do on your website—and the ability of the public to know who is spending what.

GOP Bill Would Slash Time People Can Sue Business

Republican lawmakers are introducing a bill that would slash the amount of time that people have to file civil suits against businesses for injuries and other matters.

Take Action: Stop the Article V Convention!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 31, the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations plans to vote on a bill that would authorize an Article V Constitutional Convention for a balanced budget amendment.

Bill Would Allow Chiropractors to Perform Physicals on Student Athletes

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow chiropractors to perform physical exams on student athletes.

Wisconsin School Voucher Bill Backed by Betsy DeVos's Group

A bill expected to see action by the legislature next week would eliminate student attendance, grade level advancement, and academic achievement requirements that voucher schools have to meet in order to receive state money.

GOP Lawmakers Want Gun Courses Offered In High School

GOP lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would require the state to develop gun training classes for high schoolers.

GOP May Consider Heavy Truck Fee to Pay for Roads

A per-mile fee on heavy trucks that could raise more than $250 million in two years has surfaced as a possible funding source to pay for Wisconsin’s transportation budget. But the trucking industry, which has contributed nearly $1.2 million to legislative and statewide candidates, opposes the plan.

Anthem is Wisconsin GOP Booster

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which just announced it will stop selling health insurance in nearly all Wisconsin marketplaces created by the federal Affordable Care Act, is a big supporter of the Wisconsin GOP.

State Superintendent's Race Cost $1 Million

Spending by the candidates and outside special interest groups in the state school superintendent’s race last spring totaled about $1 million, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Wisconsin Contributors Gave $2M+ to Electioneering Groups

About 230 Wisconsin contributors gave $2.1 million during the first six months of 2017 to dark money groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence state and federal elections.

Did Foxconn Violate State Lobby Law?

State lobby law requires businesses, groups and other special interests to register with the state after communicating with state elected officials on proposed rules or legislative bills if they do so on five or more days during a six-month period.

GOP Lawmakers Want to End State's Mining Moratorium

Republican lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill to end the state’s mining moratorium and open the door for copper, lead and zinc mines in Wisconsin.

WMC Tops Lobbying Groups in the First Six Months of 2017

About 700 trade and ideological groups, unions and businesses spent more than $18.8 million lobbying state government during the first six months of 2017.

GOP Candidates Reaped Nearly $2 of Every $3 From Wisconsin ‘Wealth’ Codes

Individuals with Wisconsin zip code addresses who contributed $100 or more a year to partisan legislative and statewide candidates doled out about $136.4 million between 2003 and 2016, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found. About $86.3 million, or 63 percent, of those large individual contributions went to Republican candidates and about $50.1 million, or 37 percent, of the contributions went to Democrats.

Victory for Fair Maps!

In an indication that the tide has turned against gerrymandering in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Counties Association urged the legislature to adopt nonpartisan redistricting.