Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's press releases and special reports cover issues central to our mission, including campaign fundraising, political corruption and more.

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GOP Lawmakers Received Millions from Real Estate Industry Amid Landlord Bills

Real Estate Game Board

June 18, 2019

Republican legislative and statewide candidates accepted nearly $5.8 million in campaign contributions from the real estate industry while the GOP-controlled legislature approved a batch of bills that favored landlords over tenants.

Foxconn Case Judge Was Former Walker Aide, Contributor to GOP Candidates

Foxconn Sign

Posted: June 12, 2019
Updated: June 14, 2019

A state administrative law judge who ruled in favor of a plan to take up to 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan mostly for a massive Foxconn manufacturing plant was a former aide to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

DOJ Reviewing Case Against Accused Polluter, Big Campaign Donor

Toxic Waste Barrel

June 11, 2019

The state Justice Department is reviewing allegations that Johnson Controls International failed to report releasing hazardous chemicals that later contaminated drinking water in northeastern Wisconsin.

GOP Budget Committee Seeks to Restrict Local Control Over Quarries, Sand Mining

Quarry Entrance

June 10, 2019

Communities would be prohibited from regulating air and water pollution and blasting at quarries, sand mines, and gravel pits under a plan approved by the legislature’s GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Wisconsin Conservation Voters

Wisconsin Conservation Voters

June 3, 2019

Wisconsin Conservation Voters, formerly called the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, is a statewide lobbying, voter education, and advocacy organization on environmental issues and policy.

Big Dairy Opposes Increased Factory Farm Fees for Clean Water Programs

Manure Spreader

May 30, 2019

GOP legislative leaders have delayed action on a proposal by Gov. Tony Evers to increase fees on factory farms to help cover some clean water programs.

Menard, Big GOP Donor, Polluter to Get Honorary Doctorate

Menards Store, Diploma and Mortar Board

May 23, 2019

John Menard Jr., mega-GOP campaign contributor and recipient of record penalties for environmental violations in Wisconsin, is set to receive an honorary doctorate by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, his alma mater.

Four Dozen Wisconsin Laws Since 2009 Came from “Model” Bills

Wisconsin State Capitol

May 21, 2019

About four dozen state laws enacted between 2009 and 2018 were the result of “model” bills often from outside of Wisconsin and frequently backed by powerful business and ideological interests, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

See the Big Wisconsin Donors Who Gave to Dubious Electioneering Group

The White House

May 20, 2019

More than 250 Wisconsin contributors gave about $115,900 to a political nonprofit group accused of using only a tiny fraction of the money it raised to help federal candidates aligned with President Donald Trump.

Special Interest Groups Spent $225M+ in 10 Years on State Elections

Ballot Box Obscured By Cash

May 13, 2019

Special interest groups spent $226.1 million on legislative and statewide elections over the past 10 years, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Submits Amicus Brief in Lame-Duck Case

Law Case Books

May 7, 2019

On May 3, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign submitted a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in one of the lame-duck lawsuits. On May 6, the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted the motion and accepted the brief for filing.

Sand Mine Owner and Big GOP Donor Sued by Neighbors

Blair Sand Plant

May 1, 2019

Forty Trempealeau County residents who live next to two frac sand mining operations have sued the company, which is owned by a big state Republican Party contributor.

Influence Peddler of the Month – WEC Energy Group

Power Line Tower from Underneath

May 1, 2019

WEC Energy Group has been the leader in political giving since 2010 among about 30 natural gas and electric utilities across the country that make campaign contributions to influence Wisconsin state elections.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Urges Joint Finance to Keep Fair Maps Funding in State Budget

Legislation Art Work from Wisconsin State Capitol Dome

April 29, 2019

Letter sent to members of the Wisconsin State Legislature's Joint Finance Committee encouraging them to keep funding for nonpartisan redistricting in the state budget.

45 Wisconsin Counties Want to Ban Gerrymandering

Counties Backing Fair Maps

April 18, 2019

On April 16, three more counties joined in the growing consensus to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

WDC Files Complaint Against Hagedorn Campaign Committee

Brian Hagedorn

April 15, 2019

The campaign committee of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice-elect Brian Hagedorn failed to file occupational information required by law for 159 individual contributions totaling $70,106, according to a complaint filed Monday by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Special Interests Doled Out $4.3M in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Justice Hidden by Cash

April 10, 2019

Special interest groups spent nearly $4.3 million on outside electioneering activities leading up to last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Influence Peddler of the Month – Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

SEIU Logo Inserted into Ballot Box

April 1, 2019

After several years of mostly funneling money to other special interest groups, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) directly spent more than any other union on outside electioneering activities in last November’s general election.

Outside Spending Groups Make Homestretch Push for Hagedorn

Foot Race Finish Liine

March 29, 2019

Outside electioneering groups have spent nearly $2.8 million to oppose or support the candidates in next Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

Unions, GOP Dump $300K into WI Supreme Court Campaigns

Lady Justice Behind Piles of Cash

March 26, 2019

Labor union political action committees (PACs) and state and local Republican Party committees contributed about $300,000 since early February to the two candidates who will face off in next Tuesday’s election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Outside Groups for Neubauer Swamping Hagedorn

Hand Above Water

March 21, 2019

Special interest groups have spent about $1.3 million on outside electioneering activities in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

State Permit for Posh Golf Course Lands in Sand

Golfer in Sand Trap

March 19, 2019

A state judge has quashed a state permit granted by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration that allowed a major GOP contributor to build a golf course along Lake Michigan.

Electioneering Groups Weigh in on WI Supreme Court Race

Scales Backed by Cash

March 8, 2019

Less than a month before the April 2 elections, six special interest groups are spending more than $400,000 on outside electioneering activities in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

Wisconsin Contributors Gave Record $10.3M to Electioneering Groups in 2018

Personalized Wisconsin License Plate

March 6, 2019

Nearly 800 Wisconsin contributors gave a record $10.3 million in 2018 to political nonprofit groups that sponsor electioneering activities to influence state and federal elections.