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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State’s ‘Whitest’ Districts Tend to Elect GOP Legislators

January 15, 2018

As Wisconsin and the nation prepare to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., a review of U.S. Census data shows Wisconsin residents elect Republican legislators in districts with the highest percentage of white residents, and Democrats in districts with the highest ratio of non-white residents.

Where the Money Is in the 10th Senate Special Election

Candidates are in the final days of campaigning for next Tuesday’s 10th Senate District special election, so here’s a rundown on the money raised by the candidates and the activities and spending by outside groups.

Republican Bills Would Prohibit Numerous Local Labor Rules

January 11, 2018

A gang of business, banking, rightwing ideological, and other powerful special interests are backing GOP bills that would prohibit local governments from passing a variety of labor-related ordinances.

Stop the Attacks on Elections and Ethics Commissions Leaders

An open letter to Fitzgerald, Vos and Wisconsin State Senators

Burns, Dallet Appear Wealthier Than Screnock

January 10, 2018

The three candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court have filed financial statements, which appear to show Madison attorney Tim Burns and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Frank Dallet are wealthier than Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock.

Here's What Special Interests Are Up to in 10th Senate Special Election

At least three special interest groups are sponsoring ads and mailings against the Democratic and Republican candidates in an upcoming special election for the vacant 10 th Senate District seat.

Here’s What Special Interests Are Up to in 10th Senate Special Election

Here’s What Special Interests Are Up to in 10th Senate Special Election

January 8, 2018

At least three special interest groups are sponsoring ads and mailings against the Democratic and Republican candidates in an upcoming special election for the vacant 10th Senate District seat.

GOP Lawmaker Gets Warning About Possible Ethics Law Violation

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission told a Republican lawmaker it had “reasonable suspicion” that he violated state ethics laws for promoting his roofing business on state-managed social media accounts.

GOP Bill a Favor to Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is supporting a GOP legislative proposal that makes sweeping changes to landlord-tenant laws and restricts local governments from enacting ordinances or charging fees to inspect rental properties.

Scott Walker, Hypocrite Extraordinaire!

Gov. Scott Walker spent part of New Year’s Eve whining again about the remote possibility that he might be outspent in his reelection campaign.

Influence Peddler of the Month for January 2018 - Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)

January 2, 2018

(This profile updates information and figures in a previous June 2015 feature on WMC.)

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is the state’s largest business organization and consistently one of the biggest spenders on outside electioneering activities and on lobbying.

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.