Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Campaign Finance Reform Forum in Milwaukee To Tackle Current Political Issues - Monday Evening, January 25th

Press Release
January 21, 2010


Jay Heck – 608/256-2686



Monday Evening, January 25th at Marquette University in Milwaukee

Campaign finance and political reform has been front and center in the Wisconsin Legislature and in the media over the past several months.

On December 1st, the most significant, substantive campaign finance reform in Wisconsin in 30 years -- became law when the Governor signed the “Impartial Justice” Bill after the Wisconsin Legislature passed it in November. This new law will provide full public financing to qualifying candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court who voluntarily agree to abide by a spending limit of $400,000.

Then just two days ago, the State Senate passed Senate Bill 43 by an overwhelming, bipartisan 26 to 7 margin. SB43 requires the disclosure of the donors and regulation of the money utilized by outside special interest groups that run widely-disseminated campaign communications masquerading as issue advocacy 60 days or less prior to an election. An identical Assembly version of the legislation, Assembly Bill 63 passed 6 to 1 in the Assembly Committee on Campaign Reform and Elections in June of 2009 -- and should be considered and passed soon. Governor Jim Doyle has said that he supports the measure and would sign it into law.

Opponents of campaign finance reform, the guardians of the corrupt status quo counterattacked by filing two separate lawsuits against the “Impartial Justice” Law within weeks of its enactment.

And then there is the long-awaited decision in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case involving the constitutionality of forcing the disclosure and regulation of phony issue ads in federal elections: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission -- a decision that will provide more definitive guidance about what Wisconsin can and cannot do with regard to phony issue ads. The nation's highest court may hand down that decision today.

These major reform developments and others will be the focus of discussion in Milwaukee this coming Monday during a "Reform Forum" organized by CC/WI entitled:

What Ever Happened to Good Government in Wisconsin?
**And How Should We Fix It?**

Panelists will include:
  • Political Science Professor John McAdams of Marquette University
  • Former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann
  • State Representative Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), the ranking Republican on the Assembly Campaign Reform and Elections Committee
  • State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), the Vice Chair of the State Senate Committee on Campaign Finance Reform
  • Executive Director Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin

Please join us for what we anticipate will be a lively discussion.

Full details and a map to both the event location and parking can be found here.

Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703

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Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!

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