November 8, 2010
Common Cause in Wisconsin has been practically a "one-note Johnny" this Fall - pushing for meaningful disclosure of the donors to outside spending groups trying to influence the outcome of elections at the state (and federal) level. In the aftermath of the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court's bitterly divided 5 to 4 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision this past January, disclosure is essential.
After last Tuesday -- and the unprecedented amount of money spent on undisclosed campaign communications -- disclosure is even more critical than ever. Whether it will occur legislatively, remains to be seen. Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (defeated) and Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (defeated) all expressed public support for disclosure, but never got together to make it happen -- despite our repeated calls and those of Wisconsin newspaper editorial boards to to so.
It is now up to Republican Governor Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and likely Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald to make it happen in 2011. Will they do it? So far it doesn't seem that disclosure is a priority for them. Not yet, anyway. We may have to insist that they do it. Minnesota did. Surely, Wisconsin can do as much.
The Oshkosh Northwestern, in an editorial last Friday, agrees.
Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
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