Monday, June 3, 2013

Hyper-Partisan, Deeply Flawed Campaign Finance & Election Bill on Fast Track This Week

Press Release
June 3, 2013

Jay Heck – 608/256-2686

Hyper-Partisan, Deeply Flawed
Campaign Finance & Election Bill on Fast Track

Public Hearing Tuesday -- Floor Action Thursday

A highly-partisan campaign finance and election measure that would make campaign spending less transparent, expand lobbyist campaign contributions, and continue to burden Wisconsin voters with the most restrictive and extreme voting law in the nation -- was introduced just this past Friday -- May 31st. A public hearing notice was posted just this morning for a single public hearing in the Capitol in Madison (at 10 AM Tuesday in Room 417 - North) for this terrible public policy. It will then be quickly passed along partisan lines, and scheduled by the Republican Assembly leadership for a vote in the Assembly on Thursday.

Sound familiar?

This is how you ram through hyper-partisan, controversial legislation that you are not particularly proud of and do not want the opposition to it to have time to coalesce against. You suddenly spring it on the public -- and then ram it through before citizens even know what hit them. This is divisive, power politics at its worst and one of the reasons citizens increasingly distrust public officials.

As we said last week, this measure -- Assembly Bill 225 -- ought to be scrapped. Instead, Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), the bill's main sponsor, ought to start over and work with reform-minded legislators on both sides of the partisan divide and craft a bipartisan package that could really fix Wisconsin's many campaign finance and election problems instead of making them worse. Together, they should craft bipartisan reform that doesn't provide political advantage for one political party over another and that instead, benefits all of the citizens of Wisconsin. Only bipartisan campaign finance and election reform is effective and long-lasting.

To refresh your memory, there are many things wrong with this legislation. Here are some of the most prominent flaws.

Common Cause in Wisconsin opposes this measure and we have been outspoken in telling voters what is wrong with it.

And we have a much better, positive and bipartisan political reform alternative that legislators of both parties should embrace and pass -- Senate Bill 166. CC/WI's director, Jay Heck, had this opinion-editorial published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday which provides details.

We will be at the public hearing tomorrow in Madison to testify in opposition to Assembly Bill 225. You need to let both your State Representative and your State Senator that you oppose Assembly Bill 225 as well. To contact your legislators, go here. If you are not sure who your legislators are, go here.


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


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