Friday, February 14, 2014

State Senators Dale Schultz and Fred Risser to Highlight CC/WI Reform Forum on February 17th in Madison

For Release: Friday - February 14, 2014

This Monday night, we hope to further build the momentum in support of non-partisan redistricting reform – and other vital political reforms – by bringing together members of the Legislature, reform experts, and Wisconsin citizens at a free public forum in Madison at Edgewood College. The event will run from 6:30 to 8 PM and will include a lengthy Q&A with the audience.

Why should area citizens attend this forum?

In 2011, Wisconsin experienced the most secretive, partisan and expensive (at over $2 million) redistricting process in state history – resulting in dramatically less competitive State Legislative and Congressional districts. We'll talk about why a measure that takes redistricting out of the hands of partisan legislators and puts that process into the hands of a non-partisan entity should be put into place now – for the next redistricting process that will occur in 2021.

Tens of millions of dollars were spent in Wisconsin by outside special interest groups for largely negative communications leading up to the 2012 general election. But Wisconsinites are still in the dark about who was really behind much of this avalanche of “outside” campaign cash and the constant barrage of “phony issue ads” during the election.

On Monday, panelists and audience members will explore whether this lack of disclosure of these anonymous communications is a form of protected "free speech" – or if citizens should have the right to know who is trying to influence their vote.

We will also discuss Wisconsin’s 2011 photo voter ID law – one of the most extreme and restrictive such measures in the nation. It has been blocked by the courts, but may return in a new form soon. Is requiring a photo ID at the polls needed? Is there really voter fraud or is this a voter suppression measure?

And, we will look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous 2010 decision in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission which allows corporations, labor unions and other interest groups (and their "Super PACs") to use unlimited money from their general treasury coffers to flood our airwaves with negative messages, giving them far greater influence on the outcome of elections. Attendees will learn more about how the Citizens United decision has affected Wisconsin and why it matters.

These and other vital political reform issues will be the focus of discussion in Madison on Monday evening during one in an ongoing series of "reform forums" held across the state by Common Cause in Wisconsin:

"What Ever Happened to Good Government in Wisconsin?
And How Can We Fix It?"

Monday Evening, February 17th
6:30 to 8:00 PM
Edgewood College - Anderson Auditorium
1000 Edgewood Drive, Madison, WI

Panelists will include:

State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center)
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison)
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Executive Director Andrea Kaminski
Political Science Professor Steven Davis of Edgewood College
Executive Director Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin

Scott Milfred, Editorial Page Editor of the Wisconsin State Journal will serve as Moderator.

Please join us for what will be an informative and lively discussion.

Full details can be found here.

Jay Heck – 608/256-2686

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!

No comments: