Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Governor Doyle to sign Impartial Justice Bill on December 1st - Happy Thanksgiving!

Press Release
November 25, 2009


Jay Heck – 608/256-2686


Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) has learned that Governor Jim Doyle will sign into law the Impartial Justice Bill - Assembly Bill 65/Senate Bill 40 - on Tuesday, December 1st. The Bill passed in both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature with bipartisan support on November 5th and will provide full public financing for qualifying candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court who voluntarily agree to abide by a spending limit of $400,000.

That is something to give thanks for tomorrow!

The Governor's support and signing of the bill was never in doubt. However, certain technical corrections had to be made by the Governor's office in consultation with the legislative sponsors to ensure that the Impartial Justice legislation, as passed, does what it is supposed to do.

CC/WI monitored this process and is satisfied that it has been accomplished.

The Impartial Justice bill is the most significant, sweeping campaign finance reform to be passed and enacted into law in Wisconsin since 1977— when public financing was first established in the state.

Special thanks go to the legislation's authors: Senator Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) and Representatives Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and Steve Hilgenberg (D-Dodgeville), as well as to Representative. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and Senator Mark Miller (D-Madison) who steered it through the Joint Committee on Finance and secured the funding mechanism. Thanks go out to all of the other members of the State Senate and the Assembly who voted for the Impartial Justice measure. Special thanks also go to Senators Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) and State Representative Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) for bucking their party leadership and voting for this significant campaign finance reform measure. They were brave and right to do so. Thanks too to Governor Doyle who has supported this particular reform since the beginning of his tenure in office in 2003 and who will sign the measure into law on Tuesday, December 1st.

Most of all, thanks to all of the wonderful CC/WI members and other pro-reform citizens who contacted their legislators and, over time, made this reform become a reality!

Already, an out-of-state anti-reform organization funded by entities who support the corrupt status quo are planning to sue to stop the Impartial Justice bill from being implemented.

Fine, Bring it on.

To hear CC/WI's take on this Virginia-based challenge to reform in Wisconsin go here.

To all you many Wisconsinites who care about honest, accountable government and politics, savor this victory. You made it happen.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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

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