Monday, July 1, 2013

Fighting for Political Reform During June

Press Release
July 1, 2013

Jay Heck – 608/256-2686


More Battles Ahead in Second Half of the Year

The State Budget battle dominated the month of June, but there was plenty of "action" on the political reform front as well during the month just passed -- as 2013 reaches the halfway mark.

CC/WI has been pushing for redistricting reform this year, in order to be in place for 2021 after the next decennial census. This past weekend, this detailed article appeared in the Beloit Daily News about where legislators in south-central Wisconsin stand on this issue (or refuse to comment), as well as an analysis of the "Iowa Model" reform legislation that we are supporting.

Earlier this month, CC/WI led the attack against a hyper-partisan campaign finance and elections package sprung on Wisconsin without any advance warning at the beginning of the month. After CC/WI director Jay Heck debated the lead author of Assembly Bill 225, and many CC/WI members and other concerned citizens weighed in and railed against the legislation as introduced, the proponents revised the legislation and took many of the most onerous provisions out, but inserted another misguided and self-serving provision that would double not only the limit on maximum contributions to legislative and statewide candidates, but -- even worse -- double the amount of special interest money that can be collected by the four legislative campaign committees from $150,000 to $300,000 every two years. These committees are controlled by the four legislative leaders (Assembly Speaker and Assembly Minority Leader and the State Senate Majority and Minority Leaders).

CC/WI explains why this provision would be so detrimental to Wisconsin politics and state government in an opinion editorial that appeared last week in the Wisconsin State Journal, Kenosha News and Appleton Post Crescent.

Assembly Bill 225 is expected to come before the State Senate in the weeks or months ahead.

Finally, CC/WI is pushing anew for electioneering disclosure legislation -- which is desperately needed in Wisconsin so that voters know who is trying to influence their vote at election time through the tens of millions of dollars worth of non-candidate communications that choke our airwaves and mailboxes. Our opinion-editorial on this matter appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Heading into the second half of 2013, CC/WI will continue to focus on redistricting reform, electioneering disclosure and, of course, battle against further attempts to flood Wisconsin with more secret, special interest money and attempts to make it more difficult to vote.

And, as always, we count on your support for our work and for your active participation in this fragile American experiment called democracy -- which Benjamin Franklin once defined as: "two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." As protectors of the lamb, we have to fight all the harder.

Happy 4th of July!

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


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