• GREAT investigation and article. Thank you!

    Have any Wisconsin legislators tried to close the Wisconsin disclosure loophole mentioned in this article? If so, what happened?

    I would love to see a comprehensive report showing voters the details of Wisconsin campaign finance reform efforts of the last 10 or 20 years, so we can all see exactly what our Governors and State Legislators have been doing about the blatant election corruption that nearly everyone acknowledges now.

    We need to know the names and deeds of Legislators and Governors who are champions of reform (if there are any), as well as those leading efforts to block reform.

    We also need a clear and simple table listing Legislators’ and Governors’ voting records on reform over the past 10-20 years. Has anyone compiled a career-long scorecard for Legislators currently serving?

    Have any Legislators “promised the Moon” and done nothing?

    Is there a pattern of particular campaign contributions being linked with particular votes or actions regarding campaign reform?

    What are the official party platforms on campaign finance reform … for Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, etc.? What do their websites say?

    What do prominent non-Party political organizations say about reform? (…. Governor’s Association, Counties Association, League of Municipalities, etc.) What do local and county governments say or do?

    Do any individual Legislator websites have interesting comments about campaign reform?

    Are there any functioning democracies anywhere in the world where private money is kept out of the election process, or nearly so? How do they do it? How did they get there? Could their rules work here? (… assuming we could convince the U.S. Supreme Court.)

    It would also be very helpful to know which non-governmental, non-party Wisconsin groups are promoting campaign finance reform. Have they made any difference? Do they work well together, or not? (If not, why? Can this be fixed? Is anyone trying?) Which are the most powerful or effective? How big are they? Are any of the groups bogus, a waste of money, or counter-productive? Who supports them? Where does their money come from? What obstacles do they face?

    I’d also love to know the same things about private NGO’s working AGAINST campaign finance reform. For example, are labor unions just as bad as the Chamber of Commerce on this score? (I’ve heard they are, but is it true?)

    I assume the news media in Wisconsin play a big role in whether reform efforts are successful. Are there any trends or patterns in how the news media cover this issue? For example, do companies that own TV stations suppress news coverage of reform efforts and lobby legislators against reform … because the massive growth in spending on TV campaign ads is so profitable? (Who’s getting rich from those ads?) Do similar profits affect radio or print media coverage?

    Have there been concerted, coordinated efforts from within the journalism community and/or the media industry to boost media coverage of campaign reform efforts? (This website certainly helps!) Have the efforts had any impact? Are journalists or other workers in the news media industry ever fired, penalized or stifled for promoting coverage of reform efforts? Are reader comment letters or opinion columns on reform ever stifled or blocked?

    Are there any important Wisconsin news sources owned by private interests known to use other means to block reform? (ie: lobbying, donations, membership in anti-reform organizations, etc.)

    What role have Wisconsin’s courts played? What are the track records of individual judges? Is there a pattern of judicial votes by political party affiliation? When campaign reform cases come before the courts, who are the groups involved in the cases, how much money did they spend on their legal involvement, and what was their position? (… pro or con reform?)

    I know that answering all these questions would require a massive amount of work, but you’d be doing our state a great service.

    Essentially, I’m requesting a concise, highly focused “MAP” to guide citizens and voters who want to take action and fix this corrupt system. We all need a quick, reliable guide to “Who’s Who.”

    Ordinary citizens can’t afford to waste their limited time, money and votes on hopeless, misdirected, ineffective, or counterproductive campaign reform efforts. Currently, too many Wisconsinites just surrender to the depressing corruption. They stop voting and try not to think about it … because this issue is so big and complicated that they don’t know where to start. They don’t realize how much power they have, especially if they worked together to fix this.

    If credible reports already exist for some or all of these issues, please tell us where we can access them! (If dishonest, inaccurate, or questionable reports are being distributed, it would be good to know about them, too.)

    If existing reports are scattered, inaccessible, huge, too complicated for laymen, and/or mixed with lots of unrelated data, it would be wonderful if you could pull all their relevant results together in one place, and add easy summary factsheets, charts and tables.

    Thank you again for your all your work, and for this excellent website!