Chapter 11 of the state statutes, governing campaign financing, clearly needs a rewrite. Court rulings have blown huge holes in the law, which dates to 1974. One lawyer called the result “a confusing mess.” But there is vast disagreement over what changes should be made.
Bradley is often described as a liberal, a term she avoids applying to herself, preferring such descriptors as “tough, fair and independent.” Daley has sent out tweets using the hashtag #tcot, which stands for “top conservatives on Twitter.”
Wisconsin’s 700-plus registered lobby groups reported spending $11.5 million seeking to influence state law and policy in the last half of 2014. That brought total lobbying expenditures for the two-year legislative session to $57.5 million.
During this roughly 13-month period, Walker raised a total of $24.5 million, compared to Burke’s $15.5 million. He received about $10.8 million from other states, or 44 percent of his total. Burke attracted $3.2 million in out-of-state donations, or 21 percent of her total.
A manifesto for a populist change aimed at a national audience, it focuses largely on Wisconsin, portrayed as a fetid swamp of corruption, where lobbyists and campaign donors provide the soundtrack to which policymakers dance.
Walker has raised nearly $4.6 million so far in 2014, or 55 percent of his total, from people who live in other states. That compares to Burke’s out-of-state total of $1.2 million, or 34 percent of her receipts this year.
Schultz, a Republican who is stepping down after 32 years in the Legislature, most as a state senator, is dumbfounded: “Who’d have ever thought you’d be at a Republican function and have to defend Abraham Lincoln?”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, asked if he thinks politicians including himself are as susceptible to the corrupting influence of money as the labor unions he bashes in his new book, has plenty to say — about the labor unions.
So far this legislative session, nearly 1,000 bills have been introduced in the GOP-controlled state Assembly and Senate, including some identical bills in both houses. As the first year of the two-year session draws to a close, about 100 bills have passed. Just over half of these have been signed into law; the rest await Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s approval or veto.
Today we’re continuing our new occasional podcast series with a conversation between the Center’s Kate Golden and freelancer Jake Harper, about his recently published piece showing that over the past decade, Wisconsin Supreme Court justices tended to favor clients whose attorneys had donated to their campaigns, and recused themselves from just 2 percent of cases involving attorney donors.
Justice Shirley Abrahamson was the top recipient of support from attorneys whose cases reached the Supreme Court, pulling in $188,650 over the past 11 years, a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism analysis shows. Overall, justices tended to rule in favor of clients whose attorneys contributed to the justices’ election campaigns.