Gallery: Voters speak out on money in politics

Most. Expensive. Elections. Ever. So did all the money spent on TV ads, mailers, robocalls, live calls and so forth make an impression? Change anyone’s mind? Make people more likely to vote — or less? Here’s a gallery of what voters at polls around Madison told Center staffers today about the role of money in politics. Continue Reading

Cash from Wisconsin rocked Pennsylvania governor’s race

At a campaign stop near Philadelphia early in his 2010 bid for governor, Republican Tom Corbett announced, “We’ve got to raise money,” calling this his campaign’s “No. 1” priority. That same July day, a $1.5 million contribution arrived — from Wisconsin. Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, calls this well-traveled donation a prime example of “an elaborate money-laundering scheme” used by the RGA with success in a number of races for governor in 2010 — one that is legal. Continue Reading

Room to the right

When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate, the national spotlight aimed at Ryan’s conservative credentials. In this story, we check on Ryan’s report cards from national interest groups and compare his campaign contributions to his voting record. Continue Reading

State parties differ sharply on campaign finance

A Colby College political science professor once called political party platforms “the most important document(s) that a political party produces” but also “worthless pieces of paper,” because so few voters know what they contain. That’s unfortunate, because they are the product of much deliberative thinking, and do in fact shape how politicians behave. Continue Reading