GAB: threatened with overhaul, praised by advocates

State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, incoming Majority Leader, has been suggesting that the Government Accountability Board should be governed by partisan appointees, rather than the six retired judges who now do the job. “I just don’t think they’re an independent voice at all,” the Republican from Juneau told the Associated Press.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Walker’s success was statewide and deep

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. In retrospect, the effort by state Democrats to unseat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election by running Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the same candidate who lost to him in November 2010, might fit this bill.