What McCabe wants to build is not a third party, which he jokes is a lock to come in third. His concept, similar to progressive movements in the past and the tea party movement of recent years, is to create a “first party” — one that demands change from within the existing political structure.
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.
Given that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters have so stridently affirmed their right to coordinate campaign activities with groups engaged solely in “issue advocacy,” will they be doing so in the upcoming fall election?
The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in Washington, D.C., has just published an article on alleged coordination between political campaigns and outside groups that cites Wisconsin as a prime example. Among its findings: The collaboration Gov. Scott Walker is accused of would “barely raise an eyebrow” in some states.
“No one outside of the Capitol Square in Madison has been clamoring for increasing the ability of lobbyists to make campaign contributions to legislators,” declared Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin.
A lot of folks — perhaps too many — are spouting off about the John Doe probe launched by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office into the campaign of Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and more than two dozen conservative groups, among others.
Grothman’s bill would raise the threshold for when donors to state and local campaigns must disclose their occupations and eliminate the requirement that the donor’s principal place of employment be disclosed.
Some GOP lawmakers oppose expanding the voucher program; others tie their support for the budget to its inclusion. Among the latter is state Sen. Rick Gudex, R-Fond du Lac, who won a tight race last fall. The Federation for Children told the state it spent $145,000 on the race; it told supporters it spent $325,000.
Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin decries the “revolving door” between lawmaking and lobbying: “It feeds a public perception that legislators, at least some of them, are legislators so they can cash in on the contacts they make.”
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported that mining bill proponents have given more than $15 million since 2010 to Scott Walker, who was elected governor that year, and to current members of the state Legislature. Meanwhile, only about $25,000 has flowed from environmental groups registered against the bill.