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.
“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. Continue Reading
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has drawn flak lately over his refusal to grant pardons. But, it turns out, his administration does believe in second chances. Continue Reading
In some newsrooms, reporters and editors fondly welcome odd-numbered years.
That’s because these are election-lite: No races for president, governor, attorney general or the state Legislature. No glut of partisan candidates trying to open new orifices in each other’s anatomies. Hooray.
But in covering a beat like money and politics, there is no break in the action. A glance back through a year’s worth of weekly columns confirms it. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
Gov. Scott Walker’s new book, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge,” has been faulted for what it omits. Attention is also due to what it delivers: a vast portal into the mindset of Wisconsin’s most controversial politician. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
Burke’s slick three-minute video announcing her candidacy never mentions Walker, her school board position, or the fact that she’s running as a Democrat. Continue Reading
Wisconsin’s last redistricting, after the 2010 Census, was done in secret and cost taxpayers more than $2 million. Ruling Republicans strategically carved districts to maximize their electoral prospects, much as Democrats would had done had they been able. Continue Reading
Julseth’s job is tracking the vast sums flowing into the state’s political system — date by date, donor by donor, dollar by dollar.
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.
Newly released numbers show that lobbying in Wisconsin during the tumultuous 2011-12 legislative session totaled $62.9 million — not exactly chump change, but lower than the session before. Continue Reading