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.
The rent-to-own industry seeks to get out from under the thumb of the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Of particular concern is the requirement that it disclose fees in terms of annual interest rate, which can run as high as 300 percent.
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.
Scott Walker isn’t anybody’s idea of a champion of campaign finance reform. But, in a recent interview, he touted donor transparency and called for ending the ability of recall targets to accept unlimited sums.
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.