The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C., is collecting the ad buy filings and posting them online, in a tool it calls Political Ad Sleuth.
Among advocates for open government, it is often said that public officials should not get kudos for doing the minimum. If the law requires a certain degree of openness and the authorities oblige, they might avoid a kick in the shin but won’t likely get a pat on the back. That may be the operative theory behind the “D” rating awarded the Wisconsin Legislature in a new 50-state ranking of legislative websites produced by the Sunlight Foundation, a national nonprofit group that promotes government transparency.
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.