Gavel Grab

Update: Ethics Reform in Wisconsin

Gavel Grab article earlier today described a new ethics questionnaire being sent to legislative candidates in Wisconsin. Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, one of three sponsoring organizations, sent us this additional insight:

The failure of the Wisconsin Legislature to enact any campaign finance reform during the 2007-2008 legislative session should be a significant campaign issue this Fall because of the very highly visible State Supreme Court election that will occur in April 2009. At that time, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, appointed to the court by then-Governor Patrick Lucey in 1976, will run for a fourth full ten-year term.

If WMC (Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce) spends heavily in that race to defeat the Chief Justice, as many expect will happen, then the possibility of a $10 million election — even nastier and more negative than the Gabelman-Butler election earlier this year and the Ziegler-Clifford race in 2007 — is easily possible. The election will occur during the first months of the new, 2009 legislative session and so ignoring campaign finance reform would be impossible.

To help elevate the issue of reform this election season, Common Cause in Wisconsin has once again collaborated with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign to produce and send out to every state legislative candidate this year a questionnaire on judicial and other campaign finance and redistricting reform issues.

Here is the questionnaire. And here is an article in this past Sunday’s Appleton Post-Cresent in which Common Cause in Wisconsin explains why the questionnaire should be difficult for canidates to ignore: “Election Weekly: Who’s who and what’s what in the campaigns.”

 Editor’s note: Also see a comment from Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

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  1. […] to state their position on campaign financing and other ethics reforms. You can read more in this earlier Gavel Grab posting.  Email This […]

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