March 26, 2005
Many forms of reform
By Jason Haas
It is no longer necessary to speculate if Wisconsin still has clean government. The caucus scandal showed how deeply the obsession with fundraising and the accompanying abuse of power has infected the Legislature.
Things have continued to worsen despite this. While the 2004 state legislative campaigns saw previous record spending levels shattered, the 2006 races will be even more money-soaked, sold to the highest bidder.
Given the state Legislature's keen interest in raising money, it comes as little surprise that the state Senate rejected another campaign finance reform bill recently. While bill cosponsor Senator Mike Ellis has vowed to reintroduce the bill, special interest and corporate cash continues to flow into the pockets of the governor and the Legislature.
This bodes poorly for the future of our state Legislature. While the 2004 election cycle saw a record amount of money pour in, the 2006 races promise to shatter those records as well. Needless to say, candidates who are flush with cash thanks to the current system are unlikely to support campaign finance reform.
Keep pressure on your representatives to vote for campaign finance reform. Without hearing our demand for reform, the system is very unlikely to change.
(Jason Haas maintains The Dyskeptic Web log.)
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