Cloak Comes Off Pro-Falk Effort

Email date: 3/22/12

In this update:
1. Truth comes out about who’s funding “Wisconsin for Falk”
2. Federal court rules two Assembly districts violate Voting Rights Act
3. Poll shows most voters want Super PACs outlawed
4. Newspaper sides with WDC on need for IRS probe of politicking by “charities”

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Truth comes out about who’s funding “Wisconsin for Falk”
Citing information provided by the Democracy Campaign, Mother Jones magazine published a story that for the first time details where the money is coming from to bankroll a group that is running hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of TV ads boosting Democrat Kathleen Falk’s bid for governor. The group, called Wisconsin for Falk, is getting its funding from Wisconsin’s largest teachers union and one of the nation’s largest public employee unions.

Wisconsin for Falk is technically separate from and independent of Falk’s own campaign committee, which is called Friends of Kathleen Falk.

More information about Wisconsin for Falk is available in the Recall 2012 feature on the Democracy Campaign’s website. In addition, WDC today added about 14,000 new records of campaign contributions to our searchable online database, including donations through January 17, 2012 to officials targeted for recall and through December 31, 2011 for other state officials and candidates.

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Federal court rules two Assembly districts violate Voting Rights Act
A panel of three federal judges today ruled that two Milwaukee-area state Assembly districts drawn last year by the Legislature violate the federal Voting Rights Act. The court ordered lawmakers to redraw the districts and barred state election authorities from putting the Republican-passed redistricting plan into effect until that happens. The ruling focused on the 8th and 9th Assembly districts on Milwaukee’s south side. All other districts were approved.

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Poll shows most voters want Super PACs outlawed
In Tuesday’s E-Lert, we noted that half of the $62 million raised by presidential Super PACs in 2011 came from the top 22 givers. Perhaps that helps explain why a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that seven in 10 voters believe Super PACs should be illegal.

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Newspaper sides with WDC on need for IRS probe of politicking by “charities”
On March 13 the Democracy Campaign asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate election-related activity by three tax-exempt groups whose work is supposed to be confined to charitable and educational purposes. On Tuesday, the Sheboygan Press added its editorial voice to WDC’s call for an IRS crackdown on political groups masquerading as charities to avoid having to disclose their sources of funding and to enable their donors to get tax deductions.

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