Bipartisan Deal in Works to Double Political Donation Limits

Email date: 6/10/13

In this update:
1. Votes coming on legislative deal to allow bigger campaign donations
2. School voucher backers lean on friendly Arkansas research to justify policy
3. ALEC scheming to keep exchanges with Wisconsin lawmakers private

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Votes coming on legislative deal to allow bigger campaign donations
There’s at least one thing Wisconsin Republicans and Democrats can agree on.... The need for more money in politics. A state Assembly committee is set to vote at noon today on a bipartisan deal that substantially revises a controversial elections bill that received a public hearing last week. The amended proposal no longer attempts to put a voter ID law back in place, but it doubles Wisconsin’s limits on campaign contributions, allows corporate donations to political parties and the campaign committees run by legislative leaders, and gives lobbyists more opportunities to make campaign contributions.

News of the deal brokered by committee members from both parties broke over the weekend.

We’re hearing that after the committee votes today, the full Assembly will vote on it Wednesday. So if you want to let your state representative know how you feel about them doubling the limits on political donations, time is of the essence.

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Voucher backers lean on friendly Arkansas research to justify policy
Wisconsin’s 23-year-old school voucher program was supposed to boost the achievement of poor students by using public funds to enable them to attend a private or religious school. And it was supposed to make all schools better by creating competition in the educational system that would produce innovation. Test scores and other program evaluations over the years have not shown that the program has delivered on its promises.

Pro-voucher politicians have gamely tried to defend the program’s effectiveness, even going so far as to search far and wide to find friendly researchers to cast Wisconsin’s voucher scheme in a favorable light. Their search for research they can hang their hats on took them all the way to the University of Arkansas.

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ALEC scheming to keep exchanges with Wisconsin lawmakers private
The industry-funded bill mill and corporate dating service known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC for short, would prefer to operate under the radar as it seeks to influence state-level policymaking across the country. In Wisconsin, that means employing increasingly creative measures to steer clear of the state’s open records law.

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