Questionnaire for Fall 2006 Government Ethics Voter Guide

Posted: July 12, 2006
Updated: July 17, 2006

Logo: League of Women VotersLogo: Common Cause in WisconsinLogo: Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

July 12, 2006

RE: Questionnaire for Fall 2006 Government Ethics Voter Guide

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

Congratulations on your commitment to run for Wisconsin [office]. It is our mission to help citizens be informed participants in government. In particular, we want them to know your commitment to ensuring that government is representative and responsive to the public.

Our Fall 2006 Government Ethics Voter Guide will be posted on our websites and shared with our respected memberships, the news media and the general public. In addition, the information will be included with the League of Women Voters state voter guide, which will be sent to local Leagues throughout Wisconsin . Some local Leagues invite their local newspaper editors to publish candidates’ responses.

Please assist us by providing answers to the enclosed questionnaire on or before Monday, July 24, 2006 . Responses received after the deadline will not be accepted. To help us offer fair, useful and timely information for voters, please follow these guidelines:

1. FORMAT AND TRANSMITTAL: We strongly encourage you to submit your answers via electronic mail to lwvwisconsin@lwvwi.org. If necessary, you may submit a hard copy of your responses by U.S. mail to the above address or fax it to 608/256-1761. Return the completed questionnaire by Monday, July 24, 2006 .

2. "NO REPLY": Candidates who do not respond will have "did not respond" listed after their names. Responses received after the deadline will be treated the same way. If you state that it is your policy not to answer questionnaires that will be noted in the guide.

3. POSITION PAPERS/BIOs: You should provide a "yes" or "no" answer to each of the specific questions on the enclosed questionnaire. In addition, you may attach position papers or longer biographical sketches, although these may or may not appear with your answers in publication. Responses of 100 words or less will be considered for the League of Women Voters state voter guide.

4. PHOTOS FOR PUBLICATION: You are encouraged to send a head-shot photo in electronic format. Please do so by the July 24 deadline.

If you have any questions, please call the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin office at 608/256-0827. Thank you in advance for helping to educate the residents of Wisconsin as they exercise their right to vote.

Sincerely,

Signature

Melanie Ramey, President

Logo: League of Women VotersLogo: Common Cause in WisconsinLogo: Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Fall 2006 Government Ethics Voter Guide Questionnaire

1. YES OR NO: Do you support and would you vote for bipartisan legislation (similar to 2005-2006 Senate Bill 1) to strengthen enforcement of Wisconsin’s ethics code and campaign finance laws by replacing the current State Elections and State Ethics Boards with a nonpartisan and politically independent Government Accountability Board with an enforcement division with the authority and resources to investigate and prosecute violations of state elections, ethics, campaign finance and lobbying laws and regulations?

2. YES OR NO: Do you support and would you vote for bipartisan, comprehensive campaign finance reform that would reduce special interest influence and the cost of campaigning by setting new voluntary campaign spending limits as a threshold condition for receiving public financing grants equal to at least 35 to 45 percent of the legally established spending limits for the offices they seek as well as:

  • Provide supplemental public grants to candidates who are the targets of outside interest group spending and/or are opposed by candidates who do not agree to limit their spending and exceed the spending limit;
  • Require increased disclosure and regulation of so-called "issue advocacy" by interest groups or individuals;
  • Prohibit campaign fundraising during the state budget process and ban contributions by anyone bidding for a state contract;
  • Eliminate leadership-controlled legislative campaign committees;
  • Limit out-of-state special interest money;
  • Ban the pooling of special interest political action committee money to create so-called "SuperPACs"?

3. YES OR NO: Do you support and would you vote for bipartisan legislation mirroring the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Law of 2002 (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) requiring the complete disclosure of the source of funding for so-called "issue ads" and requiring that the funds for such ads comply with campaign contribution limits in Wisconsin law? (This would limit individual donations and prohibit the use of money from the general treasuries of corporations, labor unions and Native American tribes to pay for such electioneering.)

4. YES OR NO: Do you support and would you vote for legislative measures making electoral competitiveness a legal or constitutional standard that must be applied by the Legislature and the courts in establishing state legislative and congressional district boundaries?

5. YES OR NO: Do you support and would you vote for legislative measures establishing an independent commission or authority to handle the task of redrawing legislative and congressional districts after each census beginning in 2011?

6. YES OR NO: Do you support and would you vote for legislation to tighten Wisconsin’s "revolving door" policy by requiring at least a one-year "cooling off" period before former legislators, top legislative aides and key executive branch officials can become registered lobbyists and prohibiting persons convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor committed in their former capacity as a legislator, legislative aide or key executive branch official from becoming registered lobbyists?

7. LIMIT - 100 WORDS: What are your particular priorities for your term in office and what are your specific qualifications to effectively address those issues?