Democracy Campaign to Launch Citizen Vigil at Capitol

Aim is to keep special interest ownership of government in spotlight

January 27, 2011

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today announced it will launch a Citizen Vigil for the Greater Good on days when the Legislature is in session to keep a constant spotlight on special interest influence over lawmaking at the Capitol and maintain ongoing pressure on legislators and the governor to approve a law creating full disclosure of the money used to pay for election advertising as well as other reforms.

An opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, February 10 at 10 a.m. in front of the bust of Fighting Bob La Follette on the east side of the Capitol’s first floor rotunda located at the foot of the grand staircase to the building’s second floor.

Volunteer citizens will then carry on the action beginning on the next session day on Tuesday, February 22 with the aim of continuing the vigil on every day the Legislature is scheduled to convene until the end of the last general floor period of the 2011-2012 session.

More information about the planned action is available here.

“Less than 1% of the population pays for all the election campaigning by Wisconsin politicians. Once elected, those politicians are hopelessly beholden to the narrow special interests that supply them with the money to run for office. Our elections, and by extension our government, are owned by that fraction of 1% of the people,” WDC director Mike McCabe said. “We will be standing vigil to continuously call attention to that fact and to bear witness to the need for a government that works for all of us, not less than 1% of us.”

The vigil also will serve as an extension of the ongoing protest of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allowing corporations and other interest groups to spend as much as they want on elections. After the decision came down, the Democracy Campaign worked with other groups to organize a demonstration at the Capitol and march to the nearby federal courthouse. WDC also formed United Citizens Against Citizens United to carry on a petition drive and other actions.