Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Statement on Assembly Fundraising Ban During the State Budget Process

February 4, 2009

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign applauds state Assembly leaders who approved a rule today to ban campaign fundraising by members of the Assembly during the upcoming state budget process.

While a modest step toward campaign finance reform, it is a very meaningful budget reform long sought by the Democracy Campaign to prevent consideration of the state budget from being needlessly prolonged in order to raise special interest campaign cash.

During the last state budget, which was approved four months late, legislators held more than 100 fundraisers between the time the budget was introduced and finally approved eight months later.

The action today by the Assembly is a positive first step toward more comprehensive campaign finance reforms that the Democracy Campaign hopes the legislature will take up in the next few months. Among these are proposals to reform state Supreme Court elections, require full disclosure of special interest electioneering, and overhaul Wisconsin’s broken public financing system for all state offices. The Democracy Campaign also supports and will continue to work for enactment of a state law banning campaign fundraising by all parties involved in the state budget process, including the Senate and the governor.