Wait ’Til September

Elections Board buys time on issue ad disclosure rule

May 19, 2004

The state Elections Board today delayed action on a rule proposed by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign requiring full disclosure of phony issue ads sponsored by special interest groups and banning the unlimited and anonymous "soft money" donations that pay for them.

Clearly uncomfortable with the idea of putting new rules in place for the 2004 elections, the Board put off consideration of the proposed rule until its September 1 meeting.

Board chairman Shane Falk and the state Supreme Court chief justice’s designee on the board, Gordon Myse, pushed for adoption of the rule but two Democratic appointees who had voted no fewer than three times to proceed with rulemaking got cold feet.

Carl Holborn of Milwaukee, who represents Assembly Democratic Leader Jim Kreuser, and Martha Love of Milwaukee, who represents the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, refused to support immediate action. Both had voted in January to start the rulemaking process and, after seeing the proposed rule, voted twice more in March to move toward adoption of the rule. When faced with a vote today on final adoption, however, Holborn and Love asked for more time.