WDC Urges Governor to Call Special Session on Campaign Finance Reform

An open letter to the Governor

March 13, 2002

Governor Scott McCallum
115 East, State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702

Dear Governor McCallum:

You said in your recent address to the legislature that the state of our state reflects the will of the people of Wisconsin. In at least one very important respect, that is not true.

The state of Wisconsin politics is corrupt. That does not reflect the will of the people. The Capitol is awash in political scandal serious enough to warrant criminal investigations. Wisconsin’s reputation for clean and open government is being tarnished daily by the incessant shakedowns of wealthy interests for campaign donations. The sale of public policy to the highest special interest bidder most certainly does not reflect the will of the people of Wisconsin.

In an advisory referendum held in every corner of our state, 90% of voters said loud and clear that they want campaign finance reforms that limit campaign spending, restrict political contributions and require full and prompt disclosure of all election-related activities. The will of the people of Wisconsin is crystal clear, but is being ignored by our state’s top political leaders.

Both houses have passed campaign finance reform legislation, but legislative leaders have refused to convene a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate-passed SB 104 and the Assembly-approved AB 843. They have hidden behind parliamentary procedure to prevent the final negotiations that could yield the first meaningful campaign reform in a generation. This obstructionism does not reflect the will of the people.

Legislative leaders also are refusing to convene an extended session of the legislature to complete the work that remains to be done on campaign finance reform legislation. While current office holders are raising money for their campaigns at a record clip, the people’s business is not being done.

We call on you to exercise your authority as governor - and carry out your responsibility as an elected steward of Wisconsin’s once pristine political process - and call the legislature into special session to enact comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation.

Sincerely,

Mike McCabe

Executive Director