Watch out when Republicans or their lobbyists say “they’re only ‘clarifying’ existing law.”
Mike Wittenwyler, a lawyer who advises lobbyists and campaign groups, said the bills simply clarify existing law or make it more fair.
That’s called changing law…rewriting it so to speak.
The leader of the state Senate Scott Fitzgerald and Sen. Mary Lazich wants to rewrite campaign finance law to allow lobbyists to hand off their clients' campaign checks to lawmakers and other elected officials during the legislative session.
What could wrong under a system like that? Rugged freedom loving individuals, you know…conservative voters, see nothing wrong with turning their elections over to corporate lobbyists. This fiercely independent group of citizens will vote for whoever their party chooses to “lead” them.
Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign wrote: “A sudden, surprise attack on the ability of Wisconsin citizens to know who is trying to influence their vote at election time was launched without notice yesterday. Senate Bill 654 would take Wisconsin in exactly the opposite direction that the rest of the nation is headed in the wake of the 2010 Citizens United vs. F.E.C. decision.
All other states are headed toward more disclosure of outside money. Eight of nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United decision urged Congress and the States to enact stronger disclosure laws. Senate Bill 654 would cause less disclosure … and much more dark money in Wisconsin.
Is there a single Wisconsin citizen outside of the Capitol who has ever said we need more campaign contributions from lobbyists in our elections? Does anyone seriously believe we need lobbyists influencing public policy with campaign contributions more than they already do? With this secretive, sudden maneuver, Senators Lazich and Fitzgerald are hoping not many Wisconsinites will notice…”