It’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for Rebecca Blank, incoming chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As the dust settles on the epic battles over collective bargaining for public workers in Wisconsin, two new major works aim to put these events into perspective.
During the past two years, money has played an unprecedented role in Wisconsin politics.
Anybody with Internet access can do it.
Published: March 22, 2013
Tags: Bill Lueders
For more than two decades, the rent-to-own industry, which leases such goods as televisions, appliances and furniture, has been fighting to free itself from certain provisions of Wisconsin law. Throughout, it has lubricated the gears of change with campaign donations and lobbying outlays.
The state’s roster of more than 500 lobbyists includes at least 16 former legislators.
About 12 hours into the Jan. 23 state legislative hearing on a proposed bill to revamp the state’s metallic mining laws, a citizen who’d waited all day gave some unwelcome testimony.
In Wisconsin, any paid representative of an interest group who spends more than a nominal amount of time trying to influence state law or policy must register with the state Government Accountability Board and submit twice-yearly accountings of lobbying activity.
State bureaucrats, it seems, are less than enthusiastic about the law requiring an annual report itemizing how much Wisconsin spends contracting out work to various service providers.
Scott Walker isn’t anybody’s idea of a champion of campaign finance reform. He was elected governor in 2010 after outspending the competition in what was then the costliest statewide race in Wisconsin history, at $37.4 million. That record was shattered in this year’s recall election, when an estimated $81 million was spent, including $36 million by Walker’s own campaign.