MADISON, Wis. — A bill written by State Senator Glenn Grothman, and sponsored exclusively by Republican state legislators, to roll back campaign finance disclosure requirements was given a public hearing today in the Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross denounced the latest attacks by the GOP on open and transparent elections in Wisconsin.
“From their unconstitutional attempts to put additional barriers to voters exercising the franchise to rigging the makeup of the state legislative districts, time and again Republicans have manipulated the rules to try to gain a partisan political advantage for themselves. Now, with this bill, they’re trying to hide information about the big money that underwrites their campaigns from voters,” commented Ross.
Senate Bill 282 would quadruple the contribution threshold at which donors to political candidates must disclose information about their employer for inclusion on candidate filed finance reports from the current law $100 to $500.
Earlier this year, using information on donors’ employers disclosed under current law, a One Wisconsin Now analysis revealed employees of companies receiving nearly $30 million from Gov. Scott Walker’s privatized and failing Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation donated $400,000 to Walker’s campaign since 2010, and these companies have donated an additional $200,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which has spent in excess of $14 million to support Walker.
Ross also noted that One Wisconsin Now has filed a complaint with state election regulators at the Government Accountability Board over Gov. Scott Walker’s most recent campaign finance filing that failed to disclose employment information, as required by state law, for 240 large contributions. Going back to 2009, when Walker began his run for Governor in earnest, his reports have failed to disclose legally required employer information for 7,512 big money donors giving over $100 totaling $2,330,197.98 in contributions.
He concluded, “If they didn’t have something to hide, why are they trying to change the law?”