Friday, January 27, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

John Doe Decision "Opens the Money Floodgates"

Play

Tuesday, July 21, 2015   

MADISON, Wis. – The 4-to-3 ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to end the 2012 John Doe probe into Governor Scott Walker's recall election campaign financing will open the doors to secret outside money in Wisconsin elections, says Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin.

Heck says the court's decision effectively renders contribution limits "meaningless" in the state, and will allow outside groups to influence elections.

"We have currently spending limits of $10,000 on the amount of contribution you can give to a gubernatorial campaign, and $1,000 to a state Senate campaign," he says. "Those are meaningless now if your campaign can coordinate with outside groups who have no limits on the amount of money they can spend."

Supporters of the decision say the John Doe probe was politically motivated, and note that in the three years the case has been active, no arrests have been made. The prosecutors who initiated the probe – from both political parties – alleged that Walker's recall election team broke state election laws by working in concert with outside dark money groups to coordinate campaign spending.

Heck says four of the seven justices of the court were beneficiaries of dark money spent on their behalf during their election campaigns by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Both of those organizations were sources of funds at the core of the John Doe probe. Heck calls the decision to end the probe into campaign money coordination "unprecedented."

"That hasn't been permitted by any federal court or state court in the country," he says. "This is the first time this has happened, and it's something that needs to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Obviously we'll look into the possibilities of that happening."

Because the investigation has been halted, Heck says Wisconsinites and the rest of the nation will never know if Governor Walker and his campaign engaged in unlawful activity. He says the ruling means outside election money will flow into the Badger State.

"We probably are now going to see an even greater flood of secret outside money coming into Wisconsin," he says. "Undermining our elections, corrupting our public officials and seizing control of our state government."


get more stories like this via email

New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021