Two Wisconsin newspapers published front-page stories this week about the state's recall elections, suggesting that both Democrats and Republicans are evenly matched financially, and have even received the same level of support from out-of-state donors. But what is the real story?
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) not only allows corporations and special interests to hand state legislators "model bills," but also provides a vehicle for ALEC's corporate members to buy influence with legislators through gifts of flights, hotel rooms, and other perks denominated as "ALEC scholarships," according to information obtained through open records requests.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has received at least $1.3 million in recall campaign contributions from donors who attended secretive right-wing fundraisers organized by Charles and David Koch, a Center for Media and Democracy analysis shows.
A guest post by Greg Colvin, a partner at the firm Adler & Colvin, originally published at OurFuture.org.
No doubt about it, large unlimited donations are flowing into SuperPACs from rich individuals and corporations aimed at influencing who is elected at all levels of government in 2012. With the SuperPACs and other forms of political committees regulated by the federal and state election agencies, or by the IRS under section 527, at least we know who the donors are.
Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, but not before word of the "SubGate" scandal rocketed around the state. Romney spent much of the week campaigning with Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, but in a "get out the vote" effort on Primary Day, Romney and Ryan were videotaped handing out free sandwiches to voters at a Cousins Subs shop in an apparent violation of Wisconsin law.
At the campaign stop Romney said: "I want to thank you for voting. Get your friends to go vote, get your friends to go with you, that's how you can legally vote multiple times. So bring your friends to the polling place, get out and vote, and if you want another sandwich, there are more back there."
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum believes that the only reason a person does not have a government-issued photo ID is because they "want to continue to perpetrate fraud," according to statements he made in Wisconsin last month. Approximately 5 million "perpetrators" nationally do not have photo ID, with around 220,000 in Wisconsin.
A federal judge has struck down key provisions of Act 10 -- Governor Scott Walker's controversial legislation limiting collective bargaining -- on grounds that the arbitrary, possibly politically-motivated distinction between "public safety" and other public employees violated equal protection and First Amendment rights.
Federal authorities are investigating two Wisconsin nonprofits associated with Wisconsin political veteran Mark Block, former campaign manager for presidential candidate Herman Cain and former director of the state chapter of the Koch-founded-and-funded Americans for Prosperity. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a letter with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting such an investigation last November.
Today, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) will take formal action to schedule the first recall election of a sitting U.S. governor in more than a decade. Since the recall effort began in November of 2011, conservative media outlets have been alleging massive fraud, but now that the GAB has gone through extraordinary effort and expense to certify the recall and count the petitions, what is the status of the fraud allegations?
The GAB will announce that volunteers collected over 900,000 signatures to trigger the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker -- the highest number of signatures calling for the removal of a siting governor, per capita, in U.S. history. Only 540,000 signatures were required. The GAB will also certify the recall of Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, with over 800,000 signatures. The recalls are anticipated to be scheduled for June 5.
-- By Greg Colvin, originally published on OurFuture.org
Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case two years ago, saying that the Constitution gives corporations the right to spend without limit to influence American elections, people have been asking "how can we amend the Constitution to put this right?"