Republican Senator Ron Johnson's unsuccessful threat to prevent gun regulation legislation from being considered in the U.S. Senate this week shouldn't be much of a surprise.
The National Rifle Association despises gun regulation of any kind and Johnson had over a million reasons to side with the group to kill the gun registration bill, which ended up receiving overwhelming bipartisan approval from his colleagues.
Turns out the NRA reported spending more than any other outside special interest group to support Johnson's 2010 election victory over incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold.
Four dozen SuperPACs and nonprofit groups representing the Democratic and Republican parties and an array of powerful special interests reported spending $4.7 million in the Johnson-Feingold contest. The NRA was Johnson's biggest benefactor and also spent more than any other outside group on the list - $1.18 million - or 25 percent of the total.
- Let The People Decide
Money Out, Voters In Wisconsin Coalition asks legislators to let the people decide
The 2012 elections were the most expensive in our nation’s history, but citizens through grassroots action are rising up to say no to the big money special interests drowning out the voices of regular people. Already, 11 states and more than 400 communities around the country have gone on record calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and allow limits on election spending by billionaires and corporations.
The Money Out, Voters In Wisconsin coalition is focused on getting big money out of our elections and making sure all citizens can express their views in our democracy on a level playing field. We are coming together to call on the Wisconsin Legislature to place an advisory referendum about Citizens United on the ballot for the next statewide election. To support this, we are launching a petition drive to demonstrate the public’s support for this action.
On an issue this big, the people of Wisconsin deserve a chance to weigh in.
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is a homegrown network of citizens fighting government corruption and working for fair elections, judicial integrity, media democracy, and open and transparent government. The Democracy Campaign pursues these objectives through research, citizen education, community outreach, coalition building and direct advocacy.
WDC was founded in 1995 as a nonprofit, independent coalition of individuals and groups responding to the growing dominance of special interest money in the campaigns of state lawmakers.
Special interests that favor new mining rules hold $610 to $1 contribution advantage
January 28, 2013
Madison – Special interests that back loosening mining regulations for a Florida company that wants to dig an open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin have contributed $15.6 million to the Republican-controlled legislature and GOP Governor Scott Walker who are likely to approve mining permit changes in the coming months.
The Democracy Campaign review also found the campaign contributions made by mining deregulation interests swamped those of mining deregulation opponents – environmental groups – by a ratio of $610 to $1. Environmental groups which oppose the Republican mining proposal introduced in mid-January contributed only $25,544 to legislators between 2010 and June 2012 and to the governor between 2010 and April 23, 2012.
Support for a nearly identical GOP proposal last session to reduce groundwater, wetland, waste rock disposal and other environment laws for iron ore mining and impose deadlines on the state to review mine proposals so companies can get permits faster was led by manufacturing, construction, business, banking, transportation and four other special interests, according to state lobbying records.
Ask any Capitol watcher what tops the agenda for the 2013-2014 legislative session, and it doesn't take long for mining to come up. A mining bill is coming any day nowand is expected to be acted on early in the session.
The question is whether the bill has any hope of actually producing a mine.
Discussion of mining legislation centers around a proposed iron ore mine in the Penokee-Gogebic Range in the northern part of the state. The project has more than its share of doubters. Experts question its economic feasibility, pointing out that the ore is relatively low-grade not to mention deeply buried and hard to reach, quite possibly making the mine cost prohibitive.