Mass layoffs dominated the news this week in Wisconsin as Republican leaders called an extraordinary session focused on securing their own jobs in the next election. The session will be focused on a bill that will allow corporate funding of campaigns for the first time in Wisconsin history and a second bill that will replace the nonpartisan ethics and elections watchdog agency with two partisan boards.
“Wisconsin residents want our leaders to focus on job creation and building strong communities and the only thing Wisconsin Republicans are focused on is making sure they can have more campaign cash,” said Martha Laning, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Our roads are crumbling, businesses are closing and shifting jobs to other Midwestern states and our education system needs more resources to train workers for new jobs, but Republicans are proving today that they only care about protecting their own jobs.”
The State Senate will take up a bill to rewrite Wisconsin campaign finance laws today, but Republican leaders have not disclosed all of the changes they want to make to the bill passed by the State Assembly. Senate Republicans met outside of the Capitol to discuss changes to the bill.
“Republicans met in secret outside of the Capitol so they could hide the changes from the press and the public until they came to the floor today because they know the public does not support this,” said Laning. “We are going to need a new phrase for this legislature because backrooms deals in the Capitol aren’t even secret enough for them.”
The Senate is also expected to pass a bill today dismantling the Government Accountability Board despite calls from newspapers around the state to keep the nonpartisan ethics and elections agency.
“Citizens and newspapers across Wisconsin have called on the legislature to stop this brazen attack on fairness and transparency, but they are ignoring it to make sure they can have more campaign cash. No one is asking for more dark money and campaign spending in our state and it’s time for our leaders to listen,” concluded Laning.