A longtime proponent of campaign finance reform says a recent rule change in the Assembly does more harm than good.
Assembly leadership this week approved a rule that ban campaign fundraising during budget negotiations. The move has been applauded by campaign finance reform groups, but state Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) says it has no teeth and it doesn't keep the special interest groups out long enough.
Ellis says it also has a huge loophole in that it allows legislative campaign committees to continue fundraising. He says that gives leadership more control over individual members. Ellis argues that many lawmakers will have to rely on leadership for campaign cash, which forces them to stick with the party line if they want help.
Instead of a ban during the budget, Ellis hopes to introduce a bill soon that would ban fundraising until the end of the legislative session. It would also create new regulations for political issue ads.