April 23, 2014

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign takes funding hit

A political watchdog group  has taken a funding hit. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe says the Joyce Foundation has withdrawn its annual support for his organization – a loss of $232,500. “We’ve gotten grant funding from the Joyce Foundation for 16 years, so this was a longstanding partnership,” said McCabe. “It amounted to over half our income.”

Tracking financial contributions to Wisconsin politicians, and making that information available to the public through a searchable database, is a key component of the Democracy Campaign’s mission – and the Joyce Foundation funding has paid for that. “Money tracking is more important than ever, with the Citizens United decision, the rise of “dark money” and unlimited election spending,” said McCabe.

“We’re blessed with the fact that we’re not in immediate crisis. We have some time to figure this out,” said McCabe. “But we still have a hole of more than $200,000 that has been blown in our budget, and we’ve to figure out a way to fill that, or rescale the operation accordingly.”

“The deliberations and decisions by the Joyce Foundation’s board are private, and we cannot comment on them, but we are proud of the work we are funding in Wisconsin on a series of issues, including working with our partners to build a stronger, healthier democracy in the state,” said a spokeswoman for the Joyce Foundation.