Publicly financed political campaigns will be the subject of legislation again next year. Governor Jim Doyle on has pretty much rejected the idea of public financing as part of campaign finance reform in Wisconsin, but that won't stop a couple of Democrats from reintroducing a bill doing just that. Representative Mark Pocan says Maine and Arizona already have publicly financed campaigns, and Wisconsin could as well. Price tag? "It comes to about ten million dollars a year, if every single race was challenged . . . our guess is it's more like five or six million a year."
Pocan says he and Senator Fred Risser , both of Madison, will again propose establishment of a Clean Elections Fund, to provide 100 percent public financing, for campaigns for legislative and executive offices. "Anyone who wants to help you in your campaign can give you a $5 contribution, that's the maximum you can take," says Pocan. "That means the largest business or your immediate neighbor both have the same influence at five dollars. That means yiu get good government, because you respond to your constituents, and not the special interests."
A similar bill from the Madison Democrats failed to advance last session.