Governor Jim Doyle has called a special session on ethics reform that puts the issue on the fast track. And that's encouraging to longtime reform advocate Mike McCabe with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign . "That's something that he wasn't willing to do in his first term, and the legislature wasn't willing to act," notes McCabe.
All that changed in the wake of the November elections, with Doyle and legislative leaders in Madison agreeing to a compromise comprehensive ethics reform package which will combine the state's ethics and elections boards into a new, independent board with the power and funding to pursue investigations — if enough legislators can be convinced and if Doyle signs the finished product. "I'll celebrate that victory when I see the ink dry on the signed legislation," says McCabe.
If the pieces fall into place, that could be as soon as the end of this month. Much is riding on this for new Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch and Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson. " They 've got a lot of reasons to make sure that the wheels don't come off," McCabe says.