Freshman lawmakers in the state Assembly want to limit special interest issue ads. The nine newest Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly have introduced a bill that would restrict so-called issue ads that target candidates for statewide office.
State Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine), one of the sponsors, says the bill would prevent groups from airing political ads within 60 days of an election if they aren't registered as a political group with the state. Mason says this would force groups to disclose who is funding their activities. Such groups currently avoid reporting requirements because their ads don't endorse a specific candidate.
State Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) says the often negative ads distort the facts and mislead voters. He says candidates can choose to ignore the ads, but the public may have a hard time distinguishing between serious political messages and attack ads. The Oshkosh Democrat says the ads have no place in Wisconsin's political system.
Similar legislation has already been introduced in the state Senate.