Issue ad disclosure legislation has passed the state Senate. Middleton Democrat Jon Erpenbach concedes it's not comprehensive campaign finance reform, but insists his bill is a big step forward. "You're getting illegal money out of campaigns, you're making people disclose, when they start running political . . commercials, and that's big," says Erpenbach. The legislation would make groups register with the state, and disclose the source of funding for so called "issue ads" that name specific candidates within sixty days of an election. The measure passed the Senate on a 27-to-7 vote and now moves to the Assembly. Erpenbach is guardedly optimistic of chances there. Opponents like Wisconsin Right to Life have claimed it's a limit on their right of free speech. "That's just wrong, and they know that," says Erpenbach of that argument.
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