Donations to special interest groups in Wisconsin are breaking records this election year.
A Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis found that over $3.2 million has been donated to so-called 527 groups this election cycle. Executive Director Mike McCabe suspects the real total is much higher, because the analysis only provides a partial accounting of what those groups are receiving.
McCabe says actual figures are hard to determine because 527s aren't subject to the same contribution limits and disclosure requirements that regular campaigns face. As a result, McCabe says there are no campaign finance reports to look at and see who all is donating to the groups and how much they're giving.
McCabe says many of those groups are using that money for negative campaigning.
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has long pushed for stricter controls on special interest group contributions and spending, so the public is isn't left in the dark. He says forcing them to disclose who is donating could help to reduce the negative attacks that are currently assaulting Wisconsin residents.
Four of the top five groups receiving contributions have Democratic leaning messages.