Some of the biggest campaign donations to state lawmakers came from people who can’t even vote for them.
A new report from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows almost two-thirds of contributions to lawmakers in 2009 came from donors outside of their legislative districts.
WDC Executive Director Mike McCabe says that, in some cases, those donors even gave to both candidates running for the same seat. He says they don’t care who wins, as long as they have some influence in state government.
The report shows lawmakers raised about $1.3 million in donations of $100 or more in 2009. Of those, 64-percent came from people living outside of a candidate’s legislative district. Similar numbers have been recorded in the past, although the overall dollar total was down last year because of an Assembly ban on fundraising during the state budget process.
McCabe says it only continues the perception that lawmakers serve special interests, and there needs to be a change in how campaigns are funded. He suggests the state consider a public financing system or create incentives for smaller local campaign donations to encourage constituents to get more involved.