Is there another ‘caucus scandal’ in the making at the Capitol? It’s been more than a decade since the scandal toppled leaders like Chuck Chvala and Scott Jensen, but Jay Heck with Common Cause believes a proposal to double the amount of special interest money the legislative campaign committees can collect every two years is a bad idea.
“The problem with it is that it gives the legislative leadership, which already has tremendous power, even more power and leverage over rank-and-file legislators,” said Heck.
While the amount of money, $250,000 – isn’t a lot in the big scheme of things, it all goes to leadership which can then dole it out, or not. “The leaders already control things like who can be on what committee,” said Heck. “If they’re controlling all the money that’s involved in these campaigns, then it becomes a case where the leaders have almost absolute control.
Heck said that money could be withheld from members of either party, if they fail to vote the way leadership wants. He’d like to see the committees abolished.