The state Senate is expected to vote today on controversial changes to the state’s elections agency and campaign finance laws, although few details about the amendments to those bills have been released yet.
Majority Republicans struck agreements this week on both pieces of legislation, following several weeks of closed-door talks. Less than a day before the full chamber was expected to vote though, the text of those expected amendments had not yet been released. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Matt Rothschild called it “outrageous” that lawmakers will likely wait until they head to the floor to release the changes. “You call this Democracy?” he asked.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Thursday that the changes are expected to include moving some of the judges who currently oversee the Government Accountability Board to seats on a new state ethics commission, which is part of a plan to divide up the elections and ethics oversight of the agency. Another likely change would require many donors to still disclose their employer when giving to political campaigns – a requirement a version of the bill approved by the state Assembly last month eliminated.
Rothschild described those as small changes that do little to stop an assault on Democracy though. “The tiny little changes that have been made on the campaign finance bill, on the GAB bill, are but a drop of honey on a stinking pile of dung,” he said.