Monday, January 30, 2006


Legislative Leaders Continue to Milk Budget Cash Cow
Nine of 135 Committees Responsible for Over Half of $1.36 Million Raised

Madison – Legislative leaders and the four leadership committees they control raised 56 percent of the $1.36 million in contributions gleaned from special interests by all legislators while they were considering the 2005-07 state budget, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.
Legislative fundraising during the first half of 2005 invited powerful special interests to use their clout and cash to affect key policy and spending decisions in the budget. The practice has continued for yet another state budget despite trials pending against four former legislative leaders accused in 2002 of pay-to-play corruption and other felonies. The current legislative leaders milked special interests for $765,893 between January and June.

Key findings in the WDC review include:

Gearing up for his reelection bid in 2006, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle held at least six fundraisers, including a pricey $1,000-a-head golf outing, while his budget was in play. He raised a record $1.44 million for a six-month budget period. His fundraising total was 2.5 times more than what he raised during consideration of the last state budget in the first half of 2003. Doyle’s fundraising put him well ahead of his Republican challengers; Mark Green and Scott Walker (see Table 3).


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