Allowing unlimited corporate dollars in elections while dismantling nonpartisan GAB watchdog shows GOP agenda
MADISON – After hours of debate yesterday on AB 387, a bill that will allow unlimited corporations and billionaires to collude with candidates and spend unlimited amounts in state and local elections, Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) released the following statement:
“At a time when Wisconsin citizens want the state legislature to focus on creating family supporting jobs and revitalizing our lagging economy, Governor Walker and his legislative allies decided to use their power to line their campaign accounts, exclude themselves from corruption investigations and dismantle our ethics and elections watchdog, the GAB.
“Unless special interest groups, corporations and billionaires say specific words including “vote for” or “vote against” and make this type of communication their major purpose, they can keep their donors secret and not make any disclosures to the public. And for the first time in Wisconsin history, candidates can form, coordinate with and run entities that take secret corporate and billionaire money. Wisconsin candidates now have a legal tool, with which they can effectively circumvent any limits on candidate campaign contributions, a previously unlawful tactic Governor Walker allegedly employed during his recall campaign.
“AB 387 creates a conflict of interest for every legislator in the Capitol, and Republicans had no business bringing it forward and voting on it. How can we pass bills that allow policymakers to collude with corporations and billionaires to basically money launder and evade candidate campaign limits? Last night, after Republicans rejected our attempts to eliminate these conflict of interest provisions, I was proud to stand with my 34 Democratic colleagues in recusing ourselves from voting on this bill. The people of our state deserve legislators who are looking out for the people’s interests, not their own political futures.”