The League of Women Voters has worked for decades to combat corruption and undue influence in campaign financing. Our democracy depends on a system of campaign financing that is fair and open to all candidates while maintaining a level of integrity that benefits all citizens.
Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in July ruled that outside issue ad groups may coordinate with candidate campaigns. If this ruling stands, candidates can direct big donors to contribute to an “independent” group, which can accept unlimited amounts of money while keeping donors’ names secret. Then the candidate can tell the group which ads to run in which markets.
Voters will then have no way to know who is behind the often misleading ads that dominate the airways, and money will have even more influence in our elections.
Fortunately, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has an opportunity to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court if he acts within the next week. We hope he becomes involved on behalf of the citizens of Dane County and all Wisconsin residents.
-- Brook Soltvedt and Kathleen Fullin, co-presidents, League of Women Voters, Dane County