Norskedalen "Ghoulees in the Coulees" Halloween Event
Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Nature and Heritage Center
Saturday, October 24, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
UW-L Football Stadium(MAP)
"Spoke-tacular" Bicycle Ride
October 24 at 4:30 p.m. through Sunday, October 25 at 12:00 a.m.
International Friendship Gardens
La Crosse Trick or Treating
Saturday, October 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Room 307 West
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Since the mid-1900s, Wisconsin
has had a long tradition of open, ethical governmental practices.
Wisconsin's open government laws -- which extend from public records and
open meetings law, to more complex campaign finance laws -- promote
democracy by ensuring that all agencies are acting with transparency. In
this way, state agencies and employees are held accountable to the
Since that time, our policies of open government allowed our state
government to act ethically, and to work with our constituents' best
interests in mind.
Today, our system of ethical government is being threatened. During
Assembly debate on Wednesday and Thursday, three GOP-led bills were
passed, opening the door for corrupt politics. The effects of these
bills are discussed in more detail in this newsletter. However, these
bills are not law yet. Two await passage through the Senate and all will
need to be signed by the Governor to become law. If you care for our
state's future, I urge you to contact Senate Majority Leader Scott
Fitzgerald (here) or Governor Walker (here) to voice your concerns about
these bills. With our combined voices, we have a chance to stop this
legislation from harming our state.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me on this issue, or any other
issue important to you.
95th Assembly District
Through Bills to Eliminate Good Government
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Assembly Republican
legislators passed three bills that would eliminate Wisconsin's
tradition of open, accountable government. The bills would dismantle
Wisconsin's free and fair elections board, practically eliminate
investigations into political corruption, and allow for anonymous,
unlimited political donations by corporations.
By passing each of these bills, Republican legislators are making it
easier for political corruption to take place, more difficult for
corruption to be investigated, and nearly impossible for corruption to
The three bills introduced by Republican legislators are AB 388, AB 387
and AB 68/SB 43. The bills would change the following in Wisconsin law:
- AB 68/SB 43, which passed
(61-36) is otherwise known
as the "Corrupt Politician Protection Act." The bill allows
politicians to carry out corrupt activity with impunity by exempting
political crimes from investigation under Wisconsin's John Doe
- AB 387, which passed
(61-0), changes campaign finance laws to allow corporations to
give unlimited donations directly to campaign committees, completely
altering the scope of their influence on politics. It also allows
individuals to anonymously spend an unlimited amount of money on
- AB 388, which passed
(58-39), would dismantle
Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (GAB), a nonpartisan
board which oversees elections and ethics cases, and instead replace
it with 2 partisan boards. The ethics board in particular would have
a limited ability to investigate political crimes, as it would have
to receive permission from the majority-Republican Joint Finance
Committee to carry out major investigations. This two-board system
is similar in style and function to the boards Wisconsin had before
the 2002 caucus scandal.
Each of these bills demonstrates a coordinated attempt to open the door
for corrupt political activity. Without strong campaign finance laws,
corporations and wealthy individuals are able to have more influence on
politicians and political parties than most individuals in Wisconsin to
their advantage. Without the GAB, ethics and corruption investigations
can be tossed aside for political motives.
And without our John Doe law, prosecutions of corrupt politicians are
nearly impossible. Each of these actions goes hand-in-hand in creating a
state more concerned with personal political gain than Wisconsin
We've seen the effects unchecked corrupt activity can have in our state.
When Wisconsin had two separate elections and ethics boards, as proposed
in this new bill, it led to the very political scandal that required the
creation of the GAB and the need for John Doe anti-corruption
As for campaign spending, unlimited and unreported spending from
corporations and individuals means that special interests can buy
legislators. Legislators could be bought by mining companies to vote
against environmental protections, big retail corporations to loosen
regulations on their business, and more, leaving out the majority of
Wisconsinites in their decision-making.
This vote is not the end of the line for these bills, though. Earlier
this year, when GOP legislators attempted to sneak a repeal of open
records law into the budget, the immediate public outcry against the
proposal caused GOP legislators to immediately retract it. We have the
chance to do the same with these harmful proposals. I urge you all to
contact GOP Senators and voice your opposition to these bills.
In the Capitol
This week, a delegation of individuals from the
greater La Crosse area visited the Capitol as part of the "Oktoberfest
at the Capitol" event. I had a wonderful time speaking with members from
my community, and hearing about concerns from the Coulee Region. Thank
you to the delegation for advocating with my colleagues from across
Wisconsin on issues of importance to the Coulee Region.
Here are some photos from my meetings at the Capitol, and from the
Trick-Or-Treating in La Crosse
To keep safe this Halloween, the City of La Crosse
asks that neighborhoods and trick-or-treaters only participate in
trick-or-treating from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.
But if you would like the Halloween festivities to start a little
earlier, Downtown La Crosse will be holding trick-or-treating hours this
weekend, October 24. Over 50 businesses will be participating in the
Downtown Halloween celebration from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be
distributing treats and Halloween fun! To find the list of participating
businesses, visit (http://www.lacrossedowntown.com/Trick-or-Treat-ne81.html)
or look for the Halloween poster on the doors of businesses while
Hope you all have a safe and "spook-tacular" Halloween this year!