Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch responded to Governor Jim Doyle's call for a special session on campaign finance reform by saying he expects there will be a "thorough and informative debate in the Assembly" and reform ideas will "receive careful consideration in both houses of the Legislature."
Then he tipped everyone off about where he really stands when he said, "I share the concern of many Wisconsinites to the idea of changing the law to force them to pay for these campaigns."
Look for Huebsch and his allies to fiercely defend the ownership of our state government by the lobbyists and their special interest clients. Mind you, they won't come right out and say they have no problem with big donations from wealthy interests who expect lavish favors in return for their political gifts. They'll speak in code, like Huebsch did in his statement about the special session. They'll say they're bound and determined to prevent the general public from being forced to pay for elections.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Wisconsin taxpayers already are forced to pay for state election campaigns. We pay through the nose every time our elected state representatives approve a new tax break, or lace a budget bill with a few more slices of pork, or sign off on a sweetheart deal on a state contract. We pay for every favor, we pay every time our state lawmakers reward one of their big donors.
Saying that campaign finance reform should be resisted because taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for elections is not only supremely hypocritical but also is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Wisconsin.
The general public gets it. Average folks understand that their elected representatives are owned by the lobbyists and the big special interest donors. And average folks understand they are paying dearly for this corruption.
The debate that will start in the Legislature on December 11 has absolutely nothing to do with whether the public pays for elections. We will always pay, one way or another. The real issue, whether or not the Legislature chooses to debate it, is ownership. Who will own our state government? The wealthy donors, or the voters?