Six weeks ago today the Democracy Campaign filed an open records request with the state Government Accountability Board seeking documentation of any enforcement action relating to the law requiring disclosure of the occupation and employer of campaign donors who give more than $100. We are still waiting for the information we seek.
The law requiring disclosure of contributors' employment information is the heart and soul of campaign finance disclosure in Wisconsin. It provides voters essential information about the financial interests of donors and some insight into their possible motives for seeking to influence state elected officials with campaign donations.
The Democracy Campaign has called attention many times over the years to the failure of numerous candidates to disclose this required information on the campaign finance reports they submit to the GAB. In fact, we filed a complaint with the board as recently as this June over missing occupational information on the reports of three senators who faced recall elections this summer. We have heard nothing from the GAB in response to our complaint, and there is nothing in the minutes of the board's meetings or other public records to indicate that any enforcement action has been taken.
With our current open records request, we are trying to answer a simple question: Is this key disclosure law being enforced? We suspect the answer is no, but we can't know for sure unless the agency obeys another pivotal law upholding every citizen's right to know what our government is up to.