A good government group is decrying the decision made Tuesday by members of Wisconsin’s new ethics commission to opt not to ban themselves from donating to political campaigns. “Just how stupid do they think Wisconsinites are?” asked Common Cause in Wisconsin director Jay Heck, who blasted the members of the commission who voted against considering a proposal to ban themselves from making political contributions. Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board was replaced this summer with two separate commissions charged with overseeing elections, ethics, lobbying and campaign finance rules in the state. Commissioners on each board are partisan appointees, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
The four commissioners who voted to allow donations said because they are appointed based on their partisan affiliations, they should be able to donate to candidates as state law permits.
But the two who wanted to ban donations argued allowing commissioners to contribute to the candidates they regulate could cause the public to lose confidence in government.