Citizen Forum on State Political Corruption, Elections And Reform in Wisconsin at Uw-Madison this Monday Evening


In the fifth in a series of forums around the state aimed at increasing public awareness about Wisconsin government political reform issues, Common Cause in Wisconsin is sponsoring a program entitled: “What Ever Happened to Good Government in Wisconsin? How Can We Fix It?” on Monday, April 28, 2008 from 6:30 PM. to 8:00 PM. at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, (1101 Humanites Building, 455 N. Park Street in Madison).

“The most expensive, negative and demoralizing election for State Supreme Court in Wisconsin’s history this past month; which followed a totally dysfunctional state budget process that produced a four-month-late budget, which followed another enormously costly, disgraceful election for the State Supreme Court in early 2007, which came on the heels of the most expensive, negative and demoralizing election for Governor in state history in November; 2006, which occurred in the wake of the most serious political scandal in Wisconsin’s history–the Legislative Caucus Scandal–all demonstrate that much is terribly wrong and dysfunctional in Wisconsin — once the model for clean, honest state government in the nation,” said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, the state’s largest non-partisan citizen reform advocacy organization. “This forum seeks to better inform, and to receive input from the citizens of the greater Madison area and from students attending the UW-Madison about what we can and should do, if anything, to reform Wisconsin. I hope this forum can also explore the critical link between the need for sweeping state political reform and the everyday concerns and issues that directly affect people’s real lives,” he added.

Other forum co-sponsors include the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, AARP-Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance of Retired Ameicans.

Panelists include two of Wisconsin’s leading pro-reform legislatiors:State Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) and Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), Jay Heck, the Executive Director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, Gail Shea, a former State Elections Board official and the founder of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. An opponent–or at least a skeptic of efforts to reform Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws, Christian Schneider, a Fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, has also accepted CC/WI’s invitation to participate as a panelist. Professor Ken Mayer of the UW-Madison Political Science Department will moderate the event.

The panel will take questions from the audience following brief presentations and citizens will have an opportunity to voice their opinions as well.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Similar forums have been held in Green Bay, Milwaukee, La Crosse and Oshkosh since January, 2007. Future forums are being planned for Stevens Point, Eau Claire, Appleton, Janesville-Beloit and Racine-Kenosha ain the near future. The CC/WI forums are underwritten by a grant from the Joyce Foundation of Chicago, Illinois.

For more information, or if you have questions, please call 608/256-2686.