This fall, Wisconsin Republicans put game-changing legislation on a fast tract. From October 21 to November 16, they dismantled the independent Government Accountability Board (GAB), changed campaign finance laws such that Wisconsin now has the loosest restrictions on dark money of any state, and exempted themselves, and only themselves, from the secret John Doe process.

I wanted to know whether Wisconsin citizens were pushing for these changes, and whether citizens’ demands compelled the fast-track approach.

From the end of October to the present time, 14 volunteers and I have sent each Republican legislator one or more Open Records Requests asking for correspondence from citizens received with a specific week to ten-day period.

The results are enlightening: 1475 citizens (90%) asked that the GAB remain intact; 173 (10%) supported change. The campaign finance results are stunning: 789 (99%) opposed the changes; 11 (1%) favored them. The John Doe exclusive exemption for politicians was opposed by 212 (92%) and favored by 18 (8%0.

Citizens overwhelmingly opposed these bills and the fast track they were on. Yet, all passed with unwavering support from the Republican majority. I want to know why, and for whose benefit?

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