Spotlight on Wisconsin

Money & Politics Blog: Contracting report shines light, casts shadows

A belatedly issued report on the state’s hiring of outside contractors is raising fresh questions about the integrity of the process.

Money & Politics Blog: State’s congressional crew not in poorhouse

The requirement that all members of Congress file annual financial disclosure reports serves a worthy purpose. Passed as part of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, a post-Watergate reform, it’s meant to flag potential conflicts while “ensuring public confidence in government through disclosure as an end in itself.”

Money & Politics Blog: Role of cash is not absolute

For most of my three decades of reporting, I’ve been a generalist, covering everything from state Supreme Court elections to disputes over tree trimming on city streets. But since joining the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism last June, I’ve been tasked with writing on a specific area — the intersection of money and politics.

Money & Politics Blog: How the recall money was spent

By now, it’s well known that massive sums were poured into Wisconsin’s recall elections, from the candidates, parties and outside groups. But little attention has been paid to where this money went.

Television commercials, you say? That’s a big part of it. But perhaps not as big as dazed viewers suspect.


Money & Politics Blog: Winners and losers in recall 2012

As the dust settles on Wisconsin’s tumultuous recall elections, let’s acknowledge some of the winners and losers with appropriate commendations:

Fundraising champion: Gov. Scott Walker. Whether Wisconsin’s embattled Republican governor could have survived the recall without raising and spending record amounts of campaign cash, most of it from other states, is something we’ll never know. Walker did rake in huge sums, and he did prevail.