Money in Politics Tops List of Voter Concerns

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Contact: Jim Crist, 608-274-6201,

Money in Politics Tops List of Voter Concerns

Madison, WI (October 16, 2020) Numerous polls show that government corruption is the top issue on the minds of voters.[1]  Over 90% of Americans think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns.[2]  It’s no surprise that Americans’ job approval rating for Congress hovers near single digits.

The non-partisan citizen-action group, Wisconsin United To Amend, contacted all 200+ state Assembly and Senate candidates numerous times, via email, Facebook and phone calls, to determine their level of support for a U.S. Constitutional amendment declaring that free spending is not free speech and only actual human beings have human rights.  Based on responses, the group has compiled a voter education guide with a list of 56 Anti-Corruption Candidates (

Phillip Anderson, an Assembly candidate in Madison put it this way, “Generally the question has been, is money speech? That’s not the problem. The problem is that money BUYS speech, crowding out and shouting down others’ speech. The Founders were looking for an open forum of ideas and discussion, not a contest to see who could raise the most money and dominate the discussion!”

Kriss Marion, a state assembly candidate in Lafayette County stated, “I make hundreds of calls to constituents a day. What is nearly universal about those calls is that people feel that politicians are corrupt and government is broken. Many citizens have lost faith in democracy and believe that money runs our nation. They aren’t wrong. Until we overturn Citizens United, and abolish unlimited corporate spending on campaigns, we won’t have control of our own government. But there are many things we could do to turn the tide back right here at home in Wisconsin, including reducing campaign donation limits to candidates. What we spend on elections is completely outrageous.”

Katherine Gaulke, a state assembly candidate from the Town of Delavan explains, “In 2015, my opponent voted to overturn a corporate contribution ban that had been in place since 1905.  As your next Assemblyperson from the 32nd District, I will support AJR 11 and Wisconsin United to Amend.  Let’s get dark money out of politics.”

Mike McCabe, clean government advocate and former candidate for governor, lamented the lack of attention given to this issue during candidate forums, stating “There were about 50 candidate forums leading up to the primary.  Over the course of all those forums, candidates were asked more than 200 questions.  Three were about money in politics. Voters are concerned about it and want to hear what can be done.  Most candidates don’t want to talk about it.  The media and interest groups rarely ask them to.”

Wisconsin United To Amend is a non-partisan, all volunteer organization. One volunteer, Jackie Cody of Rhinelander, expressed frustration: “Citizens in 164 Wisconsin communities have passed resolutions calling for an amendment.  We need state legislators to put it on a statewide ballot, but they won’t even let the bills have a public hearing!”

Due to the efforts by hundreds of volunteers across the state, referenda and resolutions have passed in 164 communities with voter approvals as high as 91%.  In total, 3.2 million people (56% of Wisconsinites) live in jurisdictions that have called for this amendment.  Two more communities will be on the November ballot. For more information, visit

Link to this press release.

Background material can be obtained here: pdf1, pdf2 and pdf3.

Photos: photo1, photo2, photo3 and photo4.