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Demz strike at PD

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Should we care

Poll ended at Sun Dec 26, 2004 12:25 pm

yes
11
41%
no
16
59%
 
Total votes : 27

Postby Donald » Sat Jan 01, 2005 11:34 am

Actually, I think the Democrats acted appropriately by discussing/debating local issues, but not endorsing a side. Having a debate or discussion about local issues within a political party to educate members is fine, even when you don't come to any conclusion. It's even ok for political parties to take positions on local issues. What is unacceptable is any attempt to violate the statutory nonpartisan local election process. I think endorsements of candidates by political parties violate the law.
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Postby Dulouz » Sat Jan 01, 2005 12:31 pm

Donald wrote: I think endorsements of candidates by political parties violate the law.


Um, yeah, we've all figured out your position on endorsements. It doesn't really appear that anyone agrees with it though. I personally don't see the difference between the Sierra Club, realtors or MTI endorsing a candidate and a political party in a non-partisan race. Both types of organizations give resources to their endorsed candidates and the players in the non-party groups are often players in the parties. It strikes me that if you think parties endorsements are illegal, then so should the endorsements of other groups. In any event, I'm not going to accept your opinion on legality until you win your lawsuit--you are filing one aren't you?
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Postby Donald » Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:33 pm

Dulouz wrote:
Donald wrote: I think endorsements of candidates by political parties violate the law.


Um, yeah, we've all figured out your position on endorsements. It doesn't really appear that anyone agrees with it though. I personally don't see the difference between the Sierra Club, realtors or MTI endorsing a candidate and a political party in a non-partisan race. Both types of organizations give resources to their endorsed candidates and the players in the non-party groups are often players in the parties. It strikes me that if you think parties endorsements are illegal, then so should the endorsements of other groups. In any event, I'm not going to accept your opinion on legality until you win your lawsuit--you are filing one aren't you?

Well, there is a big difference legally between the Sierra Club, realtors and MTI and a political party. Standing could be an issue. If someone runs in my district with an endorsement by a political party, I would definitely consider joining others of like mind in some sort of legal action just to establish whether we actually have nonpartisan elections here or whether we have backdoored partisan elections through loopholes in the nonpartisan voting act.
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Postby Brenda Konkel » Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:52 pm

Donald - Would you like to give us the cite to the state law you are referring to? Or better yet, post the language here. I have a feeling that you are reading more into the law than is there.
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Postby bmasel » Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:56 pm

Even if Wisconsin Statutes are interpreted as Donald hopes, I'd think the 1st Amendment would guarantee the right of Parties to endorse candidates in non-partisan races.

Material support, whether cash or in kind, would still be subject to State campaign finance laws.
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Postby ShaneDog » Sat Jan 01, 2005 5:21 pm

If we didn't have political parties endorsing candidates 95% of people wouldn't know who to vote for. Sad but true.
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Postby Dulouz » Sat Jan 01, 2005 6:11 pm

ShaneDog wrote:If we didn't have political parties endorsing candidates 95% of people wouldn't know who to vote for. Sad but true.


I don't think that it is that sad. A lot of people, even in Madison, are just too busy with raising kids, making the rent/mortgage, and enjoying life. It's not that they don't care, but that they care about other things as well. That is why the Dems plan is so dumb. If I were harried, I might see that a candidate endorsed by the Dems, PD and the Greens would be a safe vote for me. On the other hand, if the endorsements were split and the issues in my district raised the importance of the election for me, I might stop and investigate why the split exists.
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Postby Donald » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:51 pm

Brenda, I'll allow you to do your own legal research on this, but Chapter 5 and Chapter 11 provide some reading regarding nonpartisan elections and their financing. I think the legislative history and intent regarding the nonpartisan voting act might be interesting to delve into. I could be reading more into the statutes than is there, and you could be reading far less into them.
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Postby bmasel » Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:41 pm

11.26(2)
(2) No committee other than a political party committee or legislative campaign committee may make any contribution or contributions to a candidate for election or nomination to any of the following offices and to any individual or committee under s. 11.06 (7) acting solely in support of such a candidate or solely in opposition to the candidate's opponent to the extent of more than a total of the amounts specified per candidate:
� 
...
11.26(2)(e)
(e)�  Candidates for local offices, an amount equal to the greater of the following:
� 
11.26(2)(e)1.
1.�  Two hundred dollars.
� 
11.26(2)(e)2.
2.�  Three-fourths of one cent times the number of inhabitants of the jurisdiction or district, according to the latest federal census or the census information on which the district is based, as certified by the appropriate filing officer, but not more than $2,500.


As i parse this, Party committees are not only allowed to contribute to local races, they're not subject to the same limits as everyone else. I don't like it, but there it is. Seems to me to unfairly handicap Independents.
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