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Bringing transparency to politics

Wisconsinites at the YMCA, church and community events from Viroqua to Black River Falls frequently come up to me frustrated about the huge role powerful special interests and their secret money have in our election process. I share their frustration.

The problem was made significantly worse with the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which made it legal for dark money and large corporations to anonymously help political candidates. Allowing for the American public to be kept in the dark about who is funding the campaigns of elected officials further erodes the political process in our country.

I have always believed strongly that Wisconsinites and all Americans should have access to information about who is contributing to their elected officials and political candidates. To meet this goal, I voluntarily publish every contribution I receive, no matter how large or small, and I have encouraged my colleagues to voluntarily publish their contribution records as well.

But unfortunately, many of my colleagues still do not disclose every donor to their campaign, and they keep thousands of donors secret. In order to bring transparency and light back into our political system, I have introduced the Campaign Transparency Act. This bill would require all campaigns to follow my lead and disclose the identities of all people who contribute to their campaign.

At a time when hardworking people feel that they are losing their voice in our political process, we need to take swift action to return at least a bit of transparency to the process. I will continue to work with anyone who is willing to fix our broken political system and increase transparency.