Assemblywoman Proposes Statewide Referendum On Role Of Money In Politics

Multiple Municipal, County Governments In Wisconsin Have Passed Similar Referenda

Dana Schultz of the coalition Money Out Voters In speaks in the state Capitol on Wednesday as state Rep. Lisa Subeck looks on. Photo: Gilman Halsted/WPR.

A Madison assemblywoman is proposing a statewide advisory referendum on amending the U.S. Constitution to limit the role of money in politics.

State Rep. Lisa Subek wants voters to weigh in on whether to create an amendment that would say money does not equal speech and that corporate campaign contributions should be capped.

Over the past two years, voters in 54 Wisconsin cities, towns and counties have overwhelmingly approved similar referenda. Subek said it’s not a matter of partisan politics, since those referenda passed in both Democratic- and Republican-dominated communities.

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“They understand that as long as politicians are beholden to those that are wealthy enough to fund their campaigns, the people of the state are taking a back seat to the desires of those wealthy campaign donors,” said Subek. “Their voices are being drowned out.”

A similar advisory referendum introduced by another Madison Democrat last year was never granted a hearing by the Republican-dominated Legislature.