Fighting Bob Fest Criticizes Campaign Cash


Progressive political activists in Wisconsin do not often agree on how to win back the political power they once had in the state. At the 11th Annual Fighting Bob Fest in Madison this past weekend, they appeared to be unanimous on the corrupting influence of money in political campaigns.

Speakers at this year’s event addressed a range of topics that ran the gamut from global warming and anti-militarism to women’s rights and campaign finance reform. An unscientific sampling of participants’ reasons for attending the gathering confirmed that the influence of money on elections is at the top of the list of things that progressives believe needs to be changed.

Kevin Kuehl of Wuapaca was attending his fifth Bob Fest. “Everything comes back to how we fund the elections, how we run them and how we spend so much money on them and how people influenced. Everybody here obviously pays a lot of attention. But so many people don’t pay very much attention, and it comes down to what they see on the ads on TV I’m afraid.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If Kuehl was looking for a solution to this problem, he may have gotten one from former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. Roemer laid out a public financing plan for elections at Bob Fest that he hopes Progressives will help him champion. “If you agree to set a $100 limit and to get money from your district that you’re representing, then we the tax payers would put up matching four to one, and we would have the kind of elections where people would run. We don’t need two parties we need 20. We don’t need one idea we need 15. We need more people involved. It can be done.”

Roemer acknowledged that such plan would not work unless the Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts on elections is overturned.