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As I See It

Political fundraising doesn’t suffer during pandemic



It seems that just about everything has changed because of the pandemic. But one thing that remains the same is big donors giving big money to political candidates. In fact they are setting new records for campaign spending. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks campaign spending, says that in Wisconsin, political candidates and political committees raised more than $7 million in the first half of this year. That shatters the previous record of $5 million set four years ago. Of course, we saw this coming. Legislators in 2015 tore up many of the rules regulating campaign donations, when they doubled contribution limits and allowed corporate contributions to political parties and fundraising committees. So far this year, Republicans raised $3.6 million and democrats raised $3.4 million. Seems both parties are equal opportunity money-grabbers. Among Wisconsin legislative candidates running in the next election, the top fundraiser was Dan Kapanke, who is running for his old seat in the 32nd Senate district. Right behind him in campaign collections is his opponent, Brad Pfaff. Onalaska legislator Steve Doyle also makes the top five. Allowing all this corporate money has changed the landscape of political fundraising, providing candidates even more money to fund their political advertising. It likely won’t be long before we start hearing all those nasty political attack ads.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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