Wautoma, WI
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0:56 AM CDT
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34°F
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07:20 a.m.
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Morning Forecast (7:00am-12:00pm)
Temperatures will range from 28 to 45 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will be light from the east. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
Wednesday
55°F / 28°F
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Thursday
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62°F / 44°F
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Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 55 to a low of 28 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 2 and 10 miles per hour from the southsoutheast. No precipitation is expected.
This Afternoon ...Temperatures will range from 49 to 55 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 6 and 10 miles per hour from the southeast. No precipitation is expected.
This Evening ...Temperatures will range from 46 to 39 degrees with clear skies. Winds will remain steady around 9 miles per hour from the southeast. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 38 to 35 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will remain steady around 7 miles per hour from the south. No precipitation is expected.
Thursday...Temperatures will range from a high of 52 to a low of 35 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 1 and 12 miles per hour from the south. Less than 1 tenth inch of rain is possible.

Ask the candidates: Are you for bribery?

Oct. 11, 2012 | 0 comments

A commentary by Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Mike McCabe, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Wisconsin used to be known as a beacon of clean, open and honest government.

A big reason is we used to have some of the nation's best anti-corruption laws.

Those laws are now obsolete. They are no longer worth the paper they are written on.

Here's why. The anti-corruption laws we refer to are still on the books. Bribing a public official was outlawed in Wisconsin in 1897.

A comprehensive ethics code was added in 1973 that included a conflict of interest law requiring officials to abstain from taking any action that might personally benefit them or their family members. And a gift ban making it illegal to give public officials "anything of value" if it might influence or reward them.

Under these laws, it is illegal to buy a legislator a beer or a cup of coffee. But you can write out a check amounting to a whole week's pay - or a month's - and legally hand it to that same office holder.

Or you can take all the money you make in a year - or two or 10 - and pay for ads on local TV stations singing the praises of that office holder. Also legal.

Make sense? Of course not. Laws that once served us well have become a bad joke.

That's because the bribery law is silent on the money in election campaigns. So are the gift ban and conflict of interest law. These laws offer little real protection from political corruption because they do not deal with the way corruption works today.

The people who wrote these laws could not foresee a time when running for office would turn candidates into full-time beggars. They could not envision a time when only complete fools would offer or accept old-fashioned bribes because they could accomplish the same thing in entirely legal ways.

What was impossible for them to see is now our reality.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign have developed a proposal to bring Wisconsin's anti-corruption laws into the 21st Century.

It adds simple common sense to these laws, amending them to acknowledge that campaign donations have substantial value to today's politicians and can be corrupting. It aims to end the new form of bribery that plagues us.

So now in this season when politicians are asking for your vote, voters and the media need to look for opportunities to ask them a question: Are you for bribery?

After they try to change the subject - and they will try - you need to ask them again. Do you believe the ethics code should be silent on the large amounts of money that change hands in election campaigns?

Do you support updating our ethics laws so they meaningfully protect the public from the corruption that campaign contributions can produce? Are you for bribery or aren't you?

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