Wautoma, WI
Current Conditions
0:56 AM CDT
Clear
Temperature
57°F
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56°F
Humidity
97%
Wind
CM at 0 mph
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29.91 in. F
Visibility
10.00 mi.
Sunrise
06:21 a.m.
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07:31 p.m.
Evening Forecast (7:00pm-Midnight)
Temperatures will range from 73 to 61 degrees with clear skies. Winds will remain steady around 8 miles per hour from the west. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
Tuesday
73°F / 56°F
Clear
Wednesday
80°F / 57°F
Partly Cloudy
Thursday
86°F / 58°F
Scattered Showers
Friday
68°F / 48°F
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Saturday
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Sunny
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Sunny
Monday
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Partly Cloudy
Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Tuesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 73 to a low of 56 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 6 and 9 miles per hour from the southwest. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 60 to 56 degrees with clear skies. Winds will remain steady around 6 miles per hour from the southwest. No precipitation is expected.
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 80 to a low of 57 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 6 and 12 miles per hour from the south. No precipitation is expected.

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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