ICYMI: Wisconsin Editorial Boards Decry “Activist” Judge Randa Ruling, Corruption in Political Process, Assault on Campaign Finance Laws

May 13, 2014

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa’s sweeping ruling last week made clear that at minimum, plaintiffs circumvented campaign finance law, stating “The plaintiffs have found a way to circumvent campaign finance laws, and that circumvention should not and cannot be condemned or restricted.” 

Scott Walker said his political operative was “doing exactly what we asked him to do.”

But here’s what editorial boards all across Wisconsin are saying in the wake of the “activist” judge’s decision and the role of unlimited, undisclosed cash in the political process.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted their concern about “activist” Judge Randa’s overreach saying, “In the world viewed by federal Judge Rudolph Randa in his court decisions last week, candidates can do nearly anything they please in conjunction with other independent organizations. They can spend as they please and don’t need to be bothered with telling voters how they are spending their money.”

They also noted their agreement with former longtime Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann who said of the ruling, “In my heart, I believe it will inevitably lead to more corruption.”

Joining the Journal Sentinel in calling for the preservation of our campaign finance laws was the usually-conservative Beloit Daily News, which editorialized that, “Secrecy ought to be offensive in the public arena. Those who set out to influence the agenda and elect candidates to capture the halls of power should not be able to do so from deep cover. Where the money comes from is part of the story, and potentially decisive for some people as they consider how to exercise that most precious American right — to vote.”

And yet another conservative paper added their thoughts, with the Appleton Post Crescent blasting Randa’s “disturbing” disregard for Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws as he seemingly praised the way that Scott Walker’s campaign adviser R.J. Johnson, at Walker’s direction, had found a way to circumvent such laws. The Post Crescent opined, “ the statements this particular judge made in ordering his decision show either a lack of understanding about how our campaign system really operates — or, even worse, an endorsement of it.”

Read the Journal Sentinel editorial here.

Read the Beloit Daily News editorial here.

Read the Appleton Post Crescent editorial here.