KEEPING DEMOCRACY'S LIGHT LIT
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is one of this state's most important watchdogs for open and honest government. It analyzes policy, exposes conflicts of interest and follows the money. Most politicians find such work irritating. But that's because WDC puts citizens, and citizen education and access, above political interests. It's also an unabashed equal opportunity irritant, which makes it tough sometimes but is one of the things we like best.
Several weeks ago, one the biggest funders of democracy work in the Midwest, the Joyce Foundation, told WDC is ending 16 years of support for the Campaign's work. That's a huge bite out of the Campaign's funding base and it jeopardizes some of its most critical work, in particular the searchable money-tracking data base that allows reporters and citizens to see who's contributing to state campaigns.
There are other likely ramifications as well and all wil make this a lesser state for citizens who value transparent government and politics. We sure hope somebody steps up to keep the valuable public service viable. We need it…now more then ever.