Heck and Common Cause have lobbyied long and hard to pass a bill, which they call the Impartial Justice Act, that we — like a pair of Federal courts — believe is unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court’s precedent in Davis v. Federal Election Commission. And Heck is really mad that Wisconsin Right to Life, represented by the “Big Bopper” (the indispensible Jim Bopp), and Wisconsin Judge Randy Kroschnick, represented by Steve Hoersting of the Center for Competitive Politics and Wisconsin attorney James Troupis of Michael Best & Freidrich, have filed separate lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the bill (the suits are not duplicative, raising different issues pertaining to the limits on candidates and speakers). Merely to suggest that the bill is “unconstitutional” is, to Heck, speaking in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a “vicious” attack.
But even more interesting to us was how Heck describes the stakes in the upcoming court cases. Heck, as quoted in the Journal Sentinel, thinks Common Cause’s role in these cases is to make sure that “the election is not completely dominated by the outside special interest groups.”
Wait… Judge Koschnick, the candidate, is an “outside special interest group?” Wisconsin Right to Life is an “outside group?” Outside what? Wisconsin? Or simply “outside,” meaning not part of the “inside” clique that ought to decide elections?
We have long thought that at its heart, much of the so-called campaign finance reform community simply doesn’t trust politics and doesn’t trust voters. They simply don’t believe that you can trust voters to hear information and make decisions. Mr. Heck seems to believe that voters are easily fooled by slick ads. They need to be guided. They are “outsiders,” who, left unchecked, sometimes get in the way of “good government.”
Yes, Mr. Heck has just announced what Common Cause thinks of Wisconsin voters and citizens as nefarious and corrupting as those who might join an outfit such as Wisconsin Right to Life, and its not much. Ordinary Wisconsin voters are “outside groups” and “special interests,” who may just interfere with Mr. Heck’s efforts, as a lobbyist, to lead Wisconsin to “clean, accountable” government…
Just not accountable to the citizens involved in Wisconsin Right to Life, or to those who might support Judge Koschnick against his opponents.