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Senate Majority Leader won't consider doubling size of campaign contributions

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin politicians will not be able to double the size of their election campaign funds.  

Senate GOP Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said his chamber would not consider a bill passed by the Assembly to let people register to vote online, in exchange for letting statewide and legislative candidates double the size of donations they can receive.  

The bill would have also doubled the amount of special interest money that the Legislature's party campaign committees could collect, up to $300,000.

Fitzgerald said he and many of his Senate colleagues are against it. Critics said the measure would have benefited incumbents.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported in August that Republican legislators raised a million-dollars in the first half of the year -- before people back home could even think about running against them next fall. Minority Democrats had raised $411,000 by June.  

The report also said the party campaign committees had raised a total of a half-million dollars.

Jay Heck of the watchdog group Common Cause said a headcount showed that the measure would have passed, but with 13 of the 33 senators voting no. Heck said next year's candidates would still have healthy contribution limits.  

He told the Wisconsin Radio Network, "I don't think many people are sad that this is not going anywhere."

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)