In fact, no group with a paid lobbyist registered in favor of the bill last session to pass an amended voter ID law, which passed the Assembly on a 54-38 party-line vote. This and other voting-related bills seem to defy the popular belief that lobbying drives legislation.
In preparing for a recent interview in which he knew he’d be asked about tilting at windmills, Mike McCabe crafted a T-shirt-worthy reply: “To me, there’s always reason for hope, and never much reason for optimism.” McCabe leads the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which joined with the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group in drafting a July 10 letter calling for legislative hearings and possibly a special session to tweak state elections law.
By now, the notion that outside special interests drive the political process is so widely accepted as to be almost a cliche. Yet when it comes to the hot-button state political issue of redistricting, the process appears driven not by outside special interests but an inside one: the Legislature itself.