Ethics Commission votes to dismiss baseless complaint by WDC

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission yesterday voted to dismiss the baseless ethics complaint filed by WDC against Wisconsin Liberty Fund last month.

A letter explaining the reasoning behind the Commission’s decision was sent to WDC today.  David Buerger, staff counsel for the Ethics Commission, explained that state law “does not prohibit a candidate from forming a separate political action committee.  As your (WDC’s) complaint indicates, an amendment to explicitly prohibit such activity was rejected by the Legislature.  While you allege that its rejection was because legislators believe such conduct was already prohibited under 2015 Act 117, the exchange you cited appears to reference the coordination prohibition of Wis. Stat. 11.1203 as the basis for why the amendment was unnecessary, not that forming a political action committee by itself was prohibited.”

At its October 10, 2016 meeting, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission reviewed the complaint and adopted a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of reasonable suspicion that the law has been violated.