Survey-gate: day 70

Leschke still won’t answer ethics survey while her campaign is run by antireform special interest groups

OSHKOSH – Winnebago County Democratic Party Chair Jef Hall today called on Republican candidate for the 54th Assembly district Julie Pung Leschke to stop her stalling tactics and finally answer a six question survey on ethics reform.

Seventy days ago, the August 6th Oshkosh Northwestern editorial called on all candidates to return a survey circulated by three clean government groups, including the League of Women Voters. To date, Leschke has refused to respond to the survey. In that August 6 editorial, the Northwestern said:

“What’s up here? Why did these three people avoid giving answers? Is this an indicator of how they will act if elected to the 2007-2009 term in the state Assembly?...The bottom line here is that constituents are entitled to know where political candidates stand when the issue is a statewide survey prepared by non-partisan interests. With few reasonable exceptions, candidates who don’t answer six survey questions probably shouldn’t be in office in the first place.”

In an October 2 televised Eye on Oshkosh debate, Leschke called the questionnaire a “special interest survey”, despite the fact that it was issued by an organization in which she claims membership. She went on to state that she left a name for herself as a reformer during her time on the county board, which was cut short when she quit during her second term.

As a result of refusing to answer the survey, Leshke has earned the endorsement of the anti-reform organization, Wisconsin Right to Life. Furthermore, the anti-reform group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), is running corporate attack ads for Leshke targeting Democratic candidate Gordon Hintz.

So far, WMC, the Wisconsin Realtors Association, and All Children Matter, a group that supports taxpayers funding private schools with no oversight, have spent an estimated $70,000 supporting Julie Pung Leschke’s campaign. All this is money that does not need to be reported to voters.

“In three weeks, Oshkosh has a decision to make,” said Hall. “Oshkosh will either vote for Gordon Hintz for leadership for a change, or for Julie Leschke and her special interest pals in Madison whose measures attacking local control have lead to the unfair garbage fee on Oshkosh property owners.”

Leschke has often called herself a reformer in her partial term on the County Board. However, while on the board, Leschke voted against resolution 54-72000 on July 25 2000 which added an advisory referendum to the ballot calling on the state legislature to pass meaningful campaign finance reform. The advisory referendum went on to have the support of more than 92% of the voters in Winnebago County.

“It’s simply irresponsible for Leschke to call herself a reformer when her record indicates she not only opposes campaign finance reform, but is comfortable with unregulated large corporate and special interests bankrolling her campaign,” said Hall. “Oshkosh needs leadership for a change. We need Gordon Hintz in the Assembly.”

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