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WISPIRG
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Wisconsin Public Radio
By
Gilman Halsted

The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group or WISPIRG has crunched the numbers on corporate campaign dollars contributed to the Wisconsin delegation. At the top of the list are Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Ron Kind.

Both Kind and Ryan sit on the powerful House Ways and Means committee where the debate over closing corporate off shore tax loopholes has been waged for the past two years. Bruce Speight who co authored the WISPIRG report says neither Kind nor Ryan have taken a position on closing these loopholes and each of them have received more than a 100 thousand dollars in campaign contributions over the past two election cycles from corporations that are using such loopholes .

"We have reached out to our entire delegation and urged them to support closing corporate tax loopholes to make sure that companies aren't able to exploit tax law to their benefit and to the harm of the rest of us and they have not signed on so far," he says.

Speight says Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is the only one in the state delegation who has actively supported closing these loopholes. But Congressman Kind says he's playing by the current campaign finance rules and insists he is not beholden to any corporate contributors.

"I've never taken any money with any quid pro quo attached to it and I never will," he says. "Life's too short. I am proud of my independent mindedness and the willingness to stand up to some powerful interests in Washington.

Kind says the only real solution to the tax reform issue and it's impact on elections is to repeal the US supreme Court's Citizens United case that makes it possible for corporations to spend unlimited funds in election campaigns.

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