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Report | WISPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Big Banks, Bigger Fees 2012

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the state PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees.  Over the last six months, state PIRG staff conducted inquiries at 250 bank and 116 credit union branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia and reviewed bank fees online in these and 7 other states.

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News Release | WISPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

New Survey Shows Free Checking Widely Available At Small Banks

A survey of 26 Wisconsin banks and credit unions and hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that free checking remains available at more than 6 out of 10 small banks and credit unions but was only found at one-quarter of surveyed big banks (those with over $10 billion in deposits). The survey released by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) also revealed that fewer than half of branches surveyed obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Voters Reject Big Money in Politics, Now It’s Time for Reform

Voters sent a message last Tuesday, showing resounding support for our leaders to take steps to deal with the outsized influence of big money in our elections, including a resolution passed in Eau Claire County, WI endorsing a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United.

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Report | WISPIRG and Demos | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Post-Election Spending Analysis

New analysis of Federal Election Commission data through Election Day shows that just a few big outside spenders drowned out small donors in the 2012 election cycle. The Supreme Court's Citizens United allows wealthy special interests to amplify their voices far above the average citizen. This will continue the cycle of major donors receiving the greatest political access and setting the agenda for our government in Washington and in Madison, interfering with our government's ability to function in the best interests of the public at-large.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Big Money and Dark Money in the 2012 Elections

Outside spending on the Wisconsin senatorial race is the third highest of any race in the nation, at over $30 million. Only the presidential race and the campaign for Virginia's senate seat have seen more outside money pouring in to influence voters. This new analysis of pre-election data from the Federal Election Commission and other sources shows that outside spending in the first presidential election cycle since Citizens United is living up to the hype. With no limits on campaign spending Super PACs and Dark Money groups have used massive donations from a small number of wealthy donors to flood our elections with at least $1.1 billion dollars in outside spending. This new data is an update to the Million Dollar Megaphones report released in September, with new data on the last two months of election spending.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Wisconsin Economic Recovery Now in Hands of Governor, DOT, MPOs

As President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, WISPIRG called on Governor Doyle and state legislative leaders to ensure that the transportation portion revitalizes the Wisconsin economy, focusing on job creation by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and investing in much needed public transit.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Health Care

New Report: Without Reform, Health Costs Will Double

Without action from Congress, premiums and deductibles for residents of Wisconsin with employer provided insurance will nearly double by 2016, according to a new report released today by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG).

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

House Acts To Create Jobs, Put Nation On Path To Economic Stability

WISPIRG lauds today’s passage of H.R. 1, the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act by the United States House of Representatives.  According to Gary Kalman, the director of WISPIRG’s Federal Legislative Office, “This legislation will spark immediate economic growth and lay the foundation for continued prosperity in a quickly changing global economy.”

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

New Study: Both Good Signs and Red Flags in State’s Transportation Stimulus Wish List

A new study of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) wish list, recently submitted to Congress for funding under a new economic recovery package, suggests that Wisconsin’s current project list both prioritizes projects that can help Wisconsin to address our biggest transportation problems, but also undermines efforts to repair and modernize our deteriorating infrastructure and reduce U.S. dependence on oil.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Doyle Stimulus Proposal Would Move Some Key Projects for 21st Century Transportation, “Getting Wisconsin Back on Track”

Governor Doyle’s economic stimulus proposal to President-Elect Obama, which was released today, includes important 21st  century transportation projects for Wisconsin, including high speed intercity rail connecting Wisconsin’s major metropolitan areas, commuter rail in southeastern Wisconsin and Dane County, funding for transit agencies statewide, and funding for road and bridge repair and maintenance.

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We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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