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New leadership coming to Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

MADISON, Wis (WRN)  Mike McCabe says after 15 years as the director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, it’s time to move on. The whistle blower says he “poured his heart and soul” into the group, but felt it was time to “pass the baton to someone with fresh legs who can continue the run.”

“You know I was feeling like I was maybe becoming a bit stale in this role and the last thing I wanted to do was for the Democracy Campaign to become stale,” he says, “and I didn’t want to stagnate personally. So I just felt like the time was right to start to initiate a transition to new leadership.”

The group is best known for keeping track of money in Wisconsin politics. It maintains a searchable database and numerous reports on campaign donations. McCabe says they’ve have had some victories over the years as well as defeats.

“We were instrumental in the creation of the Government Accountability Board. We got some reforms passed and also got some reforms passed that ended up later being repealed.” He says, “So we experienced the euphoria of winning and then later had to deal with the despair of having those victories taken away from us.”

The Joyce Foundation, which had been supporting the organization for 16 years, has recently withdrawn its annual support — a loss of $232,500 per year. It amounted to more than half the group’s yearly income.

McCabe will be stepping down at the end of this year. He says he made his decision to leave a few months ago to allow ample time to find a successor. McCabe does not have another job lined up, but will “stay in the fight,” and find something to get him “invigorated and excited” as he continues to fight for democracy.