Budget committee co-chair fundraiser questioned

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A fundraiser for a Republican co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee is being called into question since it falls the night before key votes are scheduled.

The cocktail reception for Sen. Alberta Darling, of River Hills, is Thursday night two blocks from the Capitol. Darling co-chairs the Joint Finance Committee, which was scheduled to meet Friday to complete its work on the budget.

The other co-chair, Rep. John Nygren, is also scheduled to attend the fundraiser.

Jay Heck, director of the government watchdog group Common Cause in Wisconsin, says Darling should cancel the fundraiser because it appears she's seeking donations to influence decisions on what gets in the budget.

A message left with the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, which organized the event, was not immediately returned.

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