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Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a non-partisan nonprofit political watchdog group now in it's third decade of working for clean, open and honest government and reforms that make people matter more than money in politics.
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 South Paterson Street, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53703-3689, 608-255-4260

Wis Democracy Campaign - Outraged about April 7

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 11 April 2020
in Wisconsin

vote-47-mb1Well known progressive commentator Matt Rothschild on this week's election.


MADISON - I’ve never been so mad in my life!

The insistence by Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald, aided by the rigged Wisconsin Supreme Court and the reactionary U.S. Supreme Court, to go forward with the election on April 7 in the midst of this pandemic was the most despicable thing I’ve ever witnessed in politics.

Here’s what I wrote about it:

Shame! Wisconsin GOP Scrapes Bottom of the Barrel

Now that I’ve told you how I really feel, please let me share another article we posted on the outside spending in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race:

Special Interest Group Spending at $4.4M in Supreme Court Race

And here’s the astonishing amount that Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin spent on the constitutional amendment about victim’s rights, which we opposed:

Group Behind Marsy’s Law Referendum Spent $3.3M+ On Media

As you’ve probably already heard, we had to cancel our 25th anniversary celebration that we were going to hold on April 29, which is a drag because we had some good panels and speakers lined up.

Our next Big Money Bulletin is due out soon after election results are announced next week. All members will be receiving a ballot to elect our board of directors. So please watch for that in the mail.

matt-rothschildAnd if you like what we’ve been doing, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here: https://www.wisdc.org/get-involved/donate.

Thanks for your support.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Group Behind Marsy’s Law Referendum Spent $3.3M+ On Media

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
User is currently offline
on Monday, 06 April 2020
in Wisconsin

marcys-law-ad-wiWisconsin Democracy Campaign's Matt Rothschild gives you the rest of the story behind the proposed amendment to protect victim rights in the constitution.


MADISON - A group behind a proposed amendment to enshrine victim’s rights in the Wisconsin Constitution spent more than $3.3 million on media advertising in the first three months of the year.

Wisconsin residents will vote yeah or nay on the amendment via a referendum in Tuesday’s spring elections.

A campaign finance report filed last week by the group, Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin LLC, showed it spent a total of nearly $3.5 million on its operations since the beginning of the year. The bulk of its spending, $3.33 million, was for TV ads, radio, online advertising, and media consulting. The group’s television ad features television actor Kelsey Grammer.

In addition to the $3.5 million the referendum group spent on media ads, earlier, a lobbying group of the same name doled out $1.6 million between late 2016 through June 2019 to get the referendum passed by two different sessions of the legislature and placed on Tuesday’s ballot.

Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin LLC was funded entirely by Marsy’s Law for All Foundation in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Mary's Law for All was launched by  Henry Nicholas, the billionaire co-founder of Broadcom, whose sister, Marsy, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983 in California.

Across the country, the group has spent about $102 million in the 12 states where Marsy’s law ballot measures were approved between 2008 and 2018, according to Ballotpedia. Nicholas shelled out about $99 million of those contributions.

matt-rothschild-2018The amendment generally duplicates existing victim protections found in state law, but goes further in several areas. If approved by voters, victims would have the right to be heard at court proceedings, to refuse defense attorneys' requests for interviews, depositions or discovery, and to attend all proceedings in their cases.

Supporters of the amendment, which include law enforcement organizations, say it's important to protect victim rights in the constitution and not just in state statutes.

But opponents claim Marsy’s Law is dangerous because it could reduce the rights of accused people before they have been convicted of a crime, and that Wisconsin already protects victim rights in the state’s laws and constitution.

For the record, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign opposed the proposed amendment and testified against it.

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Democracy Campaign: Evers Bows to WMC

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
User is currently offline
on Friday, 16 August 2019
in Wisconsin

tony-eversProgressive critiques Governor, Republicans, gun laws, and the NRA.


MADISON - When I saw that Gov. Evers was speaking to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, I decided to take a look at his talk. And I was horrified to find out that he complimented WMC, which has done so much damage to our state over the last nine years. Here’s my critique of the governor’s talk:

Evers Bows to WMC

matt-rothschildThis week, we also took a look at the money that legislators have hauled in recently, and we discovered that the GOP’s haul was twice as big as the Democrats’:

Republican Lawmakers Led Fundraising in First Six Months of 2019

And in a follow up to our post last week on the NRA in Wisconsin, we noted that the Republican Senators who were dodging the issue of gun laws so studiously were also recipients of the NRA’s largesse:

GOP Senators Dodging Gun Law Questions Got Election Support from NRA


Thanks for taking a look at our offerings this week.

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Democracy Campaign: Foresight of Justice Stevens

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
User is currently offline
on Friday, 19 July 2019
in Wisconsin

wdc-logoMADISON - I was sad when I heard the news that Justice John Paul Stevens had died.

I was sad for personal reasons, since Justice Stevens and my father practiced law together in Chicago for many years and were very close.

And I was sad for political reasons, since Justice Stevens, when he was on the Court and afterwards, used his calm and logical and brilliant voice to advocate for a pro-democracy jurisprudence.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in his scorching dissent in the Citizens United case, and I excerpted some of his most powerful passages here:

Justice Stevens’s Dissent in Citizens United Lives On!

He warned that corporate special interests would have a field day, and so they have, here in Wisconsin, as we pointed out the record spending by corporations and PACs last season:

PAC, Corporate Contributions Hit Record $27M

And we also posted something this week on the record amount spent in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race earlier this year:

2019 Supreme Court Race Cost Record $8.2 Million+

This week, we also weighed in on the issue of the veto power of Wisconsin’s governor, which we have consistently viewed as overbroad:

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on Gov’s Veto Power

And on Tuesday, there was a jam-packed press conference in the State Capitol in favor of legislation to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin. Here’s what I said at that press conference:

A Democracy with Fair Play (or watch here)

Those companion bills, by the way, are SB288 and AB303. Please contact your legislators to support those bills, and please contact the chairs of the relevant committees to demand they hold public hearings on them.

matt-rothschildThe chairs of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection are Senator Stroebel (Chair) and Senator Kapenga (Vice-Chair).

The chairs of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections are Representative Tusler (Chair) and Representative Sanfelippo (Vice-Chair).

You can reach state legislators at 1-800-362-9472 or 266-9960 in Madison.

Thanks for your activism on this issue!

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Waupaca County Joins Effort to Ban Gerrymandering

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
User is currently offline
on Monday, 29 April 2019
in Wisconsin

voter-primariesPressure grows Statewide for referendums, as 72 percent of Wisconsinites want to ban gerrymandering, including 63 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents.


MADISON - On April 16 the Waupaca County board became the 46th county board to pass a resolution urging our state legislators to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin and to adopt nonpartisan redistricting.

Waupaca is conservative territory, and the passing of the referendum there is yet more confirmation that this is an issue that’s popular across the board. A Marquette Law School poll earlier this year showed that 72 percent of Wisconsinites want to ban gerrymandering, including 63 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents. Like Waupaca County, which Donald Trump carried with 63 percent of the vote, 34 of the 46 Wisconsin counties that have passed this resolution went for Trump in 2016.

The momentum keeps building. In addition to Waupaca County, three other county boards passed the resolution this month: Buffalo County, Iowa County, and Fond du Lac County.

What’s more, on April 2, county-wide referendums passed by overwhelming margins in La Crosse County and Vernon County. (Also that day, the Town of Newbold, near Rhinelander, held a referendum on the issue, and it passed with 69 percent approval.)

Here are the eight counties that have passed the referendum so far, along with the lopsided votes in favor:

  • Dane: 4/1/2014, 82% in favor46 Counties Have Passed Fair Maps Resolutions
  • Eau Claire: 11/6/18, 74% in favor
  • La Crosse: 4/2/2019, 77% in favor
  • Lincoln: 11/6/18, 65% in favor
  • Outagamie: 4/3/2018, 72% in favor
  • Sauk: 11/6/18, 72% in favor
  • Vernon: 4/2/2019, 71% in favor
  • Winnebago: 11/6/18, 69% in favor

This is one of the most underreported stories about grassroots activism in Wisconsin.

This powerful effort is the result of some great coordinated organizing by Citizen Action Cooperatives, Common Cause in Wisconsin, the Fair Elections Project, Grassroots North Shore, Indivisible, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Our Wisconsin Revolution, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Wisconsin Voices, and a few other groups.

matt-rothschildIt’s also the result of some inspired leadership by Lincoln County board member Hans Breitenmoser, who galvanized the county-by-county effort. And it’s the result of years of talks, all around the state, by former State Senators Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz (Cullen was Majority Leader for the Democrats at one point, and Schultz was Majority Leader for the Republicans).

Last, but by no means least, it’s the result of spontaneous organizing by local citizens who are just sick and tired of the rigging of our political system!

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