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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

Giving thanks for pro-democracy prospects here in Wis.

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, 26 November 2022
in Wisconsin

thanksgiving-family-dinnerMatt Rothschild of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is thankful for 3 things in 2022 as far as the pro-democracy prospects go here in Wisconsin.


MADISON - On this Thanksgiving weekend, I’ve got three things to be thankful for, as far as the pro-democracy prospects go here in Wisconsin.

First, I’m thankful that Gov. Evers is still our governor, and that his veto pen still works. Robin Vos’s veto-proof majority failed to materialize in the Assembly, so Evers can still do what he does best: Blocking bills that would curb our freedom to vote, or blocking bills that would destroy our public schools, or damage our public lands, or deprive women of their most basic freedom to make their own decisions regarding their health care.

Second, I’m thankful for Law Forward, the great pro-democracy law firm that’s been around for a just a couple years but is already changing the legal landscape in Wisconsin in our favor. This group, founded by Jeff Mandell and Doug Poland and initially just with the amazing Mel Barnes as staff counsel, acts not only as a much-needed counterweight to the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. It also pushes for fair maps, defends our freedom to vote, and demands accountability for those who violate our democracy. More than any other group in Wisconsin, Law Forward has demanded that the false electors in Wisconsin be investigated, and the firm has filed a civil suit against them, as well -- the first of its kind in the nation.

And third, I’m thankful for Civic Media, the new progressive radio network that is buying up stations all across Wisconsin not only to counter the dominance of rightwing radio but also to build civil dialogue at the local level, both of which we’ve been desperately needing. Growing out of “Devil Radio,” the flagship station in Madison founded by the irrepressible Michael Crute, it is now expanding rapidly, with the vision and resources of Sage Weil. Now with stations not only in Madison and Waukesha, but also in Amery, Richland Center, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wausau, with more to come, Civic Media is changing the sound of talk radio in Wisconsin, and it’s changing the politics of our state for the better.

So I’m thankful, this Thanksgiving weekend, and I hope you are, too.


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Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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Gerrymandering and the 2022 Election in Wisconsin

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 Tuesday, 15 November 2022
in Wisconsin

gerrymander-elections-redistrictingMADISON - In Wisconsin’s recent elections, we saw the ugly results of gerrymandering.

Gov. Evers won by 90,000 votes but still the Republicans gained more seats in the Legislature, coming within a whisker of a veto-proof majority.

And it’s not just because Democrats congregate in Milwaukee and Dane County, like Republicans like to claim.

Take a look at the Evers victory map. He won up in the northwest, taking Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland counties by about 57 percent each.

And guess what? Those Democratic voters of Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland counties now have zero representation in the State Legislature.

No State Senator, no Assembly person.

Why?

Because Robin Vos drew the maps not to abide by the county lines but to distort the districts by bringing in Republican voters from nearby red counties.

When he testified about the maps last fall, Vos admitted he “used partisanship” in drawing them. Basically, he confessed to the crime of gerrymandering.

But he bragged that it was legal, so we got to make it illegal.

matt-rothschildThere’s a huge grassroots effort in Wisconsin to ban gerrymandering. Already, 56 of our 72 counties have passed resolutions and referendums urging the Legislature to outlaw it.

And there’s a huge Wisconsin Supreme Court race coming up in April that will determine the ideological balance of the court. If a justice is elected who believes that gerrymandering undermines the will of the people, as guaranteed in our Wisconsin Constitution, then it’s possible that the Court could ban it.

Please go to fairmapswi.com to follow this issue and to see how you can help.

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Wis Democracy Campaign - Gov Race Smashes $$$ Record

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, 04 November 2022
in Wisconsin

2022-gov-raceMADISON - Obscene amounts of money have been flooding into the race for governor here in Wisconsin.

This money has shattered the old record, with more than a staggering $100 million being spent here on this race. Here’s our post on it:

Spending in Wisconsin Gov Race Smashes Record

For the details on the biggest donors to the campaigns of Gov. Evers and Tim Michels, see these items:

See Evers’s Largest Contributors
See Michels’s Largest Contributors

2022-outside-moneyAnd for a glimpse at the biggest spenders by the outside “independent expenditure” groups, see this posting:

Outside Spending Hits Horrifying New High

Enough already! We need to put a limit on all this spending because it’s not only splattering our screens with mud, it’s drowning out our voices.

Here at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, we’ll press forward on this crucial issue of campaign finance reform.

You can count on that!


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Matt Rothschild
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Wis. GOP’s Assault on our Democracy

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, 30 September 2022
in Wisconsin

us-shame-2022MADISON - A coalition partner of ours at a group called American Oversight asked me to send them a statement about the assault on voting rights here in Wisconsin, so this is what I wrote:

The Wisconsin GOP’s Shameful Two Years

This week, we’ve also been tracking the big money in the governor’s race. Here are our two posts on Evers and Michels:

Evers Raises $4.5M+ in About a Month

Michels Raises $5.4M+ in August Mostly from His Own Pocket

A couple things concern me about these reports. For one thing, should Michels just be able to waltz in and buy the governor’s mansion because he has unlimited personal funds?

And as for Evers, do we really want all those out-of-state donors pouring their big money in? What right do they have to influence who should be governor of Wisconsin when they don’t even live here?

These reports highlight the need for comprehensive campaign finance reform so that each of us gets an equal say in who gets elected.

We’re a long way from that right now.

I hope you have a nice weekend (it’ll be nicer if you don’t watch all the ugly campaign ads on your screens!).


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Matt Rothschild
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Evers Right About Direct Democracy

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 Thursday, 22 September 2022
in Wisconsin

womens-healthGov. Evers is right to call for binding referendums, and how this call echoes one from another progressive Wisconsin governor 111 years ago! - Matt Rothschild


MADISON - On Sept. 21, Gov. Tony Evers made a bold move: He came out in favor of binding referendums, and he called the Legislature back to vote on beginning the process of amending our Wisconsin Constitution to provide for such popular sovereignty.

Noting the motto inscribed in the Capitol that proclaims, “ The will of the people is the law of the land,” Evers pointed out that this is no longer true in Wisconsin – especially on abortion rights.

tony-evers“Well, right now, today, when it comes to reproductive freedom, the will of the people isn’t the law of the land. And it damn well should be, folks. It really should,” Evers said.

Evers is right about reproductive freedom. In the latest Marquette Law School poll, 63 percent opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and 83 percent of Wisconsinites favored allowing a woman to get an abortion in cases of rape and incest. And that included 70 percent of Republicans. Only 10 percent of Wisconsinites oppose such a provision. Yet with the overturning of Roe, Wisconsin, under the abortion ban passed back in 1849, doesn’t allow exceptions for rape and incest. (Tim Michels, by the way, opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest.)

And it’s not just the issue of reproductive freedom where the will of the people of Wisconsin is being denied. The Marquette Law School poll in August found that 78 percent of Wisconsinites favor paid medical leave for parents of new babies. And 69 percent favor legalizing marijuana (a whopping 83% favored legalizing medical marijuana in a previous Marquette poll).

The vast majority of Wisconsinites also favor banning gerrymandering, with 72 percent approval, according to a 2019 Marquette poll, and 87 percent approval, according to a 2021 poll by YouGov.

When We, the People, aren’t getting what we overwhelmingly want, there’s something seriously wrong with our democracy.

And one way to fix it is by giving us the right of binding referendums, as Evers is proposing.

After all, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio have it. Why can’t we, here in Wisconsin?

In two cases over the past decade, Michigan and Ohio used it to great effect.

After Scott Walker rammed through Act 10, dealing a crushing blow to public sector unions, Republicans in Ohio passed a copy-cat bill, which was signed into law. But the people of Ohio wouldn’t stand for it, and they overturned it by referendum.

In Michigan, a grassroots activist named Katie Fahey was so appalled by the gerrymandering in her home state that she started a movement on Facebook to ban it, and she and other activists got hundreds of thousands of signatures to place the referendum on the ballot. And in 2018, it passed, and gerrymandering is no longer legal in Michigan.

matt-rothschild-2018 Evers is not the first governor of Wisconsin to propose giving the people of Wisconsin such power. Back in 1911, Governor Francis McGovern asked the Legislature to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to allow binding referendums. “The great task of the time,” he said, “is how to make and keep government really representative of the people.” Binding referendums “embody but one idea: that of placing the people in actual control of public affairs.”

So here we are, 111 years later, and that remains the great task of our time, because the people of Wisconsin still don’t have actual control of our public affairs, and our government is still not really representative of the people.

We’ve got to change that, and Tony Evers has the right idea to do so.

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