• Money and Elections

Matt Rothschild of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign recently spoke at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center near Ashland.

One topic he talked about was the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision dismissing the John Doe case involving Governor Walker, a case that Wisconsin Attorney General Schimel criticized. Rothschild recently asked AG Schimel about the decision, pointing out that it legalized coordination between candidates and outside groups, leaving in ruins our ability to enforce meaningful campaign contribution limits and disclosure rules.

Rothschild gave Schimel this example: The most a candidate running for governor today can get from a rich supporter is $10,000, which must be disclosed. But the candidate could tell that supporter to give $10 million to a particular outside group. The candidate could instruct that group on ads and messages to use, and the group wouldn’t have to disclose that the rich friend gave the group $10 million.

When Rothschild asked Schimel whether that was ludicrous, Schimel replied that he didn’t think the First Amendment right to political speech is ludicrous.

If there is no limit that citizens can impose on how much the wealthiest people and corporations can spend during elections, and if there is no way that citizens can force disclosure, then this twisted First Amendment argument ends up muzzling average citizens’ voices, corrupting our government, and stifling our democracy.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign supports amending the U.S. Constitution to say that corporations aren’t people and money is not speech.

The Wausau Daily Herald had this to say about WDC: “We probably don’t thank the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign enough for the good work it does promoting clean government and clean campaigns in the state. Just this week, the watchdog group released the results of an analysis that shed light on the power of money in politics. Isn’t it good to know where our representatives are getting their campaign money? You’ve got the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign to thank.”

Matt Rothschild travels throughout the state and will speak to your group. Call him at 608-255-4260 or go to