Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Recent Articles

Campaign Cash: Republicans Stall “Dark Store” Bill
Campaign Cash

Republicans Stall “Dark Store” Bill

Bill opposed by special interests ends loophole lowering big box stores' property taxes.

Campaign Cash: Kwik Trip Cashes in on Walker Support
Campaign Cash

Kwik Trip Cashes in on Walker Support

Convenience store chain gave Walker $90,000, got $21 million from state jobs agency.

Campaign Cash: GOP Bill Restricts Suits Against Businesses
Campaign Cash

GOP Bill Restricts Suits Against Businesses

Special interests supporting legal restrictions donated $14 million to Republican legislators.

Campaign Cash: Tavern League Has Capitol Clout
Campaign Cash

Tavern League Has Capitol Clout

More than $2 million in campaign donations helps explain state’s weaker laws on drunk driving.

Campaign Cash: Bill Repeals Nearly 300 Air Pollution Rules
Campaign Cash

Bill Repeals Nearly 300 Air Pollution Rules

Backed by WMC, oil, paper and manufacturing companies.

Campaign Cash: Walker Signs Koch Bills to Loosen Licensing
Campaign Cash

Walker Signs Koch Bills to Loosen Licensing

ALEC-developed bills reduce training requirements for barbers, cosmetologists, others.

Campaign Cash: Walker Signs Lax Land Use Law
Campaign Cash

Walker Signs Lax Land Use Law

Makes it easier to sell substandard lots. Backed by big business, realtors, Koch group.

Campaign Cash: High Court Candidate Hires Koch Operatives
Campaign Cash

High Court Candidate Hires Koch Operatives

Judge Michael Screnock’s Supreme Court campaign hires former execs of Koch-funded groups.

Campaign Cash: Schimel Chats Up Big Donors at Trump Resort
Campaign Cash

Schimel Chats Up Big Donors at Trump Resort

Event sponsored by group that gave $300,000 to state campaigns in 2014 election.

Campaign Cash: Sweetheart Bill For Rent-to-Own Industry
Campaign Cash

Sweetheart Bill For Rent-to-Own Industry

Two GOP legislators given donations from industry would exempt it from consumer protection laws.

Campaign Cash: New GOP Pro-Mining Group Ran Attack Ads
Campaign Cash

New GOP Pro-Mining Group Ran Attack Ads

Natural Resources Development Association did ads attacking mining opponents.

Campaign Cash: Mega-Donors’ Offshore Cash Backed Walker
Campaign Cash

Mega-Donors’ Offshore Cash Backed Walker

Paradise Papers show billionaire’s off-shore tax havens donated to Gov. Walker.

Campaign Cash: Bill Would Let Utilities Destroy Wetlands
Campaign Cash

Bill Would Let Utilities Destroy Wetlands

They donated $1.9 million to politicians, want bill letting them take over wetlands.

Campaign Cash: Bill Restricts Abortion Coverage for State Workers
Campaign Cash

Bill Restricts Abortion Coverage for State Workers

No abortion coverage after rape or incest unless victim reports the crime.

Campaign Cash: Bill Lets Tesla Sell Cars in State
Campaign Cash

Bill Lets Tesla Sell Cars in State

Opposed by auto and truck dealers, who’ve donated $1.1 million to state politicians.

Campaign Cash: Gun Lobby Supports Young Hunters
Campaign Cash

Gun Lobby Supports Young Hunters

NRA, which has donated millions to state politicians, supports bill eliminating age limit.

Campaign Cash: DNR Opens Huge Forest to ATV Drivers
Campaign Cash

DNR Opens Huge Forest to ATV Drivers

200 miles of new routes in North Woods. Big victory for big lobbyist, ATV company Polaris.

Campaign Cash: Koch Brothers Want Less Local Control
Campaign Cash

Koch Brothers Want Less Local Control

GOP bill would limit city, county control over substandard lots.

Campaign Cash: DNR Decision Pleases Big Dairy
Campaign Cash

DNR Decision Pleases Big Dairy

Settles lawsuit on terms that restrict state oversight of factory farms.

Campaign Cash: Bill Would Change How Coops Operate
Campaign Cash

Bill Would Change How Coops Operate

Backed by big donors, agriculture and electric cooperatives and propane dealers.

Campaign Cash: Should State Drop “America’s Dairyland” Slogan?
Campaign Cash

Should State Drop “America’s Dairyland” Slogan?

Big bucks WMC wants license plates changed. Big bucks Dairy Business group disagrees.

Capitol Eye: Will “Riot Bill” Threaten Non-Violent Protestors?
Capitol Eye

Will “Riot Bill” Threaten Non-Violent Protestors?

Even some GOP legislators have qualms about proposed law.

Campaign Cash: Bipartisan Bill Legalizes Hemp
Campaign Cash

Bipartisan Bill Legalizes Hemp

Big farm groups support it, state police chiefs oppose it.

Campaign Cash: Chiropractors Have Capitol Clout
Campaign Cash

Chiropractors Have Capitol Clout

Group gave $1.4 million in political donations, pushed one of most heavily lobbied bills.

Campaign Cash: For-Profit Colleges Give $63,000 to Walker
Campaign Cash

For-Profit Colleges Give $63,000 to Walker

And his veto eliminates watchdog agency overseeing these colleges.

Campaign Cash: Special Interests Battle Over Workers Comp
Campaign Cash

Special Interests Battle Over Workers Comp

Big business group wants bill setting payment rates to health plans, medical society opposed.

Campaign Cash: NRA Gives $3.6 Million to Walker, Legislators
Campaign Cash

NRA Gives $3.6 Million to Walker, Legislators

Just one Democrat benefits from gun lobby’s generous donations.

Campaign Cash: Democrat’s Bill Restores Elections Commission Staff
Campaign Cash

Democrat’s Bill Restores Elections Commission Staff

Walker used a veto to slash staff of state’s watchdog agency.

Campaign Cash: One Million Acres of Wetlands Endangered
Campaign Cash

One Million Acres of Wetlands Endangered

Republican bill backed by big business could eliminate one-fifth of state’s wetlands.

Campaign Cash: Special Interests Like New DNR Appointee
Campaign Cash

Special Interests Like New DNR Appointee

GOP Rep. Dan Meyer, new DNR head, has backing of WMC.

Campaign Cash: Airport For GOP Donor’s Resort Gets State Aid
Campaign Cash

Airport For GOP Donor’s Resort Gets State Aid

He gives $61,000 to Republicans, they budget $4 million for airport near his golf resort.

Op Ed: Foxconn Deal Suspends Judicial Rules
Op Ed

Foxconn Deal Suspends Judicial Rules

Proposal allows company to skip lower courts, appeal directly to state Supreme Court.

Campaign Cash: Bill Restricts Local Control Over Sand Mines
Campaign Cash

Bill Restricts Local Control Over Sand Mines

Fracking industry donated big money to Walker, GOP legislators.

Campaign Cash: Regents Gave 100 Times More to GOP
Campaign Cash

Regents Gave 100 Times More to GOP

UW Regents and spouses gave $214,000 to Republican politicians, $2,050 to Democrats.

Campaign Cash: Construction Industry Has Huge Capitol Clout
Campaign Cash

Construction Industry Has Huge Capitol Clout

$11 million political in donations helps get policies to reduce safety measures in buildings.

Campaign Cash: Joint Finance Okays School Choice Expansion
Campaign Cash

Joint Finance Okays School Choice Expansion

Powerful voucher lobby, including Betsy DeVos, has spent millions to support state politicians.

Campaign Cash: Business Group Is the Lord of Lobbying
Campaign Cash

Business Group Is the Lord of Lobbying

Of 700 lobbyists in 2017, no one spent more than Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

Campaign Cash: GOP Crushes Democrats in Campaign Dollars
Campaign Cash

GOP Crushes Democrats in Campaign Dollars

So far in 2017 Republican legislative candidates have 3-1 edge over Democrats.

Campaign Cash: Business Lobby Delays “Dark Stores” Bill?
Campaign Cash

Business Lobby Delays “Dark Stores” Bill?

Bill overturns ruling that assesses big-box stores as though they are empty.

Campaign Cash: GOP Bill Would End Mining Moratorium
Campaign Cash

GOP Bill Would End Mining Moratorium

Proposal would open door to copper, lead and zinc mines in the Northwoods.

Campaign Cash: More Republican Dark Money to 527 Groups
Campaign Cash

More Republican Dark Money to 527 Groups

GOP donors give $1.2 million, Democrats give $824,000 in first half of 2017.

Campaign Cash: Did Foxconn Lobby Illegally?
Campaign Cash

Did Foxconn Lobby Illegally?

Began meeting with state officials in April, didn’t register as lobbyist until August.

Campaign Cash: Walker Signs Koch-Backed Anti-Regulation Law
Campaign Cash

Walker Signs Koch-Backed Anti-Regulation Law

State agencies now have less power to protect environment, consumer rights, public health.

Campaign Cash: Who Are State’s Dark Money Leaders?
Campaign Cash

Who Are State’s Dark Money Leaders?

MMAC, Chris Abele, liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee lead the way in 2017.

Campaign Cash: How Much Do DOJ Civil Suits Cost?
Campaign Cash

How Much Do DOJ Civil Suits Cost?

Bill requires state AG to disclose cost of many suits against federal government.

Campaign Cash: Bill Has $10 Million Giveaway to Fiserv
Campaign Cash

Bill Has $10 Million Giveaway to Fiserv

Included in Foxconn bill. Fiserv employees donated $15,400 to state politicians.

Campaign Cash: NRA, Others Want Gun Classes
Campaign Cash

NRA, Others Want Gun Classes

Opposed by Madison schools, backed by Bear Hunters Association.

Campaign Cash: 34% of Walker Donations From Outside State
Campaign Cash

34% of Walker Donations From Outside State

Analysis of his 2017 fundraising shows 31 people gave $20,000 each.

Campaign Cash: $8.5 Million Reasons Why GOP Expanding Vouchers
Campaign Cash

$8.5 Million Reasons Why GOP Expanding Vouchers

Multi millions in campaign donations, mostly from out-of-state voucher supporters.

Campaign Cash: Superintendent’s Race Cost $1 Million
Campaign Cash

Superintendent’s Race Cost $1 Million

More than three-fourths of money spent to reelect Tony Evers.

Campaign Cash: $1 Million Donated to Walker-Led Group
Campaign Cash

$1 Million Donated to Walker-Led Group

10 state donors funnel cash with no limits to GOP candidates for governor.

Campaign Cash: Democrats’ Bill Requires More Campaign Disclosure
Campaign Cash

Democrats’ Bill Requires More Campaign Disclosure

Committees, corporations required to disclose any spending on ads within 60 days of elections.

Campaign Cash: Vos Goads WMC for Their Roads Plan
Campaign Cash

Vos Goads WMC for Their Roads Plan

Business group's lobbying killed trucks fee, leaving roads budget still far short.

Campaign Cash: Hospitals Group Pays for Capitol Clout
Campaign Cash

Hospitals Group Pays for Capitol Clout

Wisconsin Hospital Association spends millions on lobbying, campaign donations.

Campaign Cash: Fireworks Industry Has Capitol Clout
Campaign Cash

Fireworks Industry Has Capitol Clout

Bipartisan donations help pass laws expanding fireworks use in state.

Campaign Cash: Bill Expands Winery Retail Hours
Campaign Cash

Bill Expands Winery Retail Hours

It pits Koch Brothers and Farm Bureau (supporters) against Tavern League (opposed).

Campaign Cash: Fish Farm Regulations Reduced
Campaign Cash

Fish Farm Regulations Reduced

Walker signs bill big business lobbied for and environmentalists opposed.

Campaign Cash: Anthem Insurance Likes Republicans
Campaign Cash

Anthem Insurance Likes Republicans

Pulling out of Obamacare, giving almost $175,000 to GOP politicians.

Campaign Cash: Walker Loves Ashley Furniture
Campaign Cash

Walker Loves Ashley Furniture

Company gets a state grant, and he gets big campaign donations.

Campaign Cash: GOP Considers Heavy Fees for Trucks
Campaign Cash

GOP Considers Heavy Fees for Trucks

Trucking lobby opposes solution to transportation shortfall.

Campaign Cash: GOP Bill Allows No License Bakeries
Campaign Cash

GOP Bill Allows No License Bakeries

Part of ALEC agenda to reduced licensing requirements for barbers, cosmetologists, etc.

Campaign Cash: Koch-Funded Group Backs Tax Cut
Campaign Cash

Koch-Funded Group Backs Tax Cut

Cut could reduce state forestry funding.

Campaign Cash: Walker Signs High-Capacity Wells Bill
Campaign Cash

Walker Signs High-Capacity Wells Bill

Good for powerful agriculture interests, bad for the environment.

Campaign Cash: WMC Wants Another Business Tax Break
Campaign Cash

WMC Wants Another Business Tax Break

Bill increases construction industry tax exemption; pushed by legislator whose business will benefit.

Campaign Cash: How MMAC Peddles Influence
Campaign Cash

How MMAC Peddles Influence

Milwaukee business group has spent $2.4 million on campaigns and lobbying.

Campaign Cash: Sand Plant Will Destroy Rare Wetlands
Campaign Cash

Sand Plant Will Destroy Rare Wetlands

Approved by DNR. Law firm pushing for it generous to Walker.

Campaign Cash: MillerCoors Loves Scott Walker
Campaign Cash

MillerCoors Loves Scott Walker

He gets $72,000 from its employees and $32,000 from Mills Fleet Farm.

Campaign Cash: Walker Gets $51,000 From Six Companies
Campaign Cash

Walker Gets $51,000 From Six Companies

And they get $25 million in grants, credits from WEDC.

Kochs Big Donors to Colleges

Kochs Big Donors to Colleges

Giving more than $1 million to state's public, private colleges.

Campaign Cash: Bill Buries State Regulations
Campaign Cash

Bill Buries State Regulations

After 7 years they would expire. Kochs and WMC back the bill.

Campaign Cash: Fish Farm Regulations Rolled Back
Campaign Cash

Fish Farm Regulations Rolled Back

Big business lobby wants it, legislature approves it, will Walker sign it?

Campaign Cash: Child Labor Law Passes
Campaign Cash

Child Labor Law Passes

Teen work permits without parental okay approved. Will Walker sign it?

Campaign Cash: Businesses Want Wealthy Tax Cut
Campaign Cash

Businesses Want Wealthy Tax Cut

Bill gives $519 million in tax cuts to millionaires. MMAC favors it.

Campaign Cash: Ag Interests Want Legalized Hemp
Campaign Cash

Ag Interests Want Legalized Hemp

Farm groups back bill, gave legislators $1.3 million.

Campaign Cash: Bill Ends Chain Store Tax Loophole
Campaign Cash

Bill Ends Chain Store Tax Loophole

Proposed by GOP legislators, opposed by business lobbyists.

Campaign Cash: A Special Bill for Special Interests
Campaign Cash

A Special Bill for Special Interests

They dole out $30 million on candidates, get a bill cutting regulations on businesses.

Campaign Cash: Koch-Backed Texas Group Lobbies Here
Campaign Cash

Koch-Backed Texas Group Lobbies Here

With $73 million in funding, it lobbies for long list of conservative causes.

Campaign Cash: GOP Bill Targets Local Wheel Taxes
Campaign Cash

GOP Bill Targets Local Wheel Taxes

100 proposals restricting local governance passed since 2011.

Campaign Cash: Bear Hunters Association Has Big Clout
Campaign Cash

Bear Hunters Association Has Big Clout

Donated $369,000, wants less rules on guns, no photos of hunters.

Campaign Cash: Bill Goes Easy on Business Polluters
Campaign Cash

Bill Goes Easy on Business Polluters

And manufacturers donate to legislators pushing the proposal.

Campaign Cash: GOP Bill Repeals Minimum Markup
Campaign Cash

GOP Bill Repeals Minimum Markup

But business, tourism interests back current law on "unfair sales."

Campaign Cash: WMC Opposes Lead Pipes Bill
Campaign Cash

WMC Opposes Lead Pipes Bill

Business lobbyist opposes loans to homeowners to replace pipes.

Campaign Cash: That’s a Whole Lot of Manure
Campaign Cash

That’s a Whole Lot of Manure

55 million gallons per year from one mega farm; $75,000 to politicians.

Campaign Cash: Health Care Bigwigs Give Walker $44,000
Campaign Cash

Health Care Bigwigs Give Walker $44,000

Walker budget spends on medical education, health programs.

Campaign Cash: Kochs Support Prevailing Wage Bill
Campaign Cash

Kochs Support Prevailing Wage Bill

GOP bill pushed by ALEC and group's treasurer, Sen Leah Vukmir.

Bill Restricts Election Recounts

Bill Restricts Election Recounts

Inspired by Jill Stein recount, would make state more restrictive than most.

Campaign Cash: Legislators Dump 83 Walker Policies
Campaign Cash

Legislators Dump 83 Walker Policies

No such action in 25 years. Many of budget items sought by special interests.

Campaign Cash: Referendums Voted Against Citizens United
Campaign Cash

Referendums Voted Against Citizens United

105 communities with 48% of state’s voters have now voted to overturn Supreme Court decision.

Campaign Cash: Accused Insurer Is Big Campaign Donor
Campaign Cash

Accused Insurer Is Big Campaign Donor

UnitedHealth Group accused of Medicaid fraud, gave $42,000 to state politicians.

Campaign Cash: Farm Bureau Has Capitol Clout
Campaign Cash

Farm Bureau Has Capitol Clout

Spends $3 million on lobbying alone, gets policies hurting environment.

Campaign Cash: Regent Nominees Gave Walker $22,550
Campaign Cash

Regent Nominees Gave Walker $22,550

The two nominees also gave more than $64,000 to other candidates.

Campaign Cash: NRA Wants Guns Without Permits
Campaign Cash

NRA Wants Guns Without Permits

More than 40 GOP legislators back bill, received NRA donations.

Campaign Cash: Liberal Group Spends $225,000 on Evers
Campaign Cash

Liberal Group Spends $225,000 on Evers

Greater Wisconsin Committee buying TV ads in Milwaukee, Green Bay areas.

Campaign Cash: Top Donors to Superintendent Candidates
Campaign Cash

Top Donors to Superintendent Candidates

Unions love incumbent Evers; corporate leaders back Holtz.

Campaign Cash: Democrats File Complaint Against Gableman
Campaign Cash

Democrats File Complaint Against Gableman

Claiming he violated code of conduct by helping Republican fundraiser.

Campaign Cash: Bill Reveals School Voucher Costs
Campaign Cash

Bill Reveals School Voucher Costs

Democratic bill says property tax bills must show cost to local school district.

Campaign Cash: Corporations Gave $1.3 Million to Politicians
Campaign Cash

Corporations Gave $1.3 Million to Politicians

Allowed by new state law. $827,000 given to state GOP, $479,000 to Democrats.

Campaign Cash: Bill Targets Business Grantees
Campaign Cash

Bill Targets Business Grantees

Bipartisan bill fines or jails businesses who cheat state on WEDC grants.

Campaign Cash: Illegal Funding By Democratic Group?
Campaign Cash

Illegal Funding By Democratic Group?

WDC files complaint against Assembly group for violating campaign finance law.

Campaign Cash: Budget Has Millions in Tax Breaks
Campaign Cash

Budget Has Millions in Tax Breaks

Breaks go to special interest groups who donated $10.2 million to Walker.

Wis. Democracy Campaign Files Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Dean Knudson
Press Release

Wis. Democracy Campaign Files Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Dean Knudson

“The creation of the Wisconsin Liberty Fund, an express advocacy PAC by a sitting legislator, is patently illegal.”

Corporations Pour Money Into State Politics

Corporations Pour Money Into State Politics

They spend nearly $300,000 in first four months of 2016 to elect favored candidates.

Wis. Nonprofits Want US Dept. of Justice to Challenge Voter ID Law
Press Release

Wis. Nonprofits Want US Dept. of Justice to Challenge Voter ID Law

They Cite Recent Evidence of “Racist Intent”

Wis. Repubs Try to Crush Voter Registration Drives. Urgent: Block SB 295!
Press Release

Wis. Repubs Try to Crush Voter Registration Drives. Urgent: Block SB 295!

It would make it impossible to conduct voter registration drives.

3 DA’s Appeal John Doe
Press Release

3 DA’s Appeal John Doe

“This is great news for anyone who is concerned about money in politics,” said Matt Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Wisconsin State Supreme Court Out of Order on John Doe II!
Press Release

Wisconsin State Supreme Court Out of Order on John Doe II!

“This is a corrupt, rigged, and renegade court,” said Matt Rothschild.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Supports Iowa-Model Redistricting Reform
Press Release

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Supports Iowa-Model Redistricting Reform

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign endorses Senate Bill 58 and Assembly Bill 328.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Condemns State Supreme Court Ruling in John Doe II
Press Release

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Condemns State Supreme Court Ruling in John Doe II

“It is not only regrettable; it is downright dangerous,” said Matt Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Walker Campaign Finance Report Riddled with Errors
Press Release

Walker Campaign Finance Report Riddled with Errors

The Democracy Campaign filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board.