Activism is essential for the country, government watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Matt Rothschild said at an Indivisible Madison meeting Tuesday evening.
After the election of President Donald Trump, many groups like Rothschild’s woke up to an increase in activism and demands for safeguarding democracy.
“It’s so easy to throw yourself into a cause and sacrifice balance and some of your personal life commitments and other sources of joy,” Rothschild said.
While activism is an important part in the Trump era, it is important to keep in mind that the people you think rule Wisconsin are not the real rulers, Rothschild said.
Rothschild said lawmakers are fronts for large corporations that are trying to push their agendas, which is a problem for citizens.
“In fact they are all water-boys for the actual people who rule Wisconsin,” Rothschild said. “And who really rules Wisconsin? The folks at Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce … the biggest lobbyist in the state house, and who have spent 18 and a half million dollars since 2010 to keep Scott Walker and Scott Fitzgerald in power.”
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Gov. Scott Walker, Fitzgerald and other politicians funded by these groups push the policies that these big donors and lobbyists desire, Rothschild said.
WMC is not the only powerhouse operating in Wisconsin, Rothschild said. The Koch brothers are prevalent in Wisconsin via the Americans for Prosperity group, run by the brothers. This group has spent upwards of $5.5 million to keep Walker, Fitzgerald and Speaker of the House Robin Vos.
“Corporate executives meet with state legislators and show them what a model piece of legislation would do for the corporations,” Rothschild said. “Then they send the state legislators back to their state houses to railroad those pieces of legislation through.”