Just over a week ago, the One Wisconsin Institute launched an email campaign asking concerned citizens to send a message to the board members of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). To date over 10,000 communications have been generated in that very short time. This is just another example of how people all across the state are sick of their increasingly partisan behavior. Outgoing UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley accurately stated that WMC has been taken over by ‘political extremists’ and that they have created a ‘toxic’ political environment in Wisconsin. Obviously he is not alone in making that assessment as evidenced by large numbers of emails sent out by concerned Wisconsinites.
The ‘political extremists’ that Wiley describes are apparently so concerned about the email campaign that one of them decided to send his own communication to the WMC board members. In it he pleads that they should not let the emails disrupt their fundraising drive for the ads that they plan to run in the coming months. In an email to WMC board members, WMC Vice President for Government Relations James Buchen said the following:
It appears that the email campaign is an effort to disrupt WMC’s fundraising drive for the WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. We hope that this will not be the case. We hope that Directors will continue to show the resolve and fortitude demonstrated at the June Board Retreat when the Board voted unanimously to launch our fall issue campaign.
Compare the repeated use of the word ‘hope’ in those few sentences with the usual public pronouncements that everything is A-OK at WMC. Perhaps those most responsible for the severely partisan direction at WMC are not as sure about their support as they try to portray in public. It would not be that surprising since at least two sitting board members have left their positions this year alone. If they are not confident about the intentions of their own board, how worried are they about their rank and file members who most likely didn’t sign up for so many nasty partisan battles?
Buchen goes on in his email saying:
The One Wisconsin Institute is affiliated with One Wisconsin Now, which has close ties to organized labor. One Wisconsin Now has supported candidates for public office that WMC has opposed. The One Wisconsin Institute and One Wisconsin Now have been engaged in a protracted campaign to disrupt WMC and harass WMC Directors.
Isn’t it unfortunate that WMC’s staff finds hearing from Wisconsin citizens a form of harassment? Aren’t the hard-working people who finance the corporate tax cuts for members of WMC entitled to express themselves? For an organization which is constantly talking about its first amendment rights to communicate, WMC’s complaining could come off as just a bit hypocritical.
If you have not had the opportunity to speak your mind to the WMC board please DO IT TODAY!