New Partisan WMC Head Calls for Bipartisanship

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WMC Watch News: WMC’s new board chair is calling for bipartisan efforts to stimulate job growth in Wisconsin. Laughable, given the extremely partisan disposition of the organization he now heads and his own partisan campaign contributions.Thomas J. Howatt—the newly crowned chair of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin’s largest pro-corporate lobbying group—told WisBusiness that WMC is looking for to bipartisan support in getting Wisconsinites back to work: ‘€œJob growth and a strong business environment is something that both parties should be willing to support with considerable vigor.’€ ‘Cept WMC’s and Howatt’s considerable political support have been anything but bipartisan.

It’s no secret that WMC rose to new reprehensible heights in the last two decades to become the pro-corporate lobbying arm of the Republican Party. WMC board members have contributed $1,135,541—or 82% overall—to Republican and conservative campaigns and political committees. Republican legislators, in turn, receive high marks on WMC legislative scorecards for towing the pro-corporate line.

When One Wisconsin Now redesigned WMC Watch in 2009, we tallied Howatt’s political contributions at $11,225, of which 95.5% went to Republicans and conservatives. When One Wisconsin Now updates WMC contributions with the most recent campaign finance reports, our tally will show that Howatt started off the 2010 cycle in true partisan fashion, already contributing $1,250 to Republican Scott Walker’s campaign for Governor. He’s also given $750 to Republican candidate Sean Duffy, an extra $200 to Republican Rep. Jerry Petrowski, and $100 to Republican candidate for State Treasurer Jason Punzel.

So much for a commitment to bipartisanship.

Can I just also add that Howatt is the President and CEO of the Wausau Paper Corporation, which has two divisions—Wausau Paper Specialty Products, LLC and Wausau Paper Printing & Writing—incorporated at the notorious 1209 Orange St., Wilmington, Delaware address. (Made famous by Terrence Wall here and fellow WMC board member John B. Torinus here.)

And so much for a commitment to Wisconsin.

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Cody currently oversees online communications, web development, and graphic design at One Wisconsin Now & the Institute, having served previously as Deputy Research Director.