January 11, 2009

Provide Balance to the Conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

$288,460.50

That’€™s the amount of money the listed members of the board of directors at the oft-called non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance have donated to Republicans and conservative candidates since 1991.
    
Did they donate to Democrats and liberals? Yes. A whopping $25,475.

To sum: 92% to conservatives. Eight percent to liberals.

They’re welcome to do that. But this lopsided giving shows an unmistakable conservative preference. As we all know, the conservative agenda means fewer taxes for corporations and the wealthy and a more regressive tax burden paid by the middle class.

An analysis we at One Wisconsin Now put together shows 12 WTA board members gave this overwhelming conservative giving.  (A full listing of the more than 700 state and federal political contributions made by WTA board members is available here.)  

Why is this important? Because the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is often cited by government officials and media as an independent tax watchdog. This giving by it’€™s top officials cannot be ignored. The stakes are too high given the current economy to allow an organization with a clear bias to be bandied about as a high-minded, non-ideological arbiter of facts and figures.

The worth of the American worker has plummeted in a concerted effort by supply-siders going back to the Reagan administration to put all power in the hands of the haves and have mores.

To have a conservative tax advocate posited as a disinterested third party is a disservice to the public.

To our friends in the media, One Wisconsin Now is urging y’all to use the Taxpayers Alliance as a source, but provide balance from a more progressive tax policy organization as well. Both the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families have experts on tax policy.

That’s not too much to ask.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.

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