One Wisconsin Now Contest Allows Public to Tell Tea Party ‘Why America Works’

Messages to Be Featured on Mobile Billboard April 15

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MADISON, Wis. — Citizens from across Wisconsin who are weary of the anger, divisiveness and misinformation of the Republican-led Tea Party movement can send a message on April 15 about “Why America Works” through a mobile billboard contest launched this week by One Wisconsin Now.

“Wisconsinites are tired of hearing Sarah Palin and the Tea Party tell them that they are the problem,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “It’s time the hardworking people of Wisconsin have the chance to answer the Tea Party’s endless attacks on our public schools, our police and fire services and the public infrastructures that made the middle class.”

One Wisconsin Now is giving Wisconsinites the chance to say “Why America Works” through a statewide, online contest. Submissions One Wisconsin Now receives at http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/teapartymessage will be featured on a huge mobile billboard which will greet the Tea Party when it comes to the State Capitol in Madison on April 15.

Hundreds of the messages about “Why America Works” One Wisconsin Now receives will be displayed on the billboard and one message, chosen by One Wisconsin Now’s 45,000 online membership, will anchor the billboard. One Wisconsin Now hopes the contest will focus attention on the critical public investments Americans have made working together to create the middle class and support the American Dream.

“The middle class didn’t happen by accident,” said Ross. “It happened because of deliberate decisions to empower working Americans “¢ whether it’s the GI Bill, mortgage deductions, public schools or realizing the dream of a college education.”

Ross said One Wisconsin Now’s goal was to give reasonable and rational voices the chance to be heard above the cacophony which has unfortunately typified Tea Party events inside and outside of Wisconsin.

At the April 15, 2009 Americans for Prosperity Tea Party event in Madison, pro-working family activists were heckled and an individual holding an Americans for Prosperity sign launched profane and homophobic slurs captured by One Wisconsin Now cameras. This video was shown recently on MSNBC as an example of the extremism displayed at Tea Party events. (Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/onewisconsinnow#p/a/u/0/s6MCqS4mXuw)

“Wisconsin has always been about finding solutions and working together, and working families across the state are soundly rejecting this extremism,” said Ross. “The extremism, coarse language and documented racist appeals seen at Tea Party events around the country are being soundly rejected by the people of Wisconsin.”

More information about the contest can be found by visiting One Wisconsin Now’s “Why America Works” webpage at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/teapartymessage.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.