Will $2 Billion Buy Walker a Standing Ovation from WMC?

MADISON, Wis. — At Tuesday’s Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbying luncheon Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will likely find support from the corporate lobby for his $2-billion, budget-busting, deficit-doubling plan for tax breaks that mostly benefit corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites. What is less likely, is that Walker will explain which drastic cuts he would […]

CEOs put down the champagne and caviar to cheer Walker’s corporate welfare plan

If theres one thing new Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce board chair Tom Howatt and his corporate cronies at WMC enjoy more than anything, its a big ole handout from the government. Take Howatts company Wausau Paper. In the final quarter of 2009, Wausau Paper reported its best earnings quarter in ten years, $9.2 million, the […]

Will New WMC Head Thank Democrats for $2.6 Million in Funds, Decade-Best Earnings?

MADISON, Wis. — Newly-minted Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce chair Thomas Howatt, Chief Executive Officer of Wausau Paper Corporation, has yet to issue public thanks to Democrats controlling the state legislature and the U.S. Congress who enacted policies to both provide his company with $2.6 million in Recovery Act funds and coinciding with the company’s best […]

WISTAX Watch alert: Coincidence WISTAX report targets cities, not counties?

WISTAX Watch is asking the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance to explain why its latest report focusing on fee increases in cities and villages ignores county governments. The state is in the midst of a gubernatorial campaign between Milwaukee’s conservative county executive, Scott Walker and Milwaukee’s mayor, Tom Barrett. It defies logic that WISTAX focuses on […]

WISTAX more partisan than WMC?

We here at One Wisconsin Now have worked tirelessly for close to a year developing WISTAX Watch‘€”a comprehensive expose on the pro-corporate, conservative bias of Wisconsin’€™s most vocal and visible tax policy think tank, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). Among the most blatant examples of its bias is the overwhelming amount of contributions to Republican […]

What You’ll Find at WISTAX Watch

Gotta quiz for you…Which supposedly “independent” and “unbiased” organization in Wisconsin fits the following? Its president and leading voice is a former Republican administration official and local Republican party executive committee member. Members of its board of directors since 1994 have donated nearly $1.3 million to Republicans and conservative political candidates.Fifteen of these same 33 […]

New partisan WMC head calls for bipartisanship

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 […]

With his hand out, Torinus criticizes Recovery

Readers of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel business section will know the name John Torinus. Torinus seems to be a busy man in the business community: he is the current chair and former CEO of Serigraph, Inc.; a current board member of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce—our state’€™s largest pro-corporate, anti-public investment lobby group; and a past […]

“Justice” Alito has his own Joe Wilson moment

One of the more rousing cheers during the State of the Union last night came after President Obama called out the ridiculous ruling from the Supreme Court last week that threw open the door to a new flood of corporate cash into campaigns. The Bush boys, Justices Roberts and Alito, swore up and down during […]

If Berry Thinks Tax Code is Complicated, He Should Criticize His Board, Funders

Todd Berry, the head of the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance who must be on the speed dial of every reporter in Wisconsin, wound up in a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the IRS plan to begin regulation of paid tax preparers. Berry blamed the complexity of the tax code this way: “The reason […]

2009: The Best and Worst

As is the tradition, a tour through the best and worst of the year. The Best The year started off on the high note that was watching the Worst President Ever leaving the White House for the last time, which brought with it another yearly best: the endless video compiliations of the worst Bush moments. […]

Bad economic fortune telling brought to you by WISGOP, WMC

Wisconsin’€™s unemployment rate continues to drop, and while the economy still has a ways to go before it’€™s fully recovered from the disastrous economic policies of George W. Bush (worst President ever), we’€™re getting there, thanks in no small part to the Recovery Act and steady leadership from democrats in Madison. Let’€™s go back, gentle […]

WMC swallowing its own tail, complaining about it

After decades of trying to spin outsourcing as good and natural in a capitalist economy, and after perpetually labeling Wisconsin a ‘€œTax Hell,’€ Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is now complaining’€”and seems somewhat surprised’€”that our state government is employing more workers than manufacturers.Read the GOP talking points memo, er news release, here. Of course WMC […]

The Poor Pay More

New analysis sheds some intense light on the myths strewn throughout the news by WISTAX and WMC.

MacIver Defense of Tax Foundation Just More Right Wing Backscratching

The right wing water cooler was abuzz this week over the effrontery of the Institute for Wisconsin’€™s Future. IWF, one of Wisconsin’€™s few think tanks that doesn’€™t hock regressive tax policy, was criticizing the Tax Foundation for a garbage tax plan that would stick it to the middle class in the name of more George […]

More Jobs Coming to Wisconsin: WMC scare tactics = #epicfail

Once again despite the efforts of the states most notorious corporate tax loophole lobby group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, more jobs are coming to Wisconsin. Republic Airways to add up to 800 jobs in Milwaukee This isnt the first company to do so either ” as I pointed out earlier, there have been quite a […]

WI unemployment continues to fall, who to thank?

News last week the unemployment rate nationwide is up over 10 percent for the first time since the Reagan administration. And of course, the Dow is back up over 10,000, because these days, when Wall Street gets rich, real Americans get screwed. Perhaps a different post for a different day. As weve been told so […]

Wisconsins Supreme Court is now officially up for sale

Fellow citizens ” did you hear the good news? The Wisconsin Supreme Court is up for sale! So come now, fellow peasants! Let us pool our unemployment checks and the couple extra dollars those of us lucky enough to have a job can afford and try to outbid Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and buy ourselves […]

Chicken Little WISTAX once again wrong about falling sky

Fear-monger extraordinaire Todd Berrys conservative talking points are once again proven wrong by, you know, reality. Berry claimed in September of this year the repeal of the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) in the state budget could lead to disaster — teachers salaries could explode out of control[!!!] bankrupting school districts and leading to MASSIVE CUTS […]

Conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Echoes GOP Complaints about Recovery Act Success

In the past, the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance took some effort to mask its shilling for the arm-in-arm conservative tax ideology of corporate America and the Republican party. Now, Todd Berry and the conservative WISTAX aren’€™t even trying to hide it. In a lengthy write up of the current state of the stimulus in Sunday’€™s […]

WISTAX bogus study one more example of conservative agenda

The latest study by the supposedly non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is another example of the groups conservative bent and its willingness to manipulate data and flat out make stuff up to support its agenda of lower corporate taxes, regressive taxation on working families and less public investment. In order to raise the alarm about high […]

A Page in Paul’s PAC Report: Snapshot of Ryan’s Corporate Masters

The ‘€œYoung Gun’€ filed his latest campaign finance statement and it’€™s chock full-o-corporatey goodness. Ryan amassed $104,000 in PAC gifts, including 94% from out-of-state PACs. It’€™s not surprising, Ryan’€™s corporate sycophancy extends beyond the Badger State borders, so why wouldn’€™t his grab-bagging. But more than our words could do, page 105 of his 170 page […]

Polluters and Energy Companies vs. Wisconsin Values

Two new polls out this morning that paint a very different picture of Wisconsinites’€™ attitudes toward state policy to curb climate change and help bring about a new green economy in Wisconsin. First, one from the Forest County Potawatomi Community which shows an ‘€œoverwhelming majority’€ of voters ‘€“ 70% —  in Wisconsin support the state […]

Tax Foundation, Like WISTAX, Pals Around with AFP

Much like the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, the DC-based Tax Foundation pushes out pro-conservative tax propaganda, but its rarely also identified by its conservative ideology. This fantasy of non-ideology is foisted on media consumers despite overwhelming evidence both groups are pushing an ideologically-conservative agenda ‘€“ that everyone is always paying too much in taxes. Rarely, […]

Will WMC Oust Humana Board Member after Company’s Medicare Scandal?

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce must distance itself from health insurance giant Humana and remove its representative from its board of directors after Humana used its Medicare patient list to lobby seniors against health insurance reform. Larry Rambo, Great Lakes Region CEO of Humana is a current board member of WMC. According to figures compiled by […]

Corporate choke hold pays off for Mercury Marine

So that happened. Union workers at Mercury Marine voted to accept the stunning contract offer from management at Brunswick. Workers at the plant in Fond du Lac were given two basic choices ” as one union guy put it ” cut off your leg, and accept a seven-year pay freeze, or cut off your head, […]

Fond du Lac the latest casualty in corporate race to the bottom

Over the weekend, corporate leadership at Brunswick, the owner of Mercury Marine, proved beyond any doubt that not only were they negotiating in bad faith, they were never planning on keeping the plant in Fond du Lac. And once again, working families in Wisconsin get left in the dust in the race to bottom that […]

One Wisconsin Now Launches Redesigned WMC Watch Website

MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now launched an update and redesigned version of its WMC Watch – a comprehensive watchdog website of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Located at www.WMCWatch.org, the site includes new contributions, revenue and expenditure totals, as well as additional research and analysis of the influence of Wisconsin’s most powerful pro-corporate lobby. “Wisconsin […]

Who’s carrying WMC’s water?

We have all seen the misleading smear ads Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce runs each election cycle, and WMC consistently ranks at or near the top in lobbying expenditures each legislative session. But what does WMC get in return? The short answer: anything it wants from the corporate-lapdog Republicans it helps elect to the Wisconsin Legislature. […]

Attention WMC: Businesses want to come to Wisconsin

Despite the best efforts of WMC to scare businesses away from Wisconsin with their never-ending ‘tax-hell’ rhetoric, Wisconsin is attracting companies and good-paying, family-supporting jobs. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the University Research Park has nine new business tenants, three of which were companies moving to Wisconsin from other states. The nine new biotech and […]

The Quickening Descent to Corporate-Owned Hell

If there was any debate about the rising influence of corporate interests like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce before the State’€™s highest court, the last two weeks have ended the discussion. It now appears the Wisconsin Supreme Court is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wisconsin’€™s corporate crooks. Those of you following One WI Now’€™s reporting on […]

WISTAX guess lands front page real estate, shows bias

Conservative go-to-guy Todd Berry of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) landed front page real estate in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today without digging up any facts in his perpetual Wisconsin mudslinging. His attacks were seconded as usual by WMC as well as John Gard.The article, ‘€œBusiness leaders decry tax increases in state budget,’€ is all […]

WPRI’s Cadre, John Torinus and the Myth of Liberal Media

Bopping through the Wisopinion.com list of blogs of the day, I was amused to see not one, but two posts from the conservative and oft-error-plagued Wisconsin Policy Research Institute featuring former members of the so-called liberal media. Right there from Charlie Sykes’ yap tank, a post from Ken Lamke, former reporter with the Milwaukee Journal […]

Wisconsin loses race to the bottom

That GM chose to locate its new small-car production line in Orion, Michigan and not Janesville is painful for Wisconsin to be sure. But forget everything WMC tells you, winning a race to the bottom has always been a long-term losing strategy for working families.GM’€™s decision to base its new operation in Michigan and not […]

Gableman and Ziegler: The Corporate Lap-Dog Bloc of the WI Supreme Court

Once again, the dependable corporate lapdogs on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bought and paid for by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce come through in the clutch for corporate interests. Justices Mike Gableman and Annette Ziegler, beneficiaries of millions of dollars in spending from WMC during their run for the Supreme Court, ruled yesterday that owners of […]

Sen. Ted Kanavas threatens to move to Texas, endorses combined reporting

“If we don’t change and change soon, I may bump into my lawyer friend again, but it just might be in Texas.” — Senator Ted Kanavas’s threat to move to Texas, 6/30/2009 What do you think of when you think of Texas? The Dallas Cowboys (shudder)? How about Enron? George W. Bush (double-shudder)? Despite those […]

WMC’s ‘Astounding’ $6.6 Billion Budget Deficit Solution: Tax Cuts for the Rich

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) has launched a newspaper ad campaign which argues the solution to the state’s $6.6 billion budget deficit is tax cuts for the rich “¢ the same economic plan enacted by George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans, which caused the nationwide economic crisis that plunged 47 states into […]

Is WMC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lock on the GOP Going to Stop Health Care Reform Again?

As One Wisconsin Now showed at our comprehensive warehouse of information at WMCWatch.org, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has an ungodly lock on conservatives in the state legislature. In the 2005-2006 session, the legislature had 76 members (or 57.5%) score 80 percent or higher on the WMC scorecard. This included 19 legislators who never veered from […]

Watch Here for Today’s Budget News, Updates

Keep an eye on the the One Wisconsin Now Town Hall blog for news and information and interesting tidbits from today’s budget marathon debate in the state Assembly. So far, Assembly Republicans have spent their time without a budget plan, tilting against windmills in some desperate attempt to convince the media and the people of […]

US Supreme Court speaks; Are Ziegler and Gableman Listening?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Wisconsin Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman must disqualify themselves from hearing any cases involving Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. That is an oversimplification, but not by much. Here is how the NY Times summarized the decision in a front page story today: Elected judges must disqualify themselves from […]

Rove: Friday Behind Closed Doors with Investigators, Tuesday Behind Closed Doors with WMC

The unfortunately-not-frogged-marched-yet Karl Rove spent Friday meeting with investigators about the possible illegal purging of U.S. Attorneys who the Bush administration thought weren’t abusing their authority and charging enough Democrats with crimes in the lead-up to the 2006 elections. Rove, a central player in a number of bastardizations of the U.S. Department of Justice, was […]

WMC’s Ridiculous Environmental Award for Anti-Environmental Wal-Mart

Oh, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and its awards. The most recent: Wal-Mart won WMC’s “Business Friend of the Environment Award.” Guess they must have missed this three-page list of offenses by Wal-Mart against our clean air and water that Wal-Mart Watch put together. The violations include small infractions like widespread water pollution, air pollution […]

Rave at Rove on Tuesday

Let’s Rave at Rove! Karl Rove is coming to town to talk down the EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT. He’s found the time in between investigations of his behavior by Congress into tampering with the justice system and avoiding subpenas for contempt. Just the spokesman the sponsors, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, needs. Let’s talk up the […]

Righty Wish List: “New Minority Group”

Cory Leibmann had some particularly insightful comments on the “news” this weekend about a fake grassroots effort the right is trying fund. A couple of guys looking for a paycheck on the state’s right wing want to create another 14 organizations to go with their dozens of current organizations, such as the Wisconsin Policy Research […]

WMC: Union Busters, Liars

Maybe pressure from the public kept Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce on the sidelines in the spring Supreme Court race. Perhaps a new progressive majority at the Capitol forced WMC to ‘€œreassess’€ its pro-corporate, anti-worker lobbying efforts. Or maybe the corporate titans at WMC were just biding time, saving their money, energy and whatever modicum of […]

Can’t pay a prevailing wage? You’re a loser.

It just never ends, does it? Now, rich corporate CEO’€™s are all a-flutter over *gasp* paying workers a fair wage. In Gov. Doyle’€™s budget, a new provision requires companies that receive help from the state to pay their workers the prevailing wage. J. Michael Mooney,  chairman of the MLG group, an investment and real estate […]