When the University of Wisconsin-Madison Political Science department announced a new polling partnership with the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, one of Wisconsin’s most prominent right wing think tanks, we were immediately worried about the credibility of the poll — and more importantly, the credibility of the UW.
And when through a public records request, we uncovered that the corporate interests at WPRI pressured UW professor Ken Goldstein to alter the presentation of the poll results to more closely reflect a narrow right-wing agenda, our worst fears were realized.
UW’s partnership and promotion of this propaganda polling project must end. Today. Can you sign on to the petition demanding an end to the UW-WPRI scheme? We’ll deliver the names to the UW Political Science department chair, John Coleman, and UW Chancellor Biddy Martin to make sure our united voices are heard loud and clear.
Before the poll results were released, leadership from WPRI pressured Professor Goldstein to downplay the findings of the poll that showed a majority of Wisconsinites opposed private school vouchers. WPRI and the for-profit private school interests that support WPRI have long advocated for increasing the private school voucher program.
But don’t take our word for it. Read what WPRI President George Lightbourn wrote in an email to Professor Goldstein about the poll results:
“I’m concerned about the Scott (sic) Ross types, wrote George Lightbourn, head of WPRI, to Professor Goldstein, “who would enjoy being able to portray WPRI’s own data showing lack of support for choice. I know it’s a pain in the ass but I’ve been burned a couple of time and I don’t need to be the one holding the gas can.”
Statewide opposition to the school choice voucher program was removed from materials published about the poll, including the official UW press release and power point presentation — just like WPRI demanded.
Sign the petition and demand UW end any affiliation or promotion of the WPRI polling project at http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/uwpolling
Professor Goldstein confirmed this weekend the polling project will continue and release more results this month and later this summer, despite the revelations that previous poll results were manipulated.1
We must act now – the polling results and WPRI propaganda remain to this day on the UW Political Science website.