Voters Reject Despicable Campaign Tactics of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. Will Business Members of Group do the Same?

Instead of Hiding, WMC Board Members Need to Demand Change

MADISON, Wis. — In electing Judge Rebecca Dallet to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, voters rejected the efforts of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) that spent at least $1.6 million to try to elect their favored candidate. Among the expenditures was $1 million on a shocking ad that violated the privacy of children who were victimized by sexual abuse by disclosing identifying information about them. Now, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, the question is will the members of the WMC join voters in rejecting the group’s despicable tactics.

“WMC set a new low, violating the privacy of children who were the victims of sexual abuse. And then they refused to take down their despicable ad when the victims’ family publicly pleaded with them to stop,” said Ross. “The voters have spoken, overwhelmingly rejecting these tactics. Now the question is, will the businesses and local chambers of commerce that make up the WMC stay silent about what was done in their name?”

In their desperation to elect their favored candidate to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the big corporate lobby produced an ad that included identifying information about the victims of childhood sexual abuse. They spent $1 million to air it in every media market of the state. The distraught family of the victims privately contacted and then publicly pleaded with the WMC to take the ad down, a request the WMC refused.

One Wisconsin Now sent a letter to the members of the WMC board, urging them to exert their influence and demand the staff working under their supervision take the ad down. To date, no business has responded, but the WMC removed the list of businesses on their board from their website.

Ross concluded, “Violating the privacy of child victims does nothing to advance the business climate of this state or the interests of the members of the WMC. Instead of hiding and being complicit with their silence, the members of the board ought to take the the responsibility to be hold those responsible for the ad accountable and take steps to make sure it never happens again.”

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