The latest non-profit mouthpiece for business found at wilead.org may be a new organization, but it looks like it has a relatively old way of picking its battles. Example: a press release today by organization head and former GOP staffer Brian Fraley calling for an end to the minimum markup law for gas in Wisconsin. You’d think he was talking about a fundamental issue conservatives are united behind. You would be wrong.
Despite the division in the conservative ranks about the law, the group has picked a side. Why? Well, consider this: The chair of Fraley’s three-person board is John Behling. Behling served as a long-time lobbyist for Capitol Consultants. Two of Capitol Consultants clients are Wal-Mart and Mc Lane Foods, both of which registered in favor of a bill this session (AB 820) calling for an end to the minimum markup law. So surprise, surprise, Fraley and his new group are making this case.
The ties certainly don’t end there. During the heat of the virtual schools debate Fraley commented in a blog that he had done PR work for a virtual schools group. Just try and guess who else is on Capitol Consultants’ client list? K12, Inc., the for-profit virtual school group at the center of that debate. One Wisconsin Now readers will recall K12 is the outfit that claimed it was for the children, but conveniently reported to potential investors that it could yank $5 million in revenue from its work in Wisconsin.
Given the early pattern of this new group, it looks like we can follow their agenda by checking out who Capitol Consultants has landed as a client. Whatever legislation that those special interests oppose, will get a big frown on Fraley’s new site, while a happy face will be put on everything that they support.