WMC gets competition

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A new business advocacy group in Wisconsin. Paul Soglin, who has made himself a name as somewhat of an anti-WMC warrior, sees the new group as evidence of WMC’s extremism. It sure seems that way, especially considering the immediate Republican backlash against the group, led of course by Rep. Robin Vos (R-Caledonia), the Assembly Republicans default spinster.

Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, called the new council a “front group” for Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle that seeks to blunt the influence of WMC. He also alleged that corporate donors to the group will get special access to Doyle and other Democrats.

“It’s the Jim Doyle Diners Club,” said Vos. “For a big corporate contribution, you get a seat on the board and dinner with Doyle. If it’s not pay to play, it sure smells that way.”

Does that imply that WMC is exactly that for the Republicans?

Interesting idea Vos. That two of the group’s key players are former heavyweights from Tommy Thompson’s administration, Phil Prange and Jim Klauser, both of whom have donated thousands of dollars to Republicans, is not what makes Vos’ claim unconvincing. Businessmen routinely forgo political philsophy for money. Perhaps they care more about business than politics. It happens often. Look at Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), who started a lobbying firm with Trent Lott (R-MS), the former Republican leader who thought this country would be better off with a white supremacist as president.

Interesting Note: Klauser once donated $250 to Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat from Nebraska, and Prange gave some money to the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee.

However, the group claims to be focusing on legislation and policy, and is pledging to stay out of campaigns. Hence, if this were a front group for Doyle it would only be able to curry favor from him by lobbying on policy, not by campaigning for him or against his opponents.

The Wisconsin Business Council claims to be in the game for “economic development, workforce and education development, infrastructure development and taxes and regulation.”

Hopefully the group is somewhat independent. The absurd expectation that a state be business-friendly without being education-friendly has unfortunately become a tenant of one of our major political parties, and it needs to be challenged. The WMC gets away with saying it supports education on a far too frequent basis.

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One Response to “WMC gets competition”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “who has made himself a name as somewhat of an anti-WMC warrior”

    Ha!

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