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CAP TIMES: WMC's economic plan would hurt Wisconsin to help wealthiest

Kurt Bauer, CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, recently outlined WMC’s priorities for 2015-16, including tax cuts and “right-to-work.” WMC has spent millions to elect Gov. Scott Walker and allied politicians in the state Legislature and Supreme Court, and the business group has gotten one item after another on its wish list since 2011.

Dave Schwab

STEVENS POINT JOURNAL: WI Public Service Commission serves corporate interests, not public

Special interests are driving Wisconsin's energy policy to the detriment of the public.

2014 will be remembered as a landmark year for renewable energy in the United States.

Last year saw the shale revolution; the Tesla Gigafactory; the end of cheap coal; fossil fuel divestment; the rise of community solar; the utility death spiral; renewable energy "fairness"; the value of solar; the Clean Power Plan; the U.S.-China climate agreement and more.

Nick Hylla

FOND DU LAC REPORTER: Wisconsin business coalition opposes "right-to-work" law

MADISON — A newly formed coalition of more than 300 construction-related private businesses in Wisconsin announced Wednesday that it will work to defeat a right-to-work proposal being discussed by Republican leaders in the Legislature.

Formation of the group comes as talks proceed behind the scenes among Republicans who control the Legislature about the timing of a right-to-work bill and what form it may take.

Scott Bauer

SUN PRAIRIE STAR: WMC's 2015 priorities include "right-to-work" law, tax cuts for rich

Wisconsin's transformation from an anti-business to a pro-business state has been remarkable, but it is also incomplete. There is more work to be done in order for our state to achieve its full economic potential.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin doesn't control its own economic destiny and wrong-headed federal policies and uncertain global economic and geopolitical conditions are holding us back.

Kurt Bauer

ALTERNET: Corporations get $760 from government for every $1 they spend on elections

The 2012 and 2014 elections were the most expensive in American history and were financed largely by corporate money. So why are American companies so eager to put up so much cash for political influence? Because it pays. A lot.

Alex Eleffson

BILL LUEDERS: WMC and other groups dropped big money in 2014 WI elections

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans rode to victory in the Nov. 4 elections because they got more votes. Period.

Redistricting may have produced fewer competitive districts. But unlike 2012, when the GOP won big despite getting fewer overall votes, this time the party maintained its 5-3 edge in Congress and tightened its control of both legislative houses by dominating turnout.

But money and redistricting did play a huge, perhaps decisive role. How huge? Consider the state’s races for Congress.

Bill Lueders

BARABOO NEWS REPUBLIC: WI state chamber's main product is misinformation

Well, it’s over. Republicans won their battle to re-elect Gov. Scott Walker and retain their majority in the Legislature. One of the reasons they won is due to the state’s chamber of commerce, the biggest business group in Wisconsin.

Pat Nash

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: Incoming Attorney General names WMC lobbyist as top aide

A lobbyist for Walmart, the state's biggest business group and more than a dozen other businesses and organizations will serve as the top aide to incoming Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Schimel, the Republican district attorney for Waukesha County, announced Tuesday that he had appointed Andrew Cook to serve as his deputy secretary.

Patrick Marley

BARABOO NEWS REPUBLIC: Schultz's successor is beholden to WMC

Pat Bomhack did not have much of a chance against Howard Marklein for the Dale Schultz senate seat.

In the Oct. 20 candidates’ forum on 92.1 WRJC FM, Bomhack stated again and again that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce bought $668,000 in TV attack ads against Bomhack. The American Federation for Children, a Wall Street for-profit, school voucher corporation, gave $50,000 worth of support for Howard Marklein. Marklein was silent.

Daniel Holzman

CHIPPEWA HERALD: Environmental violations, ethical issues widespread in frac sand industry

More than half the frac sand companies operating in Wisconsin have violated Department of Natural Resources regulations, manipulated local governments or engaged in “influence peddling and conflicts of interest,” a study by an advocacy group has found.

The Land Stewardship Project, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture, released this week a 30-page report that compiled and analyzed public data and news reports on Wisconsin’s booming frac sand industry.

Allison Geyer

WMC lobbyist claims raising minimum wage would hurt workers

MANITOWOC – Scott Manley sought to make the case that raising the minimum wage would likely hurt and not help those individuals making the federal and Wisconsin minimum of $7.25 per hour.

"The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates about 500,000 lost jobs nationwide, but the possibility of up to a million," Manley told a Monday Business Connects with Government audience at the luncheon program sponsored by The Chamber of Manitowoc County.

Charlie Mathews

CAP TIMES: WMC defends graphic depicting pay equity advocates as "anti-business"

Democratic lawmakers and Wisconsin's primary corporate lobbying group clashed Tuesday over the repeal of the state's Equal Pay Enforcement Act.

A group of state lawmakers and others held a news conference at the State Capitol admonishing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce for a fundraising plea that characterized a woman advocating for pay equity as "anti-business."

Jessie Opoien

STATE JOURNAL: WI Club For Growth's tax-exempt status challenged over political spending

MADISON – A conservative group at the center of a John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign should be prosecuted for violating Internal Revenue Service laws and have its tax-exempt status revoked, according to a complaint filed Monday by the liberal Center for Media and Democracy.

The Wisconsin Club for Growth filed as a tax-exempt 501(c)4 “social welfare” organization in 2011 and 2012, telling the IRS that it spent $0 for political purposes.

Matthew DeFour

PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Wisconsin Supreme Court mired in conflict of interest

MADISON, Wis. – The future of the now stalled John Doe probe into alleged campaign finance law violations by Gov. Scott Walker could rest with the state Supreme Court.

But Mike McCabe, executive director of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, says four of the seven justices were elected because of ads run by the very groups under investigation.

Tim Morrissey

CAP TIMES: WMC, Gogebic Taconite used dark money to target anti-mining bill legislators

The financial power and influence of an out-of-state mining company and business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce were used to directly target two Wisconsin lawmakers who stood in the way of the passage of a new state mining bill.

Jessica VanEgeren

MANITOWOC HERALD TIMES REPORTER: Repeal of Equal Pay Act hurt women

Legislation can be a confusing matter. And so it is for the Equal Pay Enforcement Act passed in 2009.

On introducing the bill, state Sen. David Hansen said, "What this bill is about is restoring fairness to all workers in Wisconsin and their families, whether they are women who are being shortchanged even though they are doing the same job as the men next to them or the middle-aged worker who finds himself let go just short of retirement so his employer can avoid fulfilling their promise to provide for his retirement."

Don Vogt

STATE JOURNAL: WI Supreme Court majority to decide on investigation of groups that spent millions to elect them

Should the four-member conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court decide a case involving groups that spent more than $8 million to get them elected?

That is one question under debate as the high court considers whether to wade into the stalled “John Doe” investigation. A federal court rejected a challenge to the investigation by one of those groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth, late last month, sending it back to the state courts to decide.

Dee J. Hall

THE PROGRESSIVE: Business lobby fights equal pay for women

Is thinking that I should be paid the same as a man if I do the same work a radical, anti-business threat? According to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce--the largest business lobby in the state of Wisconsin--it most certainly is. 

This “threat” appears to be a compelling reason for businesses across the state to open up their checkbooks and donate to the WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. 

Jenni Dye

ISTHMUS: WI tech leaders get little help from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

This is a problem.

The state's most powerful business voice has conspicuously little contact with Wisconsin's rising technology industry.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which claims more than 3,500 businesses as members, brags that "the success of the WMC government relations team in projecting and accomplishing a proactive business agenda has been second to none."

Marc Eisen

ISTHMUS: WI tech leaders get little help from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

This is a problem.

The state's most powerful business voice has conspicuously little contact with Wisconsin's rising technology industry.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which claims more than 3,500 businesses as members, brags that "the success of the WMC government relations team in projecting and accomplishing a proactive business agenda has been second to none."

Marc Eisen

POLITIFACT: Walker's promise of 250,000 new jobs broken

Economists say time has run out on top campaign promise

Shortly after he won the 2010 election for governor, PolitiFact Wisconsin told Republican Scott Walker that we planned to monitor progress on his top campaign promise -- that the state would add 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.

Bring it on, Walker said, adding that his official web site would be keeping its own tally.

James B. Nelson

THE PROGRESSIVE: Chamber's attack on Walker prosecutor's wife falls apart

The investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is led by a Republican special prosecutor, was unanimously approved by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, and includes the participation of elected county District Attorneys from both political parties.

But according to an outlet bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the motivation for the "John Doe" probe can be traced back to a "weeping" teacher's union member married to Milwaukee County's District Attorney, John Chisholm.

Brendan Fischer

EXPRESS MILWAUKEE: The buying of Walker's Wisconsin

Recently unsealed John Doe court documents shed light on what prosecutors call a “criminal scheme” in which Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and allied dark-money groups allegedly coordinated fundraising efforts.

According to prosecutors, Walker himself knew about the scheme and even boasted about it in an email to George W. Bush’s chief strategist Karl Rove, who now runs a super PAC that supports Republican candidates.

Lisa Kaiser

ISTHMUS: Don't believe WMC claims about impact of coal regulations

As vice president of government relations for the big business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Scott Manley's fun job is to convince us the new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency will destroy our economy. Its requirement that coal emissions be cut by 34% by 2030 could be "devastating," he has warned, forcing Wisconsin to "commit an act of unilateral economic disarmament."

Bruce Murphy

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: Federal court reinstates WI voter ID law for 2014 election

A federal appeals court in Chicago Friday reinstated for now Wisconsin's voter ID law hours after the three-judge panel heard arguments on the subject.

The move by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for the state to implement the law for the Nov. 4 election, though it does not stop the ongoing appeal over whether the measure is unconstitutional.

"The state of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November's elections," the unsigned two-page order reads.

Patrick Marley and Jason Stein

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: WI Supreme Court bought and paid for by corporate special interests

A short political quiz. Three questions.

1. Raise your hand if you were surprised that the right-wing majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court validated two of Scott Walker's signature measures - - Act 10, a false budget measure used to erase nearly all public employee collective bargaining, - - and the Voter ID law, (now blocked in Federal Court), aimed by Walker and his GOP legislative allies at phantom ballot box fraud to make voting harder in cities with large numbers of minorities and students that trend Democratic.

James Rowen

WKOW: WMC head: Don't ban state subsidies to companies that outsource jobs

MADISON (WKOW) -- The top executive at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) says a proposal being considered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to ban financial awards for companies that outsource state jobs should be approached with caution.

Greg Neumann

WKOW: WMC head: Don't ban state subsidies to companies that outsource jobs

MADISON (WKOW) -- The top executive at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) says a proposal being considered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to ban financial awards for companies that outsource state jobs should be approached with caution.

Greg Neumann