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XOFF and the SGWC

Uppity Wisconsin
My personal favorite is what it had to say about the Greater Wisconsin Committee, an issue advocacy group for which I formerly worked as a consultant, and now serve as a board member.It’s become almost standard practice by so-called “good government” groups like the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which pretty much hates all campaign spending that isn’t paid by the taxpayers, to use the word “shadowy” when referring to GWC.

First, I think its great that Xoff has acknowledged involvement in such a shadowy organization. Xoff seems to feel he is in the clear because his organization does press releases through wispolitics.com. Shadowy, as least defined by Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, is not that they have a website, but they are not issue ads. WMC, Club for Growth, Greater Wisconsin Committee are shadowy because their only issue is getting this or that candidate elected.

Xoff then questions if the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is truly concerned with good government. What I think is State House Crock and Stop the Fiddling hit to close to home. In all honesty, Xoff’s reaction reminds me of George Bush’s when the NY Times reported telephone companies were spying on American citizens. It is much easier to attack the messenger than confront your inner shadowiness.

Lets look at two shadowy ads, one by the Greater Wisconsin Committee.

Again their shadowiness is not that the screen may go dark, but that these are not issue ads. The GWC ad tries to make it appear that a Republican Judge giving money to a Republican Governor, and who  later ends up being appointed is somehow unethical. I am willing to give the GWC the benefit of the doubt on this one. I wonder if they would concur the same behavior with Thompson and Doyle was an ethical lapse . Or if Wineke being hired as a lobbyist for AT&T when the Telecommunication Act was being debated was an ethical lapse. If my memory serves me, Xoff attacked me for making these arguments over the past few years. He said something to the effect you are making two isolated events appear as if they are related.

My biggest problem with GWC is not their shadowiness but their Republican like ads. Their overall strategy is to take a Republican framing of the issues and use it against them. Last year several ads ran in which Ziegler was soft on sexual predators. The recent Gableman ad that had Xoff so upset was in response to another ad attacking Gableman “as being soft on child molesters”. What GWC fails to realize is that if you frame the election as “soft on crime” in the end that goes to the advantage of Republicans.

If appears the GWC has no idea what a “liberal framing”of a tough on crime ad would look like. Its the classic case of acting Republican for so damn long they forgot what a Democratic ad should look like. I offer an ad by Butler himself that frames the tough on crime issue in a manner people will respond to.

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2 responses to “XOFF and the SGWC

  1. xoff

    My relationship and role with GWC has been public from the beginning. I am not “acknowledging” anything new.

    Nor do I question whether WDC is interested in “good government.”

    The point is that GWC is scrupulous about following both state and federal campaign and tax laws. Without GWC, there would be total dominance by the right, which still outspends liberal groups maybe 3-1 in most cases. If WDC and others don’t like it, they should change the law. We would all welcome that.

    As for content, your quibble is really with the citizenry, not the interest groups. They are focused on crime, even if it is basically irrelevant in court and even attorney general’s races, for the most part.

    If you think the public is more interested in the Miller Park crane accident than on violent crime, stop 10 people on the street and ask.

  2. I tend to see it more as “gaming the system” or finding loopholes in federal and state laws. Just because you say “call xyz” does not make it an issue ad. They are political ads and should be regulated as such.

    I am much more concerned about the framing. I take it you object to both Butler’s TV ads and leaflets.

    I found the Butler ad head on, and exactly what I expect from a Supreme Court Justice. Someone that will protect the “little guy” from corporate abuse and wrongdoing. I will, unlike Clifford, have no problem voting for this guy.

    It seems there is this breed of Democrats who are much more comfortable with Republican framing, positioning, and rhetoric than offering a liberal case for the Supreme Court. This is bound to happen when you make a deal with the devil and take economics off the table.

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