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Thursday, February 28, 2008

ACTION ALERT - DON'T LET THEM BUY THE NEXT JUDGE!

[From the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice]
[UPDATE: Location has been changed at the last minute to La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, 712 Main Street]
Are you fed up with rich folks and corporations buying elections? Please take action! Join us to protest the WI Manufactures & Commerce "money collection" meetings.

ISSUE: Right now the WMC is in the process of raising millions of dollars from corporations to run attack ads against Supreme Court Justice Butler who is up for election Tues., April 1st. Last spring the WMC spent $2.2 million on attack ads to help Ms. Ziegler win a seat on the Court. We can't let that happen again.

The WMC is inviting CEO's to a round of breakfasts to ask them for money to
fund Butler attack ads. Join us in picketing at the two remaining "money collection" meetings. We have enough placards (Don't Let WMC Buy Our Supreme Court) for 100 people. So join us, dress warmly and we'll have a good time!

ACTION ALERT!: Wednesday, March 5 - Picketing 8 to 10:30 AM in La Crosse at the Gundersen Lutheran - Onalaska Clinic, 3111 Gundersen Dr., Onalaska NEW LOCATION: LA CROSSE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 712 MAIN STREET

PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Feb. 19th the WI State Senate passed SB 171, the Impartial Justice Bill. please ask your State Assembly representative to urge the Assembly leadership to hold hearings on SB 171. Ask you representative to support public funding of Supreme Court races. The bill provide $400,00 in public financing per candidate with access to an addition amount up to $1.2 million to fight "issue or attack" ads like the WMC is raising money for now.

More on WMC from Paul Soglin:

WMC is certainly the most influential lobbying organization in our state. It claims over 4,000 member businesses-and they make the biggest contributions, indirectly, to politicians' campaigns through their issue ads they purchase at election time.

WMC, through its Issues Committee has played a prominent role in a number of state wide elections including the last campaigns for Governor, Attorney General, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

It does this by soliciting funds and then purchasing issues ads which do not support a specific candidate but which attack the candidate WMC opposes. While WMC does not have to reveal its contributors, television stations are required to make public ad purchases. Last July the Democracy Campaign estimated that WMC spent $2.2 million on television and other advertising in an effort to defeat Annette Ziegler's opponent in the Supreme Court race. (The Capital Times, July 24, 2007). Ziegler was subsequently found to have ruled in cases where she had a conflict of interest and now faces discipline from her colleagues on the Supreme Court

WMC is hosting seminars designed to enlist opposition to the candidacy of Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler. It is estimated that WMC will attempt to raise between $2.5 and $4 million in an effort to defeat the distinguished jurist, Justice Butler. Those picketing are making it clear that the people's Wisconsin Supreme Court is not for sale.

Members of labor and professional organizations are opposed to these efforts. We do not have the legal means to find out which WMC members fund these attack ads. But we do have access to the WMC board of directors and can identify the people who are responsible for the decisions to raise the money and to buy the advertising. They can enjoy their right to raise money for issue ads and we have the right to note who is legally responsible for taking out the ads.

Again, we cannot name the individuals and corporations that contribute to the WMC Issues fund; that information is not available to the public. Only WMC can tell you who contributes to their political advertising.

We wish to make it clear that this is not a picket of the hosts of these events.

For more information, contact Paul Soglin at Soglin Consulting, 608-238-4042. Or 608-770-0947 (cell)

BACKGROUND INFO ON ISSUE FROM PAUL SOGLIN

* Here is the link to WMC's website for more information as to what they are doing: WMC Regional Meetings: Wisconsin Supreme Court Unbound (When you go to this site it says page canceled. Wait and about 30 seconds later an Adobe page will open up. See what the WMC is saying about the present Supreme Court - you'll be surprised. Buzz Davis)

* Dave Zweifel: Shining the Spotlight on WMC

Below are some other articles and editorials. (We picketed WMC in Madison, Wausau and Green Bay in the past two weeks.)

802240396/1637/WDHopinion> Our Legal System Shouldn't Be For Sale -Wausau Daily Herald editorial

.By the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's calculations, almost $6 million was spent -- most of it by special interest groups, and $2.2 million of it by one group alone. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which represents businesses and chambers of commerce, buried television stations with that much cash.

Group
1/802150587/1981> protests business lobby Wausau Daily Herald -news

Protesters target WMC The Capital Times - news

Associated Press: Protesters
Picket WMC Over Funding Of Political Ads

For more info: info@wnpj.org, www.wnpj.org

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