I hear a lot of "small business" people calling in and supporting Scott Walker. I wish they would identify themselves. I would like to avoid doing business with them, frankly. So many seem to believe that if only all the highly paid public workers would take a hike, life would be beautiful.
But I think they are forgetting who patronizes their businesses.
There are a lot of teachers, government services workers, police, fire fighters, librarians and others out there who purchase goods and services in La Crosse and the surrounding area. The money we pay in taxes, is paid to people who provide services and they circulate that money back into our communities' pockets.
Anyway, there are statewide efforts to boycott Scott Walker contributors, so if you believe in voting with our pocket books, you can check contributions online at wisdc.org. Remember tocross check against Tom Barrett contributors since some businesses/employers donate to both sides of the aisle. And, individuals are free to donate to candidates they support, but if several donate to one candidate in a short period of time, it's probably a company thing.
You can also use the database and other online resources such as LinkedIn to check Walker advocates against businesses they own (for example, Walker has state on right path, by owner ofLa Crosse Floor Sanding.)
On my list of "I'm not shopping there any more and I've told them why" so far:
On my list of "more research/thought/clarification is needed":
- Gundersen-Lutheran Health System - Their CEO, Dr. Jeff Thompson, is on the board of WMC. That should be enough, but I just switched my insurance (yes, I still have it though I may not be able to afford it in the future) from St. Francis because of their religious affiliation. At the very least, I'm writing a letter and can switch back next year if necessary.
- Kwik Trip - this is a struggle. On the one hand, it's a local Wisconsin business. On the other hand, KT gas is from the Alberta tar sands, an environmental disaster and from the Kochs. Maybe that's enough. On the other hand, campaign donations seem to go to both sides and what other gas station (Citgo - but apparently no La Crosse station sells Citgo anymore).Here's an interesting discussion of the issue. For now, Kwik Trip is off my list pending further investigation.
Some businesses get it. Here's the word from one small business (alas, not in La Crosse) that certainly DOES: Silent no more. Some Wisconsin businesses have quit the right wing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Recently, Madison restaurant owners pulled out of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association because of their support for Scott Walker. (Ahem! Attention La Crosse area restaurants!)
Here's a great article from the Nation about the national Chamber of Commerce, that apple pie organization that is supposed to support small businesses but has a rather darker side driving its agenda. In our state, it's the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) from which some businesses have withdrawn. For years, I've begged certain non-profits to withdraw from the local Chamber of Commerce which invariably supports Republicans whose policies hurt the clients they serve.
Wherever you are in this process, getting more information and thoughtfully considering how our actions support or hurt our own families, communities and causes is not a bad thing!