Sunday's paper brings news that Wisconsin Republicans are trying to duplicate Democrat's successes by creating new organizations among the grassroots. The Wisconsin Prosperity (sic) Network is envisioned to bring together 14 organizations under its banner. Ones first thought is that with such a plethora of organizations each can be led by one of the remaining Republicans.
There are some other fun things in the article. First is this cutline, the very worst if you are trying to convey integrity.
Former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen also is playing a key role in theNot Not Guilty, you understand, just off on one of those technicalities that Republicans are always deriding.
Wisconsin Prosperity Network, according to an organizer. Jensen is facing trial
for using taxpayer money for campaign purposes. He was convicted on misconduct
charges in 2006, but a state appeals panel overturned the decision on grounds
the jury received improper instructions.
Who else did the right bring along to show their respect for the electoral process?
Mark Block, president of the state chapter of Americans for
Prosperity, which advocates for lower taxes and less government, said in an
interview he is the main organizer of the network [snip] In 2001,
Block paid a $15,000 fine and agreed not to be involved in campaigns until 2004
after admitting to illegally coordinating Jon Wilcox’s Supreme Court campaign
with an outside group.
That's right. When the Republicans say they worry about voter fraud it's because they worry they haven't committed enough. But this group is bringing in the experts.
The group is also struggling with building their coalition.
The 14 new groups would join existing Wisconsin organizations Americans
for Prosperity, the First Freedoms Foundation, the Wisconsin Policy Research
Institute and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, according to the
But George Lightbourn, president of the policy research institute,
and Todd Berry, president of the taxpayers alliance, said their groups are
independent and not part of the effort.
Block said those groups have been removed from more recent versions
of the organization planning documents.
When such reliably conservative voices as WPRI don't want to be a part of your coalition it's not because they see you as too far out. The WPRI doesn't believe that the new group is far enough over the edge.
At least now we know why The McIver Institute was such a big deal. It was the first of the shell "think tanks" for the new alliance.
The MacIver Institute, a free-market, limited-government think tank named
after former Republican operative John MacIver, is the first of the new entities
to be formed. Network officials plan to survey state residents this summer to
identify more GOP supporters.
The story makes it sound as if Jensen and Friends will be launching a Lewis and Clark style exhibition to the wilds looking for closeted righties. I'll be surprised if they're effective much west of the Country Springs Inn.
Forteen new organizations. One worn out old message. Meet the new boss. He used to be the old boss. Good luck with that.