Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bad Reporting Of The Day Meets Hypocrisy Of The Day

Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote an article which stated that the group We Are Wisconsin, which is a coalition of unions and other groups formed to fight back against the misdeeds of Scott Walker and his Republican allies in the state legislature. The gist of the story was that We Are Wisconsin was receiving money from the national unions.

 Stein's apparent objective was to make it look like We Are Wisconsin was merely a funnel for the national unions and outside agitators and thus were really bad people.  Or something like that.

 What Stein failed to report is where the national unions got their money from. Individual union members, like myself, pay our dues.

It used to be automatically deducted from our checks, unless the worker chose not to be part of the union (yes, Virginia, there was always a choice) until the Republicans tried to cripple the unions by first robbing workers of hundreds of dollars a month to pay for something we were already paying for. Now we have a number of options on how to pay our dues, if we can still afford to.  (For the record, I am still a union member in good standing.)

 Our dues would then go to not just the Local, but to the District Council and to the national level.  And now the national unions are returning that money to help us in our struggles to regain our rights.

 It's no more scandalous than the tax system.The individual tax payers sends money to the local governments, the state and the federal government.  In turn, the larger governments send the money back to the smaller ones. The feds send money to the states and sometimes to the local governments.  The state governments - except those run by a balding, corrupt nincompoop like Walker - send money to the local governments.

 Not exactly the horror that the right wingers and the paper, but I repeat myself, would like people to think it is But this brings us to the hypocrisy of the story, which Stein stuck near the bottom of the story, apparently hoping no one would read that far:
Deb Jordahl, a spokeswoman for Wisconsin Club for Growth, criticized the "We are" groups as fronts. 
"They aren't Wisconsin. They aren't Ohio. They aren't Illinois. They're Washington, D.C. They're national special-interest groups," Jordahl said. 
But the union leaders noted that groups including Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is aligned with the national Club for Growth, have their own sources of out-of-state money, which is often not disclosed 
For instance, the Wisconsin Club for Growth spent a rough estimate of $8 million to $9 million to support Republican candidates and criticize Democrats, according to the Democracy Campaign. McCabe said the two contributions to the group turning up so far are from out of state - $250,000 from Trevor Rees-Jones, the wealthy founder of the Texas firm Chief Oil &a Gas, and $150,000 from the international asset management and securities firm Citadel. 
Jordahl said the Democracy Campaign estimates "have no basis in fact," but she wouldn't say how much Club for Growth spent or where it got the money.
I got news for you. There is no Wisconsin Club for Growth, unless you're referring to growing the Koch Brother's bank accounts or their control of our government.

 It wouldn't take much of an investigative reporter to do a Google search and find that Club for Greed has ties to the Cato Institute and to the Koch Brothers.

It makes me wonder if Stein bothered to do the work, or if he was told not to, or if he did it, but the editors cut that information out. No matter which way it went, it was a very disappointing piece of poor reporting and a failure to present a balanced story.

 No wonder the paper's circulation numbers continue to drop.

1 comment:

  1. This guy is in charge of media access in the Capitol, and he is a dick.