Black community conditions continue to worsen because our “progressive friends” have other agendas

By Chris Johnson, KINGFISHmke.com, and Robert Miranda, KINGFISHmke.com

August 31, 2015

For two weeks KINGFISHmke has pressed Wisconsin Working Families Party (WWFP) state director, Marina Dimitrijevic to answer a simple question. 

We asked Milwaukee County Supervisor Dimitrijevic if in fact WWFP has a contractual agreement with the firm, Nation Consulting. Her response was to meet with KINGFISHmke to discuss the work of WWFP and our online news network.

As we pointed out in prior articles Thad Nation, through an Astroturf nonprofit called Coalition for the New Economy, gave $5,000 in unrestricted cash donations to the reelect Governor Scott Walker political action group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), in 2012.

You will note that in 2012, tens of thousands of Wisconsinites converged on the state Capitol to protest against Governor Scott Walker’s union busting ACT 10 initiative.  

While the voices of working families stood strong condemning the governor’s efforts to dismantle collective bargaining, in the shadows lurked the Coalition for the New Economy led by Thad Nation of Nation Consulting, giving thousands of dollars to one of Walker’s staunchest anti-recall ally, AFP.

While the NAACP and other community organizations representing working families were battling in the state Supreme Court to overturn the Wisconsin Voter ID law, AFP was advocating to keep the Voter ID law intact. AFP was one of the original sponsors for the Voter ID bill which suppresses African American and Hispanic communities.

We accepted her invitation to meet, but we also demanded that she answer our question. 

As we stated before, WWFP’s unwillingness to answer a simple ”yes” or “no” question about something as important as whether or not WWFP is contracting with a company that is secretly financing the political foes of working families is baffling. 

How can WWFP expect to gain the trust of the Black community when this group is not being transparent?  

Why should our community place trust in WWFP to work towards meaningful development of public policy, development of general policy values and candidate selection when WWFP will not answer a basic question about contracting with a firm whose founder has provided cash donations to more than one group opposed to WWFP values?

Improve Milwaukee for residents or corporations?

WWFP seeks to field candidates to run for local office, but will these candidates work to improve conditions in our city, or will they be Nation Consulting candidates willing to work to increase corporate control, corporate welfare and deregulation? 

WWFP seeks to lead efforts to fight against corporate democrats, according to Supervisor Dimitrijevic. It seems that, in fighting these corporate democrats, WWFP might have contracted with a firm that specializes in advancing corporate initiatives. 

For example, Nation Consulting lists as a client, Global Pipeline Partners, which is a venture building new oil pipelines for Enbridge Inc. Enbridge is an oil and gas distribution company building and operating a massive oil line running from Superior, WI, south to central Illinois.  Enbridge is expanding the pipeline’s carrying capacity from 400,000 barrels per day to 1.2 million barrels. Many see this as a threat to Wisconsin waterways and to the environment in general.  Read more about the pipeline and its threat here.

WWFP is seeking to run candidates. But without knowing if there is a contractual relationship with Nation Consulting, it’s not clear what kind of candidates WWFP will be fielding. 

Will WWFP consult with Nation to field candidates like State Representative Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee)?  

Rep. Zepnick introduced Assembly Bill 696 back in 2010. A bill solely designed to give AT&T carte blanche to do what it wanted in Wisconsin. 

The bill would have given AT&T free rein to raise rates anytime they wanted, and they would never have to justify raising their rates to the Public Service Commission (PSC). Zepnick’s bill would have also eliminated the PSC’s authority to deal with phone service complaints on behalf of consumers and businesses.  

Thad Nation worked closely with Zepnick on this bill; turns out, AT&T is a Nation Consulting client. 

So yes! We’d like to know if there is a contract between this corporate deregulating consulting firm and the “anti-corporate democrat” WWFP. 

Such knowledge helps us to get a better understanding of who our friends are.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on August 31, 2015

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