Friday, August 15, 2014

In Wisconsin's Deteriorating Democracy, Privatizing Volunteerism

Apparently bereft of pure campaign volunteers, WI GOP Assembly leaders are pressuring lobbyists to put on their walking shoes and knock on doors for business-oriented conservative candidates this election year.

Fewer Packer Sunday game afternoon tailgates and parties for you - - Lobbyistpalooza (it's officially called "Leggiepalozza," but that clunker misidentifies who's showing up) is on the calendar!

That new expectation for lobbyists - - (and my apologies here for working a bit with stereotypes, as I know plenty of registered lobbyists who work for good causes and are certainly good people) - - comes on top of their being dunned for direct donations to a special money-bundling legislative PAC, further expanding the predominance of lobbyists and the organizations which hire them and the ability of powerful legislators s to further control and them around.

And for the homeowners or tenants, imagine their fun when Larry or Libby Lobbyist rings the doorbell:

"Dad: it's that lobbyist from the insecticide bottlers again. He says you should vote for Representative Scalawag. He gave me a pocket calendar."

Sort of a lose-lose all around, eh?

Volunteering to knock on doors and hand out literature and talk up the candidate virtues at doors is normally just what it's called. Volunteering.  Something done freely, out of belief or personal friendship.

No one strong arms you to show up at a campaign office bright and early on a weekend morning for cold coffee and stale donuts to firm up a business relationship.

Maybe Republicans are short of actual volunteers. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos could be operating with an Army of None.

Privatizing volunteering is another telling step backward from the people's democracy in Wisconsin, but still, it's a pretty funny image: wingtips traded for Nike's, clipboards exchanged for tablets and smart phones, plastic sacks full of door-hangers swapped for briefcases.

Never the less - - here are some tips for ward-walking lobbyists whose preferred connections to the election process are making calls, raising money and working the halls of the State Capitol:

*  Not every dog with a wagging tail should be petted.

*  You will get wet when it rains, but remember that the priority is the leaflets and keeping them dry,

*  And you have to drop every one. In a person's hand or in a dry, protected spot. A soaked leaflet partiality stashed under a door mat, or, worse - - disintegrating on the yard - - sends a soggy message from the candidate whom you 'volunteered' to help.

So enjoy your time in the Army of Fun.

Isn't that what volunteering is all about?


Anonymous said...

Isn't this the craziest thing Walker and his troops have done to date. It's simply amazing that they can't get enough grassroots volunteers who have profited from Walker's policies that they have to hit on lobbyists for shoe leather beyond hitting them up for cash! These guys will really be speaking from the heart. I hope Scott Jensen comes to my neighborhood. On an aside ....are my eyes deceiving me? The Walker ads I've seen today do not include the three people who claim they found jobs thanks to Walker. The ad seems to begin and end the same as the other but the people no longer appear. As we suspected did the Walker campaign get caught lying and deceiving the voters again?

Boxer said...

That's becuz the GOP has no real friends. They're like the unfriended kid--ya gotta tie a pork chop around his neck to get even the dog to play with him.

Anonymous said...

Next they may ask lobbyists to put up bail money. Rick Perry just got indicted - perhaps the start of a trend.

Anonymous said...

Remember when the GOP hired out of state felons to collect recall signatures? That sort of backfired when many of the signatures were copied from a phone book by the same person. Also there were legal challenges by people who claimed they were misled about what they were signing. I wonder how well this will work? Will lobbyists or the people they hire as volunteers actually do what they say they are going to do? Good Luck on this GOP.

TPJ said...

Gut wrenching laughter - outstanding James

Sue said...

Are these the same folks who can now hand over cash practically right up to an election? Or something? What was the law that was passed on that?
It's getting more and more expensive to buy a politician these days.

James Rowen said...

To TPJ - - Thanks, regrettably.