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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

This Is An Advocate for Business?

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There's a new business advocacy group on the block, with an interesting twist.

The Wisconsin Business Alliance, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing business owners statewide, formally was launched Thursday by a small business owner from Fort Atkinson.

Executive director Lori Compas hosted three press conferences across southern Wisconsin - in Milwaukee, Janesville and Madison - to kick off the new organization.

You might recall Lori Compass. If not, here's a refresher:

Compas was the unionista-backed challenger in the recall election against State Senator Scott Fitzgerald. She lost that race, but her other business credentials are worth noting now that her "Business Alliance" is gearing up.

A few things to note:

  • Compas was ticketed in Montana for harassing a small business (a privately-owned campground) because she didn’t like that the campers were blocking the view of a river…
  • Compas stated in a Lake Mills listening session that she opposed luring companies from other states to Wisconsin because it created a “race to the bottom.”
  • Compas also stated in the same listening session that her approach to budgeting would be to provide additional government services now and “figure out how to pay for them later.”
  • Compas is adamantly against corporate tax cuts and credits, and would almost assuredly raise taxes on WI corporations if given the chance.
  • Compas has referred to herself as a “protest junkie” and bragged about how easy it was to break into the Capitol (illegally) during the Act 10 protests.
  • Compas’ husband Eric, a professor at UW-Whitewater, founded “Occupy Whitewater” and organized a march from Whitewater to Madison to protest Act 10.
  • During a time when WI citizens are struggling with unemployment, Compas willingly “walked off the job” from her position at the DNR because of her opposition to Act 10.
  • Compas’ effort to recall Sen. Fitzgerald was aided by We Are Wisconsin, a coalition of anti-business unions that were a major player in the recall efforts.

In the August article Compas explained the group this way:

"We are a new voice for Wisconsin businesses," Compas said Thursday.

She portrayed the Wisconsin Business Alliance as a "positive alterative" to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

"We're not trying to supplant them; I???feel like they are doing their thing and they are doing it their way and that's fine," she said. "I feel like we represent a completely different constituency


Translation: Expect the group to be a voluble critic of Governor. Walker and a media go-to source for quotes critical of the GOP from a "pro-business" group.











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