The July 25 Badger Democracy blog revealed the Walker Administration’s participation in a regional study by the “free-trade,” “trade union reform” multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Badger Democracy has learned the Southeastern Wisconsin Coordinator for the study is Steve Baas – lobbyist for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and former Communications Director and Defense Witness for Scott Jensen, former Republican Assembly Speaker.
The alliance of the MMAC and Baas should serve as a warning and confirmation as to the agenda of this “study.” The OECD has an International record of bi-lateral, free-trade zone support, anti-union and labor policies in nations from Chile, to India, and Russia. The MMAC, through its lobbying efforts, has supported every anti-labor, privatizing piece of legislation forwarded by the GOP – including the expansion of Charter Schools, Act 10, Corporate Tax Welfare, “Enterprise Zone” creation, and preemption of Milwaukee sick leave ordinances. In the first 6 months of this session alone, MMAC has spent nearly $20,000 on lobbying efforts. Baas himself is on record in editorial writings promoting Scott Walker’s agenda – citing many of the same flawed statistics that have since been debunked. Baas even appeared as a presenter at an Americans for Prosperity conference in 2008 on Health care reform with then-County Executive Scott Walker. In 2006, Baas testified for Scott Jensen, taking the blame for Jensen’s staff conduct, and claiming Jensen knew nothing of their conduct during the Caucus Scandal investigation.
Steve Baas is coordinating the study in Southeastern Wisconsin on behalf of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the OECD – all of whom have at the heart of their agenda the expansion of bi-lateral, free trade zones and reduction of labor collective bargaining rights. The local media’s irresponsibility in not recognizing the global nature of this struggle for middle class survival is unforgivable. This “study” receives no space on the MMAC website, no media coverage, and zero information (as usual) out of the Governor’s Office – and for good reason. If Scott Walker and his ilk continue to receive carte blanche, the Multi-National Corporatist movement will be able to continue these underground, “under-the-radar” actions that will be the end of a working middle class in Wisconsin and America. Working Wisconsinites need to tell Scott Walker and the GOP during the recalls that they are aware of his “shadow-style” governmental dealings with these organizations, where voters have zero representation, and no voice to be heard. The Global Free-Tradists are coming for you, people of Wisconsin – this is your warning.
Badger Democracy will continue to update as more information is available.