WI: more about WGO


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Monkeyleg
February 6, 2006, 07:01 PM
The article below is from WisPolitics.com.

The NRA ran newspaper ads in Kenosha and Sheboygan. They ran radio ads in Kenosha, Sheboygan and Milwaukee. They did the phone banks to NRA members, as well as the postcards.

Our NRA lobbyist was working out of Zien's office full-time for months.

How is it that WGO can show they spent more than the NRA? They only reported 13 hours of lobbying time. Where's the money going to?

I'd love to see Executive Director show up and explain that.


******


PRO-GUN GROUPS ACTIVE IN STATE LOBBYING

Statements filed this week with the state Ethics Board indicate that the National Rifle Association and Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars behind yet another failed effort to make concealed carry law in Wisconsin.

The NRA reported spending 69 percent of its time on SB403 and spending nearly $77,000 throughout 2005 on various gun bills in the Legislature.

Wisconsin Gun Owners spent about 13 percent of its time in '05 on the bill and spent about $84,000 on lobbying efforts in the first year of the two-year session, according to its Ethics Board lobbying report.

The two groups combined accounted for a slight majority of the 1,856 hours spent lobbying on concealed carry legislation in the second half of 2005, despite being vastly outnumbered by groups opposed to the so-called “Personal Protection Act.” A vote to override Doyle's veto of the bill failed this week in the Assembly.

According to lobbyist statements, those two pro-gun lobbying groups accounted for 942 hours spent by lobbyists on SB 403 in 2005. Only three other lobbying groups -- the Milwaukee Police Association, Wisconsin Troopers Association, and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation -- supported concealed carry but the reports don't show them spending time advocating the bill.

By contrast, more than 50 lobbying groups opposed or remained neutral on concealed carry, amassing 914 hours of lobbying on the issue.

The two pro-concealed carry groups also spent money on advertising to try to tip the odds in their favor (advertising spending is not included in the lobbying numbers reported to the state). The Gun Owners, a self-proclaimed “no-compromise” gun rights group, sent out a fundraising mailer to residents statewide, blasting state Republican legislators for compromising with Doyle on the concealed carry bill. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action ran radio and print ads advising citizens to contact Dem state Reps. John Steinbrink and Terry Van Akkeren, urging them to override the governor’s veto of concealed carry. On Tuesday, Steinbrink and Van Akkeren reversed their initial votes, preventing the override.

See the concealed carry page from the Ethics Board:
http://ethics.state.wi.us/scripts/2005Session/LEOBR.asp?Key=REGSB403

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Monkeyleg
February 8, 2006, 12:24 AM
I'm amazed that nobody has responded to this thread.

Wisconsin supporters of the Personal Protection Act--especially WCCA volunteers, and me in particular--have taken some pretty brutal attacks from WGO. (FWIW, I don't care if WGO attacks me by name. I take it as a compliment, just as I did back in 2004 when Governor Doyle's goons put up a website that attacked the WCCA, and attacked me by name).

For all of the efforts put forth by the WCCA volunteers--hundreds of hours at gun shows, hundreds of miles driven to hearings and gun shows and gun club meetings, weekends spent out of town at gun shows and meetings, and all of the postcards we delivered to the Capitol, and everything else--we didn't spend even $2000.

If Executive Director (aka "Corey Graff") were just another THR member with a different point of view on the issue here in WI, all this would just boil down to a long-winded thread that would just eventually go away.

But Executive Director was invited here to THR by Oleg Volk to explain his positions on behalf of WGO.

I think Executive Director failed miserably in representing WGO's position, and that he should be afforded an opportunity to clarify that position, if he chooses to do so.

It has long been my belief that WGO is either a front for Governor Doyle, or Corey Graff is in this just to make some serious money for himself, or maybe a little of both.

The above report shows that WGO spent more than the National Rifle Association on concealed carry in WI in 2005.

Doesn't anyone else find that remarkable?

Anyone who's spent time at the Capitol last year knows what kind of resources the NRA was putting into WI.

The finances of the WCCA are 100% transparent to anyone who wants a look.

With the WGO having reported $84,000 for 13 hours of lobbying time in 2005, I sure hope somebody will check to see just how much of that money went to the Executive Director.

TexasRifleman
February 8, 2006, 12:30 AM
Well, I don't have skin in the game but from what I've read it certainly doesn't sound like WGO either:

a) wants concealed carry at all or
b) has the slightest idea how politics works

You don't demand an all or nothing carry law. You take what you can get and add to it later.

That's what most states have done, it's certainly what we've done in Texas.

Saying that if you don't get 100% of your demands you don't want any is a sure fire way to get what you asked for.... zero.

Trip20
February 8, 2006, 12:33 AM
I sure do think it's remarkable, Monkeyleg.

But what do you think we should say about it, that you haven't said in your first post, and now the second post?

I'd love to know where the WGO's money comes from, and exactly how it's allocated.

Do you know? If so please share because I don't know exactly how to go about researching the same.

cosine
February 8, 2006, 12:39 AM
It has long been my belief that WGO is either a front for Governor Doyle, or Corey Graff is in this just to make some serious money for himself, or maybe a little of both.

Here too.

I'd love to know where the WGO's money comes from, and exactly how it's allocated.

Second the motion.

Standing Wolf
February 8, 2006, 12:53 AM
What I've seen of the WGO's "logic" has inclined me toward the hunch it's probably a one-man "organization" with some fairly well developed attention-getting skills.

Some of the leftist extremist "gun control" state organizations have done very well with that approach: one or two "concerned" people with publicity skills, plus lots of "foundation" dollars, plus the useful idiots of the press.

Monkeyleg
February 8, 2006, 01:19 AM
Trip20, those are fair questions.

I'll have to call the state Ethics Board to see if they have more in-depth reports from WGO.

I have the tax return for the group's 501(c)4 organization, although a full report won't be available until probably June of this year for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005. I have another type of return as well, but it doesn't specify just how much Executive Director is getting from all this, or if--to his credit--he's getting anything at all.

To be honest, I've never requested in-depth returns from the Ethics Bureau, so I don't know if what I suspect can be proven.

To be fair, I would invite Executive Director back to this forum. And I wouldn't criticize him for taking some compensation for his time. I think it's only fair.

The only reason I don't take any compensation is that I think it's more effective to rally volunteers when you're a volunteer yourself. Plus, it would cost the WCCA $850 a year to have me registered as a lobbyist. And I would have to fill out endless forms.

To talk to elected officials?

Fuggettaboutit.

FireBreather01
February 8, 2006, 02:21 AM
From what I've seen and heard of 'them' they don't understand, or even care to, the political process - absolutely no savvy or political skills what-so-ever. There are few, if any, new laws that are enacted exactly as the author proposes. Most change in politics is the result of relentless incrementalism - if you go for 'all or nothing', you'll ALWAYS get nothing, it's just the way things work.

I think they're basically a one-man outfit that represents the views of a very, very small contingent of shooters and far-right libertarians that refuse to admit that they can't win in the political arena with their methods :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: And the money they spend is probably largely spent on 'salaries'. It seems a fairly self-serving organization.

If they were to join forces, and moneys, with WCCA they would be far more effective - and useful.

Don't get too worked up about them, they're not worth splitting attention away from the final goal.

Monkeyleg
February 8, 2006, 02:58 AM
One of my roles is to either dig in the dirt myself, or find someone else who can dig deeper.

The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort? It's Jeri Bonavia's cash cow. She makes a nice living promoting "anti-violence." And she doesn't have to work too hard. In fact, she often stops into Senator Zien's office to ask directions to the offices of her anti-gun legislator friends.

To her credit, she's not that hard to deal with.

WGO, on the other hand, is playing the absolute pro-gun card. Nevermind that they (or just Corey Graff) are doing a better job at dividing gun owners than WAVE is.

They both got their wishes.

Jeri Bonavia got her wishes by staying close to Governor Doyle.

WGO got their wishes by just throwing rocks at Senator Zien and Representative Gunderson.

There is something about WGO that is so obvious and so treacherous that I don't think I need to run afoul of THR rules to point it out.

Corey Graff took in more money in 2005 to defeat our CCW bill than Jeri Bonavia did. His group, WGO, claimed credit for the bill's defeat, when in fact his group had absolutely nothing to do with that defeat, other than give anti-gunners arguments that there were "pro-gun" groups in WI who opposed the legislation.

WGO reported more lobbying expenses in 2005 than the NRA and WAVE. That means that they had lots of contributors' dollars to play with.

Where did those dollars go? To real lobbying efforts, or to line a board member's pockets?

Trip20
February 8, 2006, 09:23 AM
WGO reported more lobbying expenses in 2005 than the NRA and WAVE.
Pardon my ignorance, but is it possible that an overwhelming majority of the "lobbying expenses" were spent on the salary of their "lobbyist?"

In other words, do payments to the lobbyist get listed as lobbying expenses?

MGLouie
February 8, 2006, 10:35 AM
When the WCCA and other grass roots groups get rid of Doyle and get a clean bill, or better yet reword 941.23, WGO will be shouting "see, they were right:neener: ".

It's going to make WGO look real good:barf: I wonder what WGO will do when they are no longer needed? Oh wait, we dont really need them now:D

AJ Dual
February 8, 2006, 10:49 AM
Dick,

WGO's been an irritant for sure.

I really don't know what I can do, but if you think there's anything I can do[ from a "grass roots" perspective about the WGO, let me know.

Calls, letters, etc.

The positive thing I can add is that on other gun boards, everyone seemed to be unanimous in their understanding of WGO's role as a "spoiler group".

Also, on the Mark Belling radio show on WISN 1130, on his PPA segment the night before the Assembly Override session, he and a caller (from Van Akkeren's district) openly speculated about WGO being either "nuts", or a shill organization.

It was the only media exposure I'd seen or heard WGO getting, which is a good thing.

StopTheGrays
February 8, 2006, 06:10 PM
Anyone notice this?
WGO is a 501(c)4 Tax exempt organization and is a registered charitable organization with the State of Wisconsin
So, if one were to donate to the WGO one can right it off on ones taxes? :scrutiny:



http://www.wisconsingunowners.org/about.htm

Monkeyleg
February 15, 2006, 06:36 PM
Well, they're at it again. Below is the WGO's latest email.

Of the $84,000 that WGO spent "lobbying," Corey Graff paid himself $17,428.72. The rest of the $84,000 was reported as "overhead." (What overhead? He works out of his house).

That $17K is in addition to the $16,372 that WGO reported as "management expenses" on their June 30, 2005 report for their 501(c)4 group.

Seems like Corey Graff is building a nice little cottage industry for himself.

******
Subject: [WGO-TECH] WGO outfights NRA, says state media

"The above report shows that WGO spent more than the National Rifle
Association
on concealed carry in WI in 2005. Doesn't anyone else find that remarkable?"
-
Dick Baker, Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association (WCCA)

For Immediate Release:

STATE MEDIA CONFIRMS: WGO OUTSPENDS, OUTFIGHTS NRA; WGO IS BADGER STATE GUN
RIGHTS POWERHOUSE

Institutional gun groups refuse to stand united with gun owners, cause
division,
compromise the Second Amendment in the name of being "reasonable," and do
the
bidding of anti-gun politicians by attacking WGO

February 15, 2006

Green Bay, Wis. - In the wake of a sneaky Pearl Harbor-style attack on
Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. (WGO) by the Wisconsin Concealed Carry
Association's
volunteer founder, Dick Baker, (Spring 2006 Wisconsin Rifle and Pistol
Association (WRPA) newsletter), a state media report, below, must be causing
Baker to choke on his own words.

That's because the February 6, 2006 news report, by wispolitics.com,
confirms
what WGO has told gun owners all along: WGO fights harder for gun owner
rights
than any other gun organization in the state.

"The..."no-compromise" gun rights group, sent out a...mailer to residents
statewide," the news report said, "blasting state Republican legislators for
compromising with Doyle on the concealed carry bill."

This fact was admitted and called "remarkable" by Baker, who attempted to
vilify
WGO's staunch pro-Second Amendment position and no-compromise strategy
(showing
his true colors) in a poorly-written and misleading editorial in WRPA's
newsletter.

WCCA - known for its give-up-at-all-costs lobbying strategy - while not a
true,
registered lobbying organization, endorsed gun control provisions
nonetheless,
which were offered by liberal GOP legislators and then covered up for those
politicians during the CCW fight of 2005-06 thereby keeping gun owners in
the
dark.

Now, politicians are sending thugs to attack WGO. Apparently, to WCCA, WGO
is
'too pro-gun.'

The we-claim-to-believe-in-the-Second-Amendment-but-won't-fight-for-it
group,
led by Baker, continues to cause division in the pro-gun ranks, all the
while
dishonestly leveling that charge against WGO (in reality, WGO never deviated
from the Second Amendment standard or sided with anti-gunners - that
dishonor
belongs to WCCA and WRPA).

Perhaps fueled by jealously, or just crass ignorance, WCCA continues to
compromise their own stated principles and is fighting to mislead
well-meaning
gun owners into opposing pro-gun efforts.

All of this points to one fact: The institutional gun lobby, and the closet
anti-gunners they cover tracks for, are trying to pull the plug on the
spotlight WGO has shined directly on them and their anti-gun antics. Based
on
communications to WGO headquarters, gun owners are defecting from the
compromise
groups, flocking to join WGO - saying they are tired of having their pro-gun
donations used to pass 'reasonable gun control' (which of course is still
gun
control).

During the chaos of the state assembly veto override vote, WGO staff asked
gun
owners who contacted the office a fair question: "During the course of the
last
two years, did NRA send you one piece of snail mail, one postcard, or did
you
get one phone call from NRA-ILA about concealed carry in Wisconsin"?

Time and time again, the answer was a resounding "NO!"

What may be the most significant story (still developing) of the entire
concealed carry battle, the group who publicly brags about its over 100,000
members in Wisconsin appears to have forgotten to contact statewide members
outside of two target districts about the concealed carry issue!

While gun owners ponder why the "nation's most powerful lobbying
organization"
[NRA claim] seems to have dropped the ball on concealed carry in Wisconsin,
Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. (WGO) asks that you read the news story below.

Following this story is an important gun rights action alert.

-----------------------------
Source: wispolitics.com

PRO-GUN GROUPS ACTIVE IN STATE LOBBYING

Statements filed this week with the state Ethics Board indicate that the
National Rifle Association and Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. spent hundreds of
hours and thousands of dollars behind yet another failed effort to make
concealed carry law in Wisconsin.

The NRA reported spending 69 percent of its time on SB403 and spending
nearly
$77,000 throughout 2005 on various gun bills in the Legislature.

Wisconsin Gun Owners spent about 13 percent of its time in '05 on the bill
and
spent about $84,000 on lobbying efforts in the first year of the two-year
session, according to its Ethics Board lobbying report.

The two groups combined accounted for a slight majority of the 1,856 hours
spent
lobbying on concealed carry legislation in the second half of 2005, despite
being vastly outnumbered by groups opposed to the so-called "Personal
Protection Act." A vote to override Doyle's veto of the bill failed this
week
in the Assembly.

According to lobbyist statements, those two pro-gun lobbying groups
accounted
for 942 hours spent by lobbyists on SB 403 in 2005. Only three other
lobbying
groups -- the Milwaukee Police Association, Wisconsin Troopers Association,
and
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation -- supported concealed carry but the reports
don't
show them spending time advocating the bill.

By contrast, more than 50 lobbying groups opposed or remained neutral on
concealed carry, amassing 914 hours of lobbying on the issue.

The two pro-concealed carry groups also spent money on advertising to try to
tip
the odds in their favor (advertising spending is not included in the
lobbying
numbers reported to the state). The Gun Owners, a self-proclaimed
"no-compromise" gun rights group, sent out a fundraising mailer to residents
statewide, blasting state Republican legislators for compromising with Doyle
on
the concealed carry bill. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action ran radio
and
print ads advising citizens to contact Dem state Reps. John Steinbrink and
Terry
Van Akkeren, urging them to override the governor's veto of concealed carry.
On
Tuesday, Steinbrink and Van Akkeren reversed their initial votes, preventing
the override.

See the concealed carry page from the Ethics Board:
http://ethics.state.wi.us/scripts/20...p?Key=REGSB403

-------------------------

ACTION:

1. Gun control apologists - who are posing as pro-gun groups - are plotting
right this very minute to discredit WGO through a misinformation campaign.
They
are shamelessly doing the bidding of anti-gun state politicians, who felt
the
heat from WGO grassroots. Please forward this release to every gun owner in
your e-mail address book and encourage them to JOIN WGO. Make a copy and
hand
it out at your local shooting sports club. Encourage friends and family to
sign
up in a true, 100% pro-gun organization that represents gun ownership and
grassroots gun owners instead of shady politicians.

New members may join online by credit card securely at:
https://payments.auctionpay.com/ver3/?id=w015863

2. Please consider making a special online donation to help WGO regroup
after a
costly pro-gun fight to clean up and pass a good concealed carry bill. Your
support will give us the resources to continue with our momentum and
steamroll
the anti-gunners of both parties. We believe we can both introduce AND pass
a
good, freedom-friendly concealed carry bill. And your contribution of $15,
$25,
$50, $100, $250, or even $500 is badly needed right now to help us do just
that
- the right way. You'll feel good knowing you're causing the anti-gunners
AND
the sell-outs to lose political ground. But please hurry and help today. The
anti-gunners are already raising money to assault your firearm freedoms.
They'll fight to force squishy Republicans to accept a slew of "compromise"
amendments on gun bills, and, as you can see, we can't count on the status
quo
to hold the line. That task is up to you and WGO. So please give generously.

Members may donate by credit card online at:
https://payments.auctionpay.com/ver3/?id=w015862

Thanks for everything you do for gun rights in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin Gun Owners Inc.
P.O. Box 338
Green Bay, WI 54305

http://www.wisconsingunowners.org

[phone] 888.202.1645
[fax] 866.208.1346
[e-mail] executivedirector@wisconsingunowners.org

"Wisconsin's Only No-Compromise Gun Rights Organization" (Just ask Dick
Baker)

Standing Wolf
February 15, 2006, 10:04 PM
Doyle laughs himself silly.

cosine
February 16, 2006, 02:14 AM
Doyle laughs himself silly.

No kidding! No need for allies when you get the best help from your enemy. :rolleyes:

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