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WI: Wisconsin Gun Owners has a political action committee?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Monkeyleg, Jun 18, 2006.

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  1. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    I've been watching the website for Wisconsin Gun Owners over the past several weeks. Last month they added a link that says "Political Action Committee."

    Of course, when you go to that page, it says "Details coming soon."

    How soon? After the elections?

    I checked with the state elections board, and they haven't registered anything yet.
     
  2. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    Why is it that, whenever I put up a thread about WGO, nobody replies until I do? Are people afraid of the Executive Director?

    I just spent nearly an hour today with the head auditor for the WI State Elections Board, going over small matters to make sure that they didn't turn into embarrassing larger matters.

    I also asked about WGO.

    Never heard of them. No filing reports, no registration papers...nothing.

    The WGO says on their website that a political action committee will be "coming soon."

    So is Jesus.

    I have spent months examining whatever information about WGO that is available to the public. Why? Because I can't conceive of a group that calls itself "pro-gun" using the tactics that the WGO has.

    My conclusion? One is that Executive Director and his wife are just in this for the money. There's lots of money--tens and tens of thousands of dollars--that are simply unaccounted for. State Ethics Board requirements only require that the reportee shows how much money was spent, not where the money came from.

    On the other hand, if the WGO actually established a registered political action committee, every last single dime would be recorded and reported to the State Elections Board. Every single contributor would be reported by name and address.

    Doing so, of course, would require that Executive Director and his wife submit themselves to public scrutiny. That could cut into the cash cow they've created.

    By telling their True Believers that the WGO is going to create a political action committee, Executive Director is leading his few followers to believe that he actually has a stake in the November elections. (Note to Executive Director: most of the competitive campaigns have already been PAC'ed out. You can go the Conduit route, or you can just continue to fool folks).

    By delaying the registration of a PAC, Executive Director can both claim that he wanted to help, but then explain away some delay. A dental appointment, haircut, or other excuse.

    If (and I stress the word if) and when you raise PAC money, Executive Director, and you find that almost every candidate has already reached the maximum amount for political action committee contributions (PAC), how much of those contributions will you pocket?

    Most candidates are already PAC'ed out now. I'm betting that you know that.

    You can do Conduit contributions but, then, that would cut into your cash cow.

    Executive Director, you made a huge mistake last year when you attacked WCCA volunteers. You focused attention on yourself, and your money-grubbing machine. By doing so, you made yourself a public figure.

    There's a storm coming, Executive Director.

    I'm taking you down.
     
  3. Gray Peterson

    Gray Peterson Member

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    I'm certainly not afraid of the Executive Director. I've been on vacation for the last week in Pittsburgh (oh yeah, taking pictures of their airport's illegal gun ban at the property there while I was having a lot of fun!)

    What I can say about the Executive Director is certainly not material for the high road. No amount of expletives can adequately describe how angry I am at him for leaving members of my "family of choice" (I have really good friends in Wisconsin that I consider my brothers) defenseless due to his grandstanding. Open carry in Wisconsin is freaking useless due to a lack of ability to carry a loaded handgun in a car, and subject to massive police response, and so on.

    Executive Director, I will consider you to be as equally responsible as Jim Doyle, and the three turncoat traitors if any harm comes to my family out there. Their blood will be on your hands along with Doyle and his turncoats. If you want just a slight chance of you getting any respect from me? Admit that you're wrong, fold your group, and disappear. GO AWAY!
     
  4. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    Well, well, well! WGO now actually has some content on their Political Action Committee page. But the "Donate" link doesn't work.

    Maybe they'll get it working by, oh, say, December?

    Meanwhile, the WCCM has now raised over $20,000 for this year's elections, and it looks like we should easily top $30,000.

    The reason I don't think that WGO will actually bring in any money to their PAC is that doing so requires full disclosure of where the money comes from and where it goes.

    From the information about WGO that I've gotten from the state recently, Executive Director is using some pretty questionable methods to hide the money trail.
     
  5. Gray Peterson

    Gray Peterson Member

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    I think his punk ass is getting paid off by Doyle and company.
     
  6. lance22

    lance22 Member

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    I well remember the long posts by Executive Director, and his points about 'compromise'. What I don't recall is any of his efforts stopping 'shall issue'. That blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Doyle and the two dem people who rescended their vote at his request.

    And, Doyle has been honest and up front about his beliefs. Wisconsin sportsmen think Doyle's anti 2A beliefs are A-OK so they keep electing him and others like him. In WI, it is safe to be anti-gun and pro-sportsmen because nobody sees the contradiction, least of all the old farmers shooting clays at their local club.

    It's alot easier to blame one gadfly.

    I live in MN near the WI border. I have family in WI and am there frequently. I've twice seen our efforts go down in flames due to dem turncoats who had each voted FOR but turned to AGAINST under pressure from Doyle. I presently boycott WI except to visit relatives, but never to buy gas, vacation, shop, or whatever.
     
  7. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I have heard some rather unsavory things said about this group's tactics. I have no means by which to determine if they are true or not.

    I also don't especially like organizations that are not fully open for inspection. A fair number of gun owner rights groups are pretty tight lipped about a lot of things and you won't find much out unless you really dig for it, and even then there is sometimes not much to be found. Nature of the beast I think.
     
  8. StopTheGrays

    StopTheGrays Member

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    Anyone who has been on this board more than 7 months already knows something is not right with WGO and ED. I think it is interesting and what-not but until something new comes out or a major "ahh-haa!!!" happens it is just old news.

    For any new members, do a search for any threads about Executive Director or WGO to get the scoop. Then educate any gun owners you know in WI about what the WGO is about. If they want to donate money to any WI progun orgs, ask them to donate to Dick's (monkeyleg) org instead. At least they will know how it is being used and by whom.
     
  9. bedlamite

    bedlamite Member

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    Dick, it's Interesting that they have a quote from you on their website:

    "WGO spent more than the National Rifle Association on concealed carry in WI in 2005." - Dick Baker Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association

    Screenshot
     
  10. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

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    It's as others have said. Everyone here knows the score. The WGO is just the ED's/Corey's "work from home" scheme.

    It's not until you dig up the next piece of dirt on him, that we've got something more to say.

    Dick, I think the main problem is that the WGO is getting under your skin more than anyone else's. It's easy to see why. You've given years of your life to getting CCW in WI, all on a volunteer basis, while the "WGO-ED/Corey" just sits back, takes pot-shots in his cute little newsletters, and pays himself a salary from the few clueless people who become WGO "members".

    It's got to be infuriating. Probably worse than the "disability guy" story you told on APS.

    You've got an extremely strong sense of fair play, and when you see people scamming, Doyle, the WGO-ED/Corey, your "on disability" shooting acquaintance, whoever, it gets to you on a level that most people don't let themselves get touched.

    I think "the rest of us" just aren't quite as irate about the ED's/Corey's whole WGO sham, because we look at the bottom line.

    - Has any of us met a misguided WGO member in person?

    - Has any of us met someone spouting the WGO "party line"? (CCW is "back door registration" etc..)

    - Has any of us seen the WGO's positions outlined by any politician, or mentioned in any MSM outlet to be used against us?


    I sure haven't.

    The only mention of the WGO's existence I've ever seen was last fall during the veto override battle. A caller on Mark Belling's show on WISN AM 1130 mentioned the WGO mailings, and speculated that the WGO was actually an anti-gun shill organization, and Mark Belling agreed.

    That was it.

    AFAIK, that was the most mainstream recognition that the WGO-ED/Corey has gotten, ever. A 15 second off-hand mention on AM radio, where they get dismissed it as a shill org, LOL!

    And I think you're right. The ED/Corey has gotten greedy, and in a most cynical fashion, has staked out his "Vermont Carry" position just to get a few more membership dollars. And by doing so, has aroused your ire, someone with the knowledge of PAC's, lobbying, and fundraising, to expose him. So by all means, keep documenting the WGO-ED's/Corey's irregularities for us. however, don't do so at the expense of your well-being.

    I suspect that just like Internet scam letters the ED/Corey has to send out thousands of them to get a few bites, and those people have to be extremely paranoid or ignorant to fall for it too. (How can someone not see a WGO letter is the RKBA equivalent of those "checks" that loan companies and car dealerships send out?) These people probably don't even vote for fear of winding up on "the list", or their fingerprints and DNA winding up in the hands of the Bilderbergers/Illuminati because they touched a ballot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  11. Phetro

    Phetro Member

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    I did a Search...

    ...and I found one of their letters posted. Here's an excerpt:

    And, reading that, I agree with the WGO totally. Compromise is indeed the kiss of death to Vermont-style carry, which is the way it should be: permits and government control are something every group should be fighting against.

    Now...if only the WGO was financially accountable...then, and only then, would I support them. But I'm sorry to say that I'll never support "baby steps" toward the recognition of rights, nor will I accept "Oh, that's just how politics is..." as an excuse. Actually, I'm not sorry to say it. Come to think of it, with the red text in mind, I am ashamed that anyone actually wanted this garbage "PPA" to pass at all.
     
  12. ChestyP

    ChestyP Member

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    So, Phetro

    "Compromise is indeed the kiss of death to Vermont-style carry, which is the way it should be: permits and government control are something every group should be fighting against."

    Standing on principle then, I assume you do not have an Indiana concealed carry license? No way are you going to compromise your principles. Correct.

    Politics is the art of compromise. Very little happens all at once. We didn't get 20,000 gun control laws on the books all at once, and we won't repeal them all at once. (Neither will a clear and unambiguous SCOTUS decision that the 2A reaffirms an individual right.) One step at a time, one law at a time. That's political reality, not internet list woofing.
     
  13. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

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    Uh, you know that WI is a 100% no-carry state, right? :confused:

    And that while it's technicaly legal, WI is by practice a 99.99% no open-carry state too? (Pretty much limited to hunting, on private property, or small rural towns were everybody knows you...)

    A Vermont bill would never, ever pass, much less even make it out of committie.

    WGO's position is essentialy no position, since what they claim to stand for is realy just justification to act like they're taking the Libertarian high-ground, but then just collect money for doing absolutely nothing other than print thier newsletters, because any momentum for Vermont carry is less than zero. It won't happen.

    If western states that are much more politicaly conservative had to pass shall-issue permits instead of Vermont carry, WI won't pass Vermont carry in the next century. Meanwile, we go unarmed.

    In this instance "not compromising" means getting NOTHING. By compromising (and it hardly counts as "compromise" when the anti-gun opponents are 110% absolutely dead-set against it...) we are getting SOMETHING. If you don't like the permits, don't get one.

    And perhaps we can someday go to an Alaska carry, where permits are voluntary, but it's Vermont carry within the state. Wyoming looks like it might be next to go. There are two waves to the "carry revolution" the first is permitted carry, the second is Vermont carry.

    We'll never catch the second wave unless we catch the first one. Politics is like football, winning teams almost never throw 100yd Hail-Mary passes for a touchdown, you're almost certain of an interception or at best, an incomplete. In football you win by making consistent first downs.

    Getting shall-issue permits in WI is our first down. Anyone who is demanding at this stage int he game that we do more, is either an idiot, or a spoiler, pure and simple.
     
  14. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    AJ, I do get upset when someone is running a scam.

    And WGO's is pretty interesting.

    WGO has a 501(c)4 organization. On the last tax return filed with the state, they/ED reported $16K+ in management and general fees out of the total $56K+ of expenses.

    On the return, ED doesn't show any of the directors being paid.

    However, I asked the state dept. of regulation and licensing for all paperwork associated with WGO. And I got a copy of a letter written to the state by ED on the letterhead of Graff Communications.

    Graff Communications is a sole proprietorship owned by Corey Graff, and provides "professional" writing and communication services.

    The $16K+ was paid to Graff Communications.

    Why create a shadow company to take in just $16K? Why not just show $16K as compensation to the Executive Director?

    Why?

    Remember that $84,000 that I told you WGO reported as lobbying expenses for last year? That's a huge chunk of money. Unfortunately, the state ethics board doesn't require lobbyists to detail revenue and expenses the way the department of regulation does.

    But, do you think that maybe most if not all of that $84,000 was paid to Graff Communications?

    And what about the first six months of this year, when we were fighting for a veto override?

    WGO reported another $39K+ in lobbying expenses. $39K that's impossible to track.

    It's the complete lack of transparency that makes WGO look suspicious. Nobody knows where the money is coming from or where it goes. And the addition of Graff Communications to the mix just muddies the water further.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  15. Strings

    Strings Member

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    I'd imagine that Dick gets a lil' POed that ED felt comfortable making attacks against him...

    Personally, I have yet to have met a member of WGO, nor anyone that has...
     
  16. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    "This isn't personal, Sonny. It's strictly business." ;)
     
  17. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    IIRC, the WI bill did not require fingerprinting but did require some kind of training. Not a terrible compromise in my mind.

    You get what you can and improve upon it down the road once people realize CC holders are not going to shoot it out in the streets just for the heck of it.
     
  18. artjs

    artjs Member

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    Yes, that's what we were trying to get done...... get SOMETHING, then once the 'shooting in the streets' stops :neener: , then maybe clean it up a little bit.

    But something is better than nothing which is what we have now.

    Of course, with Doink in there, we'll never get anything passed.:banghead:
     
  19. Gray Peterson

    Gray Peterson Member

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    Here's a few things to remember:

    A lot of the political compromises, and the bad stuff that was added to the bill (including the 50 feet of a moving bus being a felony to carry around) was added to get more votes to get to a veto override level.

    If Mark Green wins, the Legislature only needs a majority instead of a 3/5's majority. I bet Scott Gunderson and Dave Zien already has a bill for that purpose.
     
  20. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

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    Yes, but the State Democratic establishment knows that Doyle is very vulnurable, maybe (a long shot) even facing a federal indictment over "Pay for Play" issues with state contracts.

    That's why key members of the legislature like Zien and Reynolds are facing funding battles and resistance like they haven't before. Hopefuly it's just money that'll be wasted by the other side...

    If Green get's the governorship, and pro-RKBA holds 51% in both houses, I eagerly await what I call the "REVENGE BILL".

    (a.k.a. "Lefties, you shoulda passed the PPA when you had the chance, bill.")

    Some of my ideas:

    - Texas "30.06" style sinage (size and font requirments) required to bar carry from any public establishment. And it has to be on EVERY public enterance. And even then, the sign ONLY has the force of "treaspass law". (i.e. we can ask you to leave, and that's it.) Like other "weak sign" states. That way we get the best of both worlds. Maximum deterrent to posting sinage, and minimum repercussions to flouting them.

    - All other forbidden areas, like police stations, jails, courtrooms, state/city/county-owned airports have to provide secure storage for CCW holders at the entrance or security checkpoint to the secure area.

    - No alcohol premise or consumption rules, other than the BAC of .08% that's the same as a DUI/OWI for driving. (How many FPE in a car, vs. a .45ACP?) If there must be a acohol/premise rule, it has to be the 51% rule, and you can still be in the dining area.

    - No other "nuisance" or special-interest exceptions, like hospitals, day care, schools, seinor centers, women's shelters, etc. etc. etc. They can post the big, ugly "Texas Sign" if they wish, and get the same "treaspass" level of protection as every other weenie.

    - Let's build FL-style castle doctrine/no retreat right into the darn bill!

    - Employer restraint. Legal car carry/storage in private employee cars when in or on employer lots no matter what company policy says. Even better, NO liability shield, for when employed CCW holders who are injured/killed in violent crime on company property, or carrying out company duties, and weren't carrying due to company policy.

    Can we think of any more? :D
     
  21. Phetro

    Phetro Member

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    Following the law doesn't compromise my principles. Agreeing with it, however, is a different story. Accepting it like a sheep, even more so.

    Politics is the art of public weak-mindedness. Being a statesman is one thing. Has there ever, on the other hand, been a noble and honorable politician? I say no. I say they make their entire living negotiating over things they have no authority to negotiate in the first place, as is the case with our rights. RIGHTS. Not privileges.

    Uh-huh. Vermont never got any laws on the books...because politics and politicians never got their way. You would give them their way, despite what the people want being diametrically opposed?
     
  22. Phetro

    Phetro Member

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    Oh, and once again, just for the record: I think WGO taking money and doing nothing with it is criminal. So no, I don't support them. I support the principle they claim to support.
     
  23. Strings

    Strings Member

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    >Standing on principle then, I assume you do not have an Indiana concealed carry license? No way are you going to compromise your principles. Correct.

    Following the law doesn't compromise my principles. Agreeing with it, however, is a different story. Accepting it like a sheep, even more so.<

    You're arguing from a weak position here: you HAVE the ability to legally carry the best means of self defense, whereas we do NOT. The previous bill was an attempt to get us SOME form of legal armed self defense: yes, compromise was necessary (although ultimately useless). Should the elections go our way, such compromise won't be necessary: although I doubt we could get Vermont carry in one shot, we can get a bill that's a hell of a lot better...
     
  24. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    To add to what Strings said: since 1873, it has been illegal for anyone other than law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons in Wisconsin.

    That is an extreme form of gun control. WGO's use of the term "gun control" perverts the meaning.

    The chances of Wisconsin getting Vermont-style carry before experiencing shall-issue CCW are zilch. Even Executive Director admitted as much to me on the phone.

    If we go from absolutely no-issue to a shall-issue bill where businesses can post "no guns" signs, is that "gun control?" Sounds like progress--major progress--to me.

    Moreover, from the property rights perspective, business owners have the right to post signs. And we, as permit holders, have the right to remind them that we're not going to patronize their businesses because of such signs. (Watch for the first sentence of this paragraph to be taken out of context in ED's next newsletter).

    Assuming that we get what I've been referring to as the trifecta--the govenorship, and Republican control of the Senate and Assembly--we're going to have a bill signed into law. Period. Scott Gunderson said at our banquet that it would be signed into law by next April.

    The number of restrictions placed in the bill will depend upon the number of phone calls that legislators receive, as well as how much support candidates get in the fall elections.

    And this is where WGO will rear its head again. I firmly believe that WGO will be trying to rally its members to defeat any bill, no matter how clean the rest of us may feel it is. The good news is that Executive Director has no influence in Madison whatsoever.

    And perhaps that's by design. After all, why derail the gravy train?
     
  25. FireBreather01

    FireBreather01 Member

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    Phetro, I agree that it's a wonderful thing to be principled. The problem is, their reliance on their so-called principles is the lynch pin of their charlatanism. It's a trick that hucksters use to rally support to their 'cause'.

    By strict adherence to a no-compromise principle they never, never have to support anything that even slightly deviates from their so-called principles. Because Graff knows that politically naive gunnies will give to his cause because they are as 'principled' as he is, his revenue source will never go dry. He carves out an impossible position, that only complete political capitulation will satisfy his agenda. Because that will never happen, he can go on and on about fighting the good fight - and he'll keep collecting donations from well-intentioned, politically ignorant gunnies.

    I hate hypocrites like Graff - he doesn't give a damn about 2nd amendment rights or CCW here, he's interested solely in how much money gets into his pockets because of his 'positions'. If he wasn't using CCW to raise money he's find another issue, like abortion or global warming and carve out impossible positions on those issues strictly to raise money.
     
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