• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • WI Democrats Threaten to Unleash Activists on Local News Service

    A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin lashed out at a reporter on Friday, threatening to enlist party activists in a mass letter-writing campaign complaining about the reporter’s coverage of a recent Heritage Foundation interview with Gov. Scott Walker (R). The spokesperson also threatened to express “deep concerns about your credentialing” with the state’s Capitol press pool.

    Wisconsin Democratic Party communications director Graeme Zielinski aimed the threats at the Wisconsin Reporter’s Matt Kittle in a letter on Friday.

    During his interview with Scribe, Gov. Walker touted his state’s recent success in job creation. In June, the Governor noted, the 9,500 jobs created in Wisconsin accounted for more than half of the nation’s total increase in employment (June’s job creation numbers were later revised up from 18,000 to 46,000).

    In reporting on the interview, Kittle quoted Zielinski’s retort thusly:

    Graeme Zielinski, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, was blunt, countering that the Walker administration’s proclamation of economic victory is a “right-wing fantasy, a total lie.”

    “This economic success is predicated on low wages, low benefits and a workforce that’s going to have to slither on its belly, thanks to Scott Walker,” Zielinski said.

    He pointed to nearby Illinois as outpacing Wisconsin’s economy, but the Land of Lincoln added 18,900 to its unemployed rolls in June, pushing the state’s total jobless to 603,700 people.

    Illinois’s employment troubles are at least partially attributable to a massive tax hike enacted in January. The state has begun to see jobs trickle into neighboring states, including Wisconsin, where a new law exempts from personal and corporate income taxes any business that relocates to the state.

    But Zielinski pointed to Kittle’s treatment of his statement as evidence of the Wisconsin Reporter’s “obvious bias.” In his Friday letter to Kittle, he wrote:

    What you didn’t print was the deep concerns I relayed about your quote of me the day before. In your Walker water-carrying article, you made all sorts of arguments for Scott Walker, then used a snippet of my quote, and then used apposite information to debate me. IN MY OWN QUOTE. I’ve never seen that before in my life…

    What happens next is that I contact the publishers and editors of the papers that publish you as “unbiased,” and let them know our deep concern about the obvious bias that permeates your entire operation. Then, we let our activists know which papers publish you, and they will write the publisher and the editor. Then, we contact the Capitol press pool and let them know about our deep concerns about your credentialing. And we continue on until you actually admit the truth of your operation.

    In a follow-up article, the Wisconsin Reporter rebuffed Zielinski’s criticism, reaffirming its nonpartisan status – it is a product of the non-profit Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity’s StateHouse News Online service – and noting the troubling disregard for press freedom that Zielinski’s comments represented.

    “[J]ust because you disagree with a story does not mean you should be able to threaten the ability for that news organization to put out credible news content,” Franklin Center president Jason Stverak said.

    Wisconsin Newspaper Association executive director Beth Bennett expressed similar concerns.  “To have a party official put something in writing like that is pretty out there… I’ve seen a lot of emotions. Politics are bubbling to the surface in a way we don’t normally see with editorial products, but this is uncharted territory,” Bennett told the Wisconsin Reporter.

    Political tensions in Wisconsin remain high months after Gov. Walker passed a budget reform bill that trimmed the ability of the state’s public sector workers to collectively bargain. Recall elections for six State Senators will take place on Tuesday.

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to WI Democrats Threaten to Unleash Activists on Local News Service

    1. Tyler520 says:

      Typical fascist Left wing rhetoric

    2. billy says:

      He is still lying about jobs. What a disappointment he turned out to be. Why does he hate us? We voted for him. Never again.

    3. Bobbie says:

      democrat focus is narrow and refuses rationality or reason. what disappointments Americans have become. where people are paid to travel anywhere to show hatred and discontent over principled members of government and fellow Americans.

      It seems this guy would rather people were unemployed until he can get them an overpaid, union backing, government make-work job? What driven potential! what progressive productivity! speaking of progress i thought that meant freedom to the people of the world, not oppression to the people of the world. taking America down day by day is progress?

      When times get tough, you have members of the democratic party of Wisconsin running to hide and then claim republicans aren't allowing democracy? what weakness those of the democratic party continue to reflect of the party! Embarrassing for the country.

      The good will of people look to positive solutions based on American principles and personal strength in their leaders, not government to depend on for jobs and entertainment who think more highly of themselves then those they serve. (democrats.)

    4. JamieJAB says:

      LOL, I think there is a newspaper in Wisconsin that just lost a lot of readers and INCOME! Deservedly so!

      • ROYSTOLL2 says:

        Really? I think that newspaper stirred up a hornets nest across the country and revealed the Liberal Democrat Party's fear of the truth. Maybe this works with the mainstream media who is in Obama and the labor unions pocket flush with money from George Soros. Enjoy it while you can because the electorate is not as ignorant as you think. Many are realizing the Liberals blindness to the facts and the truth. Every single person that I speak to has said that the unions have gone too far and it is obvious by just comparing unionized state governments with those who aren't. Can't argue with the facts so I guesss we will hear some more name-calling.

    5. bart sampson says:

      If Wisconsinites re-elect a democrat majority in their state, they will be headed down the same dead-end road as we are currently seeing with the economy… Anyone ever wondered what Trumpka or his peers make? Personally, I am able to negotiate for myself and do not need a union representative or the government to take care of me. How sad when america depends on goverment for their complete existance. Anyone who honestly believes that the democrat party is for the people needs an education in politics. They want to keep everyone dependant and dummed-down to secure that the needy vote for gimmes. Try this: listen to left-sided radio for a week and then right-sided radio the next and ask yourself which program/commentators spend most of their time name-calling and hanging up on those who they disagree with….

      • Todd says:

        Bravo! Great recommendation! But I can't seem to find very many left-sided talk radio shows. Wonder why?

    6. Guest says:

      Zielinski is a typical Prog: He has no suggestions or ideas on how to make life better in WI, so he resorts to threats.

      Don't give into this type of bullying, WI and Gov Walker. Bullies never stop until you stand up to them and give them a figurative punch in the nose. Stay strong.

    7. AmazedAmerican says:

      Some people just replace the childhood home nest with the union nest, but they pay a huge price in the end. These are the people that have no direction etc., they are easily directed by unions and the "bosses". Pity the poor people!

    8. TimAz1 says:

      When these kinds of tactics are engaged in and made public, they only serve to galvanize the public against those who employ these tactics. The democrats of Wisconsin are insuring their own defeat while expanding their own irrelevance among the voters. Had enough yet?

    9. Cal P. says:

      This is what terrorism look like to me. I wonder if the democrat party arranged for the terrible
      racists attacks on white people at the Wisconsin Fair? It was a flash mob that was called
      in by a democrat party operative over the cell phone net by texting. The governor should be complaining
      to the federal government until they get a hate crimes investigation panel involved and fully
      prosecute the blacks who attacked all and only white people, of all ages and sex.

    10. Cal P. says:

      I think that it is sad that the democrat party has nothing to run on or brag about, so they
      have to resort to violence and intimidation. I couldn't ever vote for a group this sad.
      This is the sasme type of group that is burning europe because europe is asking each
      of the socialist to take a reasonalbe cut in benefits. Get these people out of power before
      they hurt someone.

    11. H Snyder says:

      I think Mr. Zielinski would feel right at home at the "MInistry of Truth" in the country where Winston Smith tried to rebel against "Big Brother" and "Speechcrime" in Orwell's "1984." I would suggest that people read or re-read that interesting book….

    12. Boss Article says:

      Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and in my opinion recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

    13. Glen says:

      Are u all just blind and cannot see because u are nothing more than sheep being guided by the right wing political machine, the us was made for the people not corporations and special interests, which controll walker like he is their puppet. Obviously people better wake up and figure out who the wolf in the sheepskin is. I beg of you, you ignorant people open your eyes and think as an individual. My email is sauveglen@gmail.com if u have questions.

    14. It amazes me that ppl follow the democrats, I hear nothing but hatred from them! The President saying we are not good ppl, Holder saying we are weak, Pelosi and Reid saying the our Constitution does not matter, always yelling racism, wishing ppl dead, calling good Americans terrioist…..threating a letter writing campaign, free speech means nothing to them ! I don't know what world they live in, but the America I see is generous, caring and exceptional! God bless America and all who stand up for her!

    15. @BCinSC says:

      So the #left is complaining about #media bias now? Welcome to the party kids. Enjoy the dose of your own medicine!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×