Almost simultaneous with Senator Fitzgerald’s shocking announcement to dissolve the Senate Mining Committee, I began to hear from constituents who had received an automated phone call from a political action committee calling themselves the Wisconsin Club for Growth that deliberately misinformed citizens of the facts regarding my role in creation of a responsible mining law. The calls stated that “Senator Jauch is opposed to the mining project” and directed the caller to contact my office and urge me to support the mining bill. Certain Republican districts are targeted with an ad that states that mining bill is being opposed by one liberal Senator and that citizens should call their Senator. They obviously imply that their Senator is “the liberal Senator” in question.
The timing of the ads and the announcement from the Majority Leader’s office is not an accident. Radio advertisement has been running in legislative districts but it was only AFTER Senator Fitzgerald’s announcement that the robo-calls were made. If it looks and sounds like a duck, it is a duck. Every indication points to coordination between this special interest Political Action Committee and the Majority Leader’s office. While they seem to have known about the Senate Majority Leader’s decision to abruptly eliminate the Senate Mining Committee that he created the citizens of Wisconsin were blindsided by the announcement.
This special interest Political Action Committee has never cared about the truth so it is no surprise that their calls are factually inaccurate – For almost a year I have been working toward bi-partisan responsible legislation that would establish a mining regulatory process that is fair and flexible for every applicant but protects the public interest. I have offered constructive suggestions to streamline the bureaucratic process while avoiding weakening of the environmental standards. I have been willing to seek compromise to achieve a responsible bill. After all, if one supports responsible mining they ought to support a responsible mining law.
Ever since the Supreme Court Citizens United decision there has been a nauseating escalation of misleading political advertisements that jeopardize our democratic process. The Majority Leader needs to condemn these calls and the organization which is making them for this all out assault on our democratic process. Failure to condemn the organization for misleading the public will amount to an endorsement of this outrageous practice.