As Wisconsin Sens Head For DC, Labor Brings The War To Them

On Wednesday evening, Republican state legislators from Wisconsin will gather at the offices of prominent DC lobbying firm BGR Group for a high-dollar fundraiser.

If they hoped that escaping Madison and the labor protests that continue there even after Gov. Scott Walker (R) decisively won the latest round of the bout over collective bargaining, labor progressive groups aim to make it clear they were mistaken.

As the Republicans arrive at BGR for the fundraising event this evening, they’ll be met by a coalition of left-wing activists who’ll bring the frustration over Wisconsin to them.From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Among the 11 organizations sponsoring the protest are, People for the American Way, Code Pink, Common Cause and the Public Campaign Action Fund.

Other sponsors include AFSCME, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the Center for Media and Democracy.

BGR Group’s ties to the Wisconsin GOP run deep, and as Roll Call reports the BGR fundraiser is an annual event for the firm. Usually it goes unnoticed. But coming so soon after the state Senate passed the restrictions on collective bargaining rights for state workers — and coming in the midst of a growing recall campaign against eight Republican state Senators — this year’s fundraiser has become a lightning rod.

“Timing is everything,” said Robert Wood, BGR’s government affairs president and a former top aide to Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R). “With Democrats’ groups like MoveOn, Public Citizen and the International Socialist Organization committing upwards of $2 million in each of these potential Senate recalls, every dollar can help.”

The progressive groups planning to protest later on Wednesday say every dollar raised at the fundraiser tonight is another sign that Wisconsin Republicans are out of touch.

“Last week, Wisconsin Republicans stripped middle class workers of their rights,” reads the Facebook page setup by protest organizers. “This week, those same lawmakers are receiving their payoff by corporate lobbyists and donors.”