A private group may invite whom it wishes, but the guests invited tell much about the organization doing the inviting. Long years ago, straining even the finest recollection, private businesses relied on their own efforts for success (or so one has heard). Look about now, even in small and struggling places, and one finds well-fed businessmen searching fervently for any public money they can get. So, where once a business group’s guest of honor might have been an accomplished private person, now it’s a public official from whom the business lobby might wheedle some taxpayer money for its own ambitions.
In a small town like Whitewater, where a conservative landlord and a few others are organized as a business league (the Greater Whitewater Committee), their choice of guest speaker shows an attraction to public money.
Last year that group invited the operative overseeing the Foxconn project, a scheme dependent on billions in state and local money. This year, they’ve invited the nominee to become Wisconsin’s secretary of transportation. That’s fitting, as this special interest group would like state money for road expansion (in a state that has seen skyrocketing transportation projects and shrinking budgets).
Some of these business-league men have been – at the same time – public officials running Whitewater’s Community Development Authority. Their work at the CDA has been a policy failure. See A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA and Reported Family Poverty in Whitewater Increased Over the Last Decade.
Nationally and locally, big-government conservatives are economy-wreckers.
Still, one has tried to be helpful with guest speaker suggestions, differences notwithstanding: suggesting former Gov. Walker offered someone knowledgeable about corporate welfare who also has time on his hands; suggesting Alfred E. Neuman matched the quality of the speaker with the policy outlook of the organization.
They’ve chosen more opportunistically, for another state bureaucrat.
Of this business league’s selection of a guest speaker, one sees a nearly mosquito-like attraction to a corpulent (and public) food supply.