Wisconsin Video Choice Coalition
Wisconsin Video Choice Coalition is an ad hoc group created to lobby in favor of Wisconsin Senate Bill 107 / Assembly Bill 207, called the "Video Competition Act." The Wisconsin Merchants Federation identifies itself as a founding member of the coalition.
As detailed by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the bill was based on model legislation drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council and has been strongly supported by AT&T.   Industry groups helped craft the bill before it was introduced to the state legislature, reported The Capital Times:
- In a March 21  memo, Mark Kunkel of the Legislative Reference Bureau details the "instructions" he said he received during a Feb. 20 meeting with James Barrett, senior counsel of AT&T Wisconsin; Buddy Julius, director of government affairs at AT&T Wisconsin; Tom Moore, executive director of the Wisconsin Cable Communications Association; and Adam Raschka, aide to Rep. Phil Montgomery, R-Green Bay, the primary author of the bill. John Stolzenberg, chief of research services for the Wisconsin Legislative Council, was also at the meeting; Tara Corvo, an attorney from Washington, D.C., who also represents the cable association, joined the conversation by phone.
- Among other instructions, Kunkel noted that he was directed to include a rebuttal to anticipated criticism that the bill would illegally supersede franchise agreements between cities and cable companies. Wisconsin's cities received approximately $31 million in franchise fees in 2004, according to the Department of Revenue.
From the coalition's press release: 
- Communications Workers of America
- Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
- African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milwaukee
- Wisconsin Merchants Federation
- Wisconsin Independent Business Association
- Wisconsin Supplier Development Council
- United Community Center
- Women Impacting Public Policy
- Wisconsin Technology Council
- American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance
- Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
- Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce
Of these groups, the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups and Wisconsin Technology Council previously received funding from SBC Wisconsin, which is now part of AT&T. The Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups has also received money directly from AT&T, as sponsorship for its annual convention, and offers members "discounts on assistive devices for the telephone such as volume amplifiers from the AT&T Special Needs Center." Wisconsin Technology Council lists AT&T among its major sponsors. Women Impacting Public Policy receives funding from AT&T and Verizon, among other corporate sponsors. 
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists
- The Mellman Group
- Wisconsin Merchants Federation
- ↑ "The Past Week in Review (PDF file)," Wisconsin Merchants Federation, October 12, 2007.
- ↑ Hadrian, "Phone Friends," Big Money Blog, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, March 29, 2007.
- ↑ "Bills and Rules Lobbied by AT&T," Wisconsin Ethics Board website, accessed October 2007.
- ↑ Judith Davidoff, "Industry Role Decried, But Cable Bill Endorsed," The Capital Times, (Madison, Wis.), April 17, 2007.
- ↑ Press release, "Wisconsinites strongly urge alternatives to cable TV, support Video Competition Act" (PDF file), Wisconsin Video Choice Coalition via WisPolitics.com, September 24, 2007.
- ↑ "SBC To Provide Grants to Nonprofits," Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.), December 10, 2004.
- ↑ "CWAG Celebrates a Successful 29th Annual Convention," CWAG website, accessed October 2007.
- ↑ "AT&T Special Needs Center," CWAG website, accessed October 2007.
- ↑ "Sponsors," WTC website, accessed October 2007.
- ↑ "About Us," WIPP website, accessed October 2007.
- Press release, "Wisconsinites strongly urge alternatives to cable TV, support Video Competition Act" (PDF file), Wisconsin Video Choice Coalition via WisPolitics.com, September 24, 2007.
- "Wisconsin Video Choice Coalition Press Conference," video and audio archived online, WisconsinEye.org, September 24, 2007.
- Stacy Forster, "Residents favor cable competition now, poll shows," Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Wis.), "All Politics Watch" blog, September 24, 2007.
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