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Twelve years ago, WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network was launched as the nation’s first and only independent State Capitol broadcast network.

margaret Farrow

Farrow

Mark Meyer

Mark Meyer

In La Crosse, we are found on Spectrum channel 995 and on the Internet at wiseye.org.

Like C-SPAN operates at the national level, WisconsinEye provides unparalleled access to actions of elected officials in our state Capitol. We write this bipartisan letter today as the “Democrat” and “Republican” board members of this nonprofit organization.

The network was created for the purpose of enlightening our democracy and encouraging civil dialogue on important issues facing Wisconsin. It was not created as an opportunity for negative, partisan misuse of the network’s video coverage to attack political opponents.

In 12 years, there has not been a single instance of a sitting legislator of either political party using WisconsinEye video in a negative, partisan manner.

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Sadly, a group in La Crosse has violated the guiding principle of WisconsinEye to foster education, understanding and civil discourse.

In violation of the network’s video user agreement with the Legislature, the La Crosse County Republican Party has used copyrighted WisconsinEye video and photographic images to publicly attack Democratic members of the Wisconsin Legislature.

Calls were made to Chair Bill Feehan. A request was made to delete the messages. Our request was rejected. It has since been learned that the messages were not accurate. In other words, a false narrative was built around the video that was used in breach of the WisconsinEye user agreement.

One of the reasons we have been successful is that Republicans and Democrats shook hands and formally agreed that use of WisconsinEye footage in political efforts is “off-limits” in campaigns.

We share a great concern that use of our broadcast in political attacks will damage our hard-earned reputation as the leader in bringing the day-to-day operation of Wisconsin state government into your homes and classrooms.

La Crosse County Republican Party’s actions are a cloud over the civil dialogue and mutual respect so desperately needed in today’s political landscape and have broken a long record of cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.

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Margaret Farrow is chair of the WisconsinEye Board of Directors and a former Republican lieutenant governor from Pewaukee. Mark Meyer is a Democrat and former state senator from La Crosse.

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(8) comments

Redwall

"The network was created for the purpose of enlightening our democracy and encouraging civil dialogue on important issues facing Wisconsin. It was not created as an opportunity for negative, partisan misuse of the network’s video coverage to attack political opponents."

I've never heard of this outfit but if they can accomplish the above in this environment, good for them.

However, for a product of a communication network, this piece leaves a lot to be desired. What actually happened? Is part of this story missing?

oldhomey

Redwall! I hope you dug into your pockets and decided to pay for a Tribune subscription so that you can resume posting on these boards. You seem to continue to have difficulty understanding what you read, however. Read this column a little more slowly, and perhaps move your lips while doing so, and I think you will see your questions answered.

oldhomey

On the theory that there are two sides to every story, it incumbent upon the La Crosse Republican Party to defend themselves or to do as requested, retract and apologize. Let's see what they do.

Redwall

The Tribune only prints news releases from the Democratic Party. Verbatim. No questions asked.

Cassandra2

Redwall, the GOP was asked to present its side. Unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, they've hidden in the weeds. This is becoming the standard for republicans when called out for misdeeds. I'm sure the Tribune would welcome their answer, should they grow the courage to provide one.

PhysicsIsFun

Just more of the same crooked politics by the Republican Party. The only way they can win is by cheating.

johnnybragatti

The Greedy Old P_____ks are known as the GOP. In the state of Wisconsin, they are equal to New-Nazis ,John Birchers, and the KKK. No question "bout it.

Cassandra2

So unsurprising.

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