Thursday, August 31, 2006

Milwaukee Outlet for Air America Radio

A War for Wisconsin Airwaves

Republicans no longer need to rely solely on a couple of talking heads in Milwaukee to tout their failed policies and misplaced priorities. The GOP is plotting a massive takeover of Wisconsin airwaves. This stop-at-nothing assault has triggered an epic battle to ensure media outlets across the state don’t become mouthpieces for the narrow, misguided, and divisive agenda embraced solely by extremists on the radical right.

You need to get involved.

Attempted domination by the Radical Right

The tired myth perpetuated by the extreme right about the media being a giant liberally biased beast is growing harder and harder to peddle.

This week it was reported that former Governor Tommy Thompson and his one-time right hand man, currently under federal indictment, are principal investors in a group that’s shelling out millions to buy radio stations in the Midwest. When he’s not working to puppeteer the slumping gubernatorial campaign of one of the GOP’s most extreme, you can bet Thompson and his radio partners will spend this summer shopping. Wanted: countless radio towers to help elect Republicans and paint Wisconsin red.

Wisconsin doesn’t need more venom-spewing radio talkers. Wisconsin doesn’t deserve airwaves with nothing but vitriol. Those who hide behind the thin veneer of being talk radio “journalists” have only generated public cynicism against writers and reporters who were truly “fair and balanced” long before it became a bumper-sticker slogan.

Should the same people who want to write discrimination into the state constitution, take us back to the Dark Ages with the death penalty, and stop stem cell research be in charge of programming the radio station in your hometown? Their politics of divide and conquer can no longer be propagated over what are supposed to be publicly owned airwaves.

There is Hope, Progressives fight back!

Senate Democrats have not sat idly by while conservatives clone partisans and plant them at radio stations across the state. Following the stunning success of Air America's arrival in Wisconsin with Madison’s 92.1, Democrats have been working to bring a balancing voice to vital regions of Wisconsin. Imagine…national progressive talk combined with local hosts that feature honest news from across the state, nation, and world.

Senate Democrats have not stood alone in this progressive endeavor. We have worked with Milwaukee progressives and Democrats to kick off a grassroots campaign to raise funds to help bring progressive talk to Milwaukee. In addition, we are working with the founders of Air America radio, Anita and Shelly Drobny, to identify and acquire other Wisconsin radio stations for progressive formats. Their company, Nova M., has already begun radio acquisition discussions in several communities. We believe Democrats, progressives, and libertarians across the state are ready to help raise funds and build the grassroots support needed to ensure the success of this endeavor.

Playing for keeps.

In Phoenix, Arizona Air America was ripped from the air when a conservative group purchased the station and dumped the progressive programming.Left-leaning listeners revolted and raised funds through a creative web-based campaign. They organized and with the help of progressive investors from Nova M, were able to bring Air America back to their city in just three weeks.

Efforts are under way to build a similar grassroots campaign here inWisconsin, potentially starting with Milwaukee, a city desperately needing some balance and honesty.

The Republican media spin machine can no longer get away unchecked with a message so disconnected from mainstream Wisconsin values. Their version of the “news” plays on people’s fears and fuels perceptions far-flung from reality.

Wisconsin is a battleground state, and our politics are seen by many as a bellweather for the nation. After the last couple of elections we have seen the costs of turning off and tuning out from politics. It’s time that we stand up and secure our own future. It’s time to bring an honest, progressive alternative to Wisconsin's airwaves.

Visit our website at “” or go directly to "” to learn more about how you can own a piece of Air America in Wisconsin. A statewide Air America advocacy website will be set up shortly at

Judy Robson
Senate Democratic Leader

To learn more: