Monday, April 4, 2011

In sum

There's a group (on Twitter, but everywhere, really) that has been looking for alternatives to Johnsonville Brats given their ties to Walker and Koch Industries.

There's a Jacobson's Deli down the street, so I called the Stoughton location (first in Google search) and asked to speak with the manager. The man that answered said "that's me."

I explained that there's a group looking for an alternative, union-friendly brat vendor, and could he tell me the company's position (not his, personally) on the budget bill. He said that's a personal question, and I repeated I was asking about the company's position and maybe he could refer me to the owner? He said "I'm the owner." (Ok.)

He then told me "you're making a big mistake asking these questions."

I said "I have a right to research where I spend my money." His response was "No, you're just alienating everyone."

He then said he was union for years, but he supports a balanced budget. Didn't I?

Of course, I said, but I oppose this bill and if he supports the bill and Walker I needed to know that. He kept saying "No, you don't get to ask that. You people don't get to ask that."

I wrote up a review, and posted on the Facebook fan page on boycotts, as well as the Pledge to Spend page. I also, of course, Twittered as I went along.

I disagree with large-union efforts to intimidate businesses by telling their members to boycott (a la Union Grove story). What I support is my right as a consumer to research my spending decisions. And while this business owner had every right to ignore or refuse to answer my question, he does not have the right to tell me I don't get to ask the question or that's it's a 'mistake' to even ask.

I get to ask. We all do.

That was my point with this, and what I hoped I conveyed to the Wall Street Journal reporter when he called.

More later. I'm gonna go soak my head.

P.S. I also had an exchange with a realtor today; we're personal friends but do not agree on this bill. We disagree, but I know that and make the decision to continue the working relationship (and, of course, the personal friendship). It's not about never working with or supporting anyone with opposing viewpoints; it's about asking, learning, and making informed decisions.

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