Econoprint Comes Out Neutral

Someone posted a comment to Eric's entry today that asks: "Did anyone else see the Capital Times article that the Madison EconoPrint donated $254 to the "Yes" campaign?"

Well, here's that Cap Times article. And here's the story:

The Vote Yes for Marriage campaign lists just three donations, totaling $2,454. (I'll let Seth tell that story, here and here.) Two of their donations are from Wisconsin Family Action, Inc. The third is from Econoprint, an in-kind donation for some graphic design work. Perhaps for this logo?

Anyway, this afternoon, we got a call from Econoprint.

The caller wasn't happy. I was afraid he wasn't happy because our anonymous commenter left their phone number on our blog.

It turns out he wasn't happy because they showed up on the "Yes" side's report.

According to the Econoprint rep, the in-kind donation was a standard discount they give to all their new customers. In fact, he offered to give us the same $250 discount (which we would consider taking if it was a union print shop). He even called the Capital Times for a retraction, but since it wasn't technically inaccurate, they wouldn't print one.

He assured us he isn't on the "Yes" campaign's side, but he isn't on ours either. He doesn't want to take a side, he just wants to print stuff.


At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

I wonder if EconoPrint is a member of Downtown Madison, Inc. If so, they are, to some extent, on our side and not neutral.

(I was unable to find a list of members on the DMI website.)

At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is giving free stuff to a political campaign -- even if it is some kind of business policy -- not taking sides?

"He just wants to print stuff" . . . Yeah. Stuff to help write discrimination into the Constitution. Doesn't sound very neutral to me.

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't be spending any of my money there...that's for sure.

At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He just wants to print stuff


At 7:27 AM, Blogger Kent Walker said...

I tend to agree with the others. I fully understand that if a company decides not to take a side then they have that right, but in this day and age with all kinds of double speak and spin, saying they don't take sides after showing up on a list that indicates they do support the amendment, yet claiming they didn't specifically ask to be depicted that way, is easily seen as spin. Unless the company publicly states their position either in print or with a spokesperson on radio or TV, I will have to assume they are backpedaling after their true intentions have been made public. Unless I am convinced that what he is saying is true and not just "to fix the problem", I will keep my dollars to myself or will give them to a company that has shown they are supportive of nondiscrimination. Thus, I am sad that Econoprint is supporting this ban. I won't patronize them.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Dan Ross said...

When they came for civil unions and same-sex marriage, I didn't speak up, because I just wanted to print stuff.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Karmachrome said...

Granted the Econoprint rep was being wishy-washy but coming from the design business I have to say that it's a hard industry to be in lately. A new customer discount is a typical strategy; it's extremely poor business sense to place your struggling operation on one side of any political fence. The fact that the printer "just wants to print stuff" might reflect the typical printer's frustration with a struggling print market.

Look at it from the opposition's view: the rep seemed to go through an awful lot of hassle to estrange himself from VYFM - by not stalwartly siding with them, Econoprint pretty much guaranteed that ban supporters will not be going to them from now on. I don't have to tell you - following your heart in business matters doesn't pay bills...

Besides - didn't anyone find the fact that VYFM has had only 3 donations hysterical?

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Legolyx said...

I also noted that there were only 3 donations. How long has this VYFM been operating? If only for a very short time, then maybe they just aren't known enough, but if they've been "out" for a while now, then that's a sad state of affairs for them if they've only gotten that much, while we've had donations far exceeding that. That's a very hopeful sign of defeating the ban.

At 1:49 AM, Blogger Jay said...

I have to agree with Karmachrome...trying to attack Econoprint for helping a customer is misguided anger that will hurt us more than help us.

Do we want our opposition to angrily call up all the business owners who side with Voting No on the Marriage Ban? How are we going to react if/when they organize boycotts against our businesses?

I don't think Econoprint was willingly supporting VYFM or making a political statement.

I think it's just comical that VYFM had so few donations that an "in-kind" donation shows up so glaringly!

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Communitygal said...

I tend to agree that Econoprint is just a relatively innocent bystander on this one.

I do applaud Fair Wisconsin for spending its money with those who employ our union brothers and sisters. We do have choices about where to spend our dollars, and we should spend them in places that make positive difference. Thanks, FW!

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that VYFM claims to have sent out thousands of DVDs to churches in an education campaign. Where did they get the money to produce those? From undisclosed sources. Don't let this report make us complacent and think they have no money....they have a lot of it, they are just putting it into an "education" fund rather than an "advocacy" fund.

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that ugly logo! I work at EP and I did a couple versions for VYFM, another designer finished it but they all had a similar look. The handwritten notes about what the customer wanted were priceless (NO PURPLE OR RAINBOW COLORS). If I could have snuck some kind of counter-imagery into that I would have been a legend but I wasn't clever enough to pull it off. Honestly I could care less if people buy from Econoprint but I don't think they have any kind of political agenda, they have a near-constant discount going which is based on the total cost of incoming new jobs, not on whether or not the customer hates gay people.


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