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Posts Tagged ‘Gov. Scott Walker’

Think Progress reporter Lee Fang interviewed David Koch in a sidewalk ambush last year.

February 20, 2012 10:00 AM

Crooks and Liars  By- Susie Madrak

Boy, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, huh? What a swell family those Kochs are:

Billionaire David Koch has vowed to defend Wisconsin governor Scott Walker against the union-backed recall election underway in that state. In aninterview with the Palm Beach Post, Koch said that, “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”

The we in question is Koch and his equally well-off brother Charles, who together have financed much of the conservative tea party movement through their group Americans For Prosperity.

Koch also told the Post that “there will be no stopping union power” if they win the recall election versus Walker, who jammed through legislation that strips public employee unions of their power to collectively bargain.

In the interview, Koch lavishes praise on his father Fred Koch who was a founding member of the far-right John Birch Society.

Fred Koch once wrote that the “colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America” and claimed welfare was designed to create a “vicious race war.”

The John Birch Society was founded in opposition to the civil rights movement, and promoted numerous conspiracy theories of a UN-led “one world” government. The group also famously opposed fluoridation of water, which it described as a communist mind-control plot.

SOURCE

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Wisconsin Democrats Win Seat That Was Held By Republicans For Sixteen Years In Special Election

Think Progress- By Zaid Jilani at 9:50 am

Wisconsin marks the birthplace of a burgeoning Main Street Movement defending the economic livelihood of the middle class. The movement was spawned after Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and his GOP allies passed new laws stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Last night, Wisconsin Republicans suffered what was perhaps the first electoral defeat resulting from a backlash to their radical anti-labor policies as Democrats won a special election for an assembly seat held by the GOP for the past 16 years:

Democrat Steve Doyle defeated Republican John Lautz for the Wisconsin District 94 Assembly, flipping a seat held by Republicans for 16 years in a race that focused attention on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curtail collective bargaining right for most public employees. With 92% of precincts reporting, Doyle won 54% to 46%, based on unofficial results in Tuesday’s special election. The race flips a GOP Assembly seat for the Democrats, who remain in the minority.

The seat was previously held by Mike Huebsch, who Walker picked in January to serve as secretary of administration. Huebsch was first elected in 1994. The district covers rural La Crosse County and parts of Monroe County.

Doyle actually won despite “a barrage of television and radio attacks by third-party groups, along with mailings from the Jobs First Coalition, a Brookfield, Wis.-based group tied to Scott Jensen, the former Republican state Assembly speaker who left office in 2002 amid misconduct allegations.” “I look at it as a rejection of attack ads,” he told the La Crosse Tribune.

SOURCE

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The “Glory Days” of Scott Walker May Already be Over

Submitted by mark karlin on Tue, 04/26/2011 – 8:34pm.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH FOR TRUTHOUT

These are not the glory days that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was envisioning as he assumed his Napoleonic reign.

Walker, for instance, is openly complaining that the apparently successful effort to initiate recall elections for at least five (now six) Republican state senators who have sided with him, well, that such exercises of democracy are making it difficult for him to govern in a “republic.”

That may explain why the Wisconsin legislature – otherwise known, perhaps, as the rubber-stamp body of the autocratic ruler of the state of “Walkerstan” – is going to try to make it extremely difficult for university students to vote. Shrink the pro-union and progressive vote and win elections by making sure that older white Republicans get the privilege of casting a ballot.

Walker is also hoping to rely on the Koch brothers and other wealthy sources, such as the Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, to keep the public misinformed. As BuzzFlash first reported, the Kochs are putting quite a bankroll into a Facebook campaign to recruit right-wing advocates for “conservative think tanks” around the nation.

And as evidence of the rather suspicious, unsavory and unethical relationships among Walker, David Prosser and Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus continue to mount, Walker has been reduced to taking claim for creating jobs that were already announced by his Democratic predecessor.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on April 24:

Little did anyone know that Gov. Scott Walker was such a huge fan of recycling.

Just look at his latest jobs announcement.

Walker recently took credit in a widely reported press conference for creating 125 jobs at a state manufacturing plant, even though then-Gov. Jim Doyle announced the same new jobs back in December.

About now, Walker may be remembering that he personally can be recalled after a year in office.

You probably won’t hear the governor of “Walkerstan” playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” any time soon.

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Dems File Complaint Against Walker For Threats, Intimidation of Public Employees

Crooks & Liars- By Susie Madrak

March 08, 2011 07:00 AM

The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent has a copy of the complaint Wisconsin Dems are filing against Gov. Scott Walker during a call he thought was from David Koch, and he says it builds a persuasive case:

The complaint, which reflects a sense among Dems that all bets are off in this standoff, makes an interesting argument. By any reasonable standard, it says, Walker’s conduct should undermine “public trust” and fell well short of standards designed to ensure “the faith and confidence of the people of this state in their state public officials and state employees.”

The complaint focuses on several aspects of the prank call, but I think these two may be the most interesting:

16. Respondent states during the Call that he has the Attorney General’s office “looking into” strategies to force the Democratic senators to return. This constitutes a misuse of the independently elected office of the Attorney General for primarily political motivations.

And:

19. Respondent states during the Call that he will send out 5,000-6,000 layoff notices to public sector employees in an attempt to “ratchet up” pressure on the Democratic Senators. This use of threat against, and intimidation of, public sector employees for political purposes constitutes an unfair labor practice in violation of Wis. Stat. Section 111.84.

The complaint also alleges that it was improper for Walker to suggest to Koch that Republicans in swing areas might need shoring up, since this smacks of illegal coordination, though to my mind it isn’t clear what he was asking for. It also says that Walker’s claim that he “thought about” planting troublemakers in the crowd “constitutes a conspiracy to recklessly endanger public safety,” though here too it’s not quite clear what Walker really considered doing.

That said, even those examples were eyebrow-raising, and the complaint is worth reading, because it’s a reminder that taken together, Walker’s shenanigans on the call add up to conduct that by any reasonable measure should raise serious questions about Walker’s judgment and approach to his office. Some in the national media were quick to exonerate Walker after the call, but reading the complaint, the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s claim that his conduct risks undermining the public trust in state government doesn’t seem particulary unreasonable.

SOURCE

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(h/t to First Draft for photo)

Scott Walker Hates Anything That Helps The Little People. Here’s Another Example

Crooks & Liars- By Susie Madrak

March 07, 2011 07:00 AM

From the Cap Times (via First Draft, a blog that’s done an amazing job cover the Madison movement). This insurance plan is something that doesn’t cost the state government anything — but doesn’t profit any of Walker’s friends, so it has to go:

If you need a prima facie example of how this extremist Republican governor is taking the side of the big guys against the little guys, I’ve got one for you.

Hidden in the 1,300 or so pages of his 2011-13 budget is the dismantling of Wisconsin’s little-known State Life Fund, a small state-operated life insurance plan that was enacted 100 years ago this year by progressive Republican legislators in the wake of insurance scandals that rocked the state back then.

The fund costs Wisconsin government nothing, but operates off investing the premiums paid by the 30,000-plus state residents who hold policies with face values ranging from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. The fund, which isn’t well-known because it is forbidden from doing any advertising, nevertheless earns dividends that substantially reduce the insureds’ premium costs plus build cash values that policyholders can cash in if events in their lives make it prudent to do so.

In 2010, the State Life Fund sold 146 new policies with $69,000 in new premiums. The plan is totally self-supporting and continually runs a surplus. It requires no extra workers in the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. It’s a good deal for young families who want to have at least a little life insurance protection. Some cash in their policies and use the cash value to help pay for their children’s college. Older folks are known to purchase a policy to cover funeral expenses.

Yet Walker wants to freeze it in place come July 1 and close it to further purchases.

It’s a blatant giveaway to the private insurance industry, which has long bristled at the existence of the fund, insisting that it is “socialized insurance.” It has tried without success for several decades to get it killed. The most recent attack on it came from dishonored former state Rep. Scott Jensen of Waukesha, himself an insurance industry shill. Even Tommy Thompson’s Republican administration wouldn’t go along with Jensen’s scheme to close it down.

But now comes Walker, who received substantial campaign contributions from insurance interests in his race last fall. And because of the acquiescence to his machinations by the Republican majority in the Legislature, the threat to the fund is much more serious. Walker will get his wish unless the proposal is removed from the budget bill before it passes.

SOURCE

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Breaking: Wisconsin Dems throw their weight behind drive to recall GOP Senators

Washington Post- The Plum Line- Greg Sargent

Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

By Greg Sargent

The Wisconsin Democratic Party has decided to throw its weight behind a nascent grassroots drive to recall a number of GOP state senators, a move that will considerably increase the pressure on them to break with Governor Scott Walker, the Dem party chair confirms to me.

“The proposals and the policies that Republicans are pushing right now are not what they campaigned on, and they’re extreme,” the party chair, Mike Tate, said in an interview. “Something needs to be done about it now. We’re happy to stand with citizens who are filling papers to recall these senators.”

Previously, Wisconsin Dems had not publicly supported talk about recalling GOP Senators, in hopes of privately reaching a negotiated solution to the crisis. The Wisconsin Democratic Party’s decision to support the recall drives represents a significant ratcheting up of hostilities and in essence signals that all bets are off.

Eight Republican Senators are eligible to be recalled right now, and various groups around Wisconsin are beginning to file papers to make it happen. Tate told me that the party would throw its organization behind such efforts

“We’re an aggressive, on-the-ground group and we’re going to be looking to aid these citizens in any way we can,” he said.

Tate said he couldn’t say whether such a recall drive would result in GOP Senators breaking with Walker, given their solidarity so far, but he vowed that a number of them would pay the price by losing their own jobs.

“There are Republican senators today that will lose their seats in a recall election in the next few months,” he said “We’re happy to assist.”

Asked if Wisconsin Dems would drop their push to recall senators if they abandoned the drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights. Tate said he couldn’t guarantee that, arguing that Walker’s proposed budget cuts yesterday took this fight to a whole new level.

“In the past 24 hours, this has gotten so much larger than the rights of our public employees,” he said. “This is much larger now than it was a week ago.”

UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Ian Millhiser has some detail on the slim vote margin some of these Republicans won office with, and on how a recall would work.

And Sam Stein notes that Wisconsin Dems are already raising money to support the recall effort.

UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: The SEIU is now soliciting support for the recall drives, suggesting labor may join the push to collect the required signatures necessary to make them happen.

UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: We now have a total of four national polls all showing solid support for public employees.

By Greg Sargent  | March 2, 2011; 2:34 PM ET

SOURCE

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Wisconsin Democrats Launch Recall Effort Against GOP Senators

HuffPost- Sam Stein

First Posted: 03/ 2/11 02:39 PM Updated: 03/ 2/11 02:50 PM

WASHINGTON — The Wisconsin Democratic Party has launched a fundraising campaign to recall state Senate Republicans who have supported the budget bill by Gov. Scott Walker (R) that would strip collective bargaining rights from the state’s public employee unions.

The email the party sent out on Wednesday afternoon is excerpted below:

In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back. It’s that simple.This morning citizens from around the state took the first steps by filing recall papers against key Republican Senators who have stood with Scott Walker and pushed his partisan power grab that will strip thousands of middle class teachers, nurses, librarians and other workers of their right to collective bargaining. And we learned just last night that their disastrous budget that will cut millions from our schools and universities.

In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back by recalling the Republican Senators who have decided to push Scott Walker’s divisive attack on the rights of workers and his assault on schools, universities and local communities. Can you contribute $60 today to support the Democratic Party’s recall efforts?

Make no mistake, these Republican Senators are vulnerable to recall for their radical partisan overreach. Senator Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007. By recalling just three of the eight Senators we are targeting, we can regain control of the Senate.

But we need your help today. The clock is ticking and we have just 60 days to collect the signatures we need to force a recall. Every day and every dollar counts.

[snip]

If we can recall at least three Senators and regain control of the Senate, we can end the ugly games Republicans in the legislature have played in the last few days — unplugging phone lines, bolting windows inside the Capitol shut, and withholding the paychecks of Democratic legislators.

MORE HERE

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REPORT: How Koch Industries Makes Billions By Demanding Bailouts And Taxpayer Subsidies (Part 1)

Think Progress- By Lee Fang on Mar 1st, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Koch Industries, the international conglomerate owned by Charles and David Koch, is not only the second largest private company in America, it is the most politically active. As ThinkProgress has carefully documented over the last three years, Koch groups have spent tens of millions to influence government policy — from financing the Tea Parties, to funding junk academic studies, to undisclosed attack ads against Democrats, to groups promoting climate change denial, to a large network of state-based and national think tanks. In an opinion column for the Wall Street Journal today, Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch fired back at his critics, who have grown more vocal as it has become clear that Koch groups are providing the political muscle for Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) union-busting power grab.

In his piece, Charles portrays himself as simply an ideological advocate, and says his money to political groups is only meant to “enhance true economic freedom.” He chides special interests that have “successfully lobbied for special favors,” claiming “crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market.” But in reality, the focus of the Koch political machine is geared towards “crony capitalism” — corrupting government to make Charles and his brother David Koch richer. Koch’s Tea Party libertarianism is actually a thin veneer for the company’s long running history of winning special deals from the government and manipulating the market to pad Koch profits:

– The dirty secret of Koch Industries is its birth under the centrally-planned Soviet Union. Fred Koch, the founder of the company and father of David and Charles, helped construct fifteen oil refineries for Joseph Stalin before expanding the business in the United States.

MORE HERE

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