David and William Koch (pronounced “Coke”) are brothers that are part of the billionaire family that own Koch Industries. Their father, Fred Koch, was one of the founding members of the ultra-conservative group The John Birch Society.
David Koch is a little bit well known politically. In 1980, he ran as the Vice-Presidential candidate on the Libertarian Ticket with Ed Clark. The Clark-Koch ticket garnered 1.06% of the vote, the best showing by a Libertarian in a presidential election ever.
And this little piece of campaign history…
In 1984, the Koch Brothers founded the free-market based group Citizens for a Sound Economy which 20 years later separated into Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks.
Why do those names sound SO familiar…?
Perhaps they are groups linked with the Tea Bagger Movement….
Despite the connections between these groups and the Tea Bagger Movement, the Koch’s deny their involvement in funding their groups. Reports during the 2010 campaign have called the Koch’s the Tea Party’s wallet.
So, what do the Koch’s have to do with the protests taking place in Wisconsin?
The Wisconsin Legislature has a bill that would strip public work employees who belong to a union the right to collective bargaining with their employee, in this case the state of Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker (R) has stated that this will close a budget shortfall. However…. It has been revealed that Walker might be manufacturing a crisis in order to limit the power of unions. Wisconsin is actually expected to see a budget SURPLUS of $121.4 million (top of page 2, prior to TABLE 1).
Hey… someone in Texas call a Wisconsin state legislator… maybe they could help us with our $27 BILLION budget deficit…
In order to stall the passage of the bill, 14 Wisconsin Senate Democrats have “pulled a Texas” and fled the state in order to slow down the passage of the bill. All business in the Wisconsin Senate has stopped because they do not have quorum.
Where are those 14 Wisconsin Democratic Legislators? Your guess is as good as mine. Their interviews have taken place in “An Undisclosed Location.” I did not know that Illinois had a town called that… or Minnesota… or Michigan… or Iowa… or the name of a ship on Lake Michigan… or in Indiana… or in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Mantitoba….
It is no secret that money plays a huge role in politics. The Koch Brothers take their money and pool it with other billionaires into one of their favorite conservative leaning groups. The same goes on the other side of the aisle as well.
In the last presidential election, 2008, the top five groups making outside contributions were (from #5 to #1): The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the ultra-conservative group Freedoms Watch, The National Rifle Association (NRA), American Federation of State County Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The top two outside groups that contributed the most money to the election were unions which typically lean towards Democratic candidates.
In the 2010 elections, seven of the top ten groups making outside contributions were (from bottom to top): Club for Growth (#10), Americans for Job Security (#8), American Future Fund (#7), Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (#4), American Crossroads (#3), American Action Network (#2), and at number one…. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. All of those groups are conservative leaning in their ideologies. The other three were unions (SEIU, AFSCME, and National Education Association).
It should also be noted that the 2008 election was the last election prior to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010). An analogy to this would be if a major sports league decided to abolish their league’s salary cap restrictions. Prior to that decision, corporations and unions were limited on how much money they could contribute to a candidate/political cause. The decision has now lifted those restrictions and allowed organizations to donate as much money as they wish without having to disclose who is funding their contributions.
The questions that this decision has raised is how much money in the last election came from foreign sources and who stands to benefit the most because of the results. Unless these organization’s books are forced opened by subpoena (and who knows if we are looking at the actual books; remember in The Producers: one book for the government, the other for us as we go to Rio) the general public may never know for many years.
This is what it is all about in Wisconsin. If we can keep unions from organizing, then they won’t have as much political strength as the corporations do.
Governor Scott Walker is participating in a taped phone call with David Koch.
One tiny little problem….
It was not David Koch.
Instead, it was someone impersonating David Koch from the website buffalobeast.com.
If it is not showing up, it is because it is down right now…. Hmmm….
Well… that is the beauty of the internet: Information cannot be contained. Here is a link from Talking Points Memo.
In the twenty minutes, “Koch” and Governor Walker express their true feelings about the Wisconsin protesters and ways they are getting their union-busting message out by appearing on Fox News and having Tea Bagger groups bussed in to Wisconsin to counter the unions.
Governor Walker is complaining that he was tricked into this phone call.
Governor Walker, there is only one thing left for you to do now that you have been exposed as the puppet and tool to your true master: not the people of Wisconsin who entrusted you with the governorship but instead the Koch Brothers and their corporate influence which appears to have infiltrated our politics in our worst imaginable fears.
With this exposure as Governor Walker being a Koch sellout, the governor has grossly violated the public’s trust and is no longer fit to serve in any office, let alone governor anymore.
Governor Walker’s only option is to call for new elections, resign from the office, and forever disappear from the political landscape.