Wisconsin

Koch Brothers "Prank" No Laughing Matter

WalkerphoneEmbattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came under fire today after news broke about statements he made in a 20-minute phone call from a Buffalo-area alternative news reporter, Ian Murphy of the Daily Beast, posing as David Koch, a billionaire whose corporate PAC directly supported Walker and who has given millions to groups that have run ads to aid Walker's rise to the state's highest office. (Listen to the call here.)

As the Center for Media and Democracy has reported, the Koch PAC not only spent $43,000 directly on Walker's race, but Koch personally donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association which spent $5 million in the state. Besides the Governor, the Koch brothers have other "vested interests" in the state.

Walker’s Budget Plan Is a Three-Part Roadmap for the Right

Guest Opinion by Mike Konczal

Tim Fernholz wrote an excellent article in the National Journal about the "bait and switch" of Governor Walker's Wisconsin plan. Fernholz points out that the short-term deficit problem can be covered by debt restructuring, and that the big pieces of the bill that relate to dismantling public sector unions, control over Medicaid and creating a no-bid energy asset sale process are not directly budget related. (See Bait and Switch?).

There's a three-prong approach in Governor Walker's plan that highlights a blueprint for conservative governorship after the 2010 election. The first is breaking public sector unions and public sector workers generally. The second is streamlining benefits away from legislative authority, especially for health care and in fighting the Health Care Reform Act. The third is the selling of public assets to private interests under firesale and crony capitalist situations.

Wisconsin Protests, Saturday, February 26, 2011

SATURDAY NIGHT ENERGY AT CAMP CAPITOL

"Saturday night energy" on the last night the State Capitol will officially be open to the public.11:00 p.m. - Lynn Welch reporting: On the last night the State Capitol will officially be open to the public, those inside describe a festive atmosphere as a larger crowd has gathered. A circle of drummers and dancers engaged a larger group of overnighters with a real "Saturday night energy," described Oma Vic McMurray, a Madison resident staying her second night in the building.

The Politics of Wisconsin Labor Struggle Event

Saturday, February 26 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Location: First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave.

The Labor & Working Class Studies Project Presents a Public Teach-in on...

"THE POLITICS OF THE WISCONSIN LABOR STRUGGLE"

With:
* Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director, Voces de la Frontera
* Will Jones, Associate Professor, UW-Madison Department of History
* David Newby, Past President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO
* Don Taylor, Assistant Professor, School for Workers

Wisconsin Protests, Friday, February 25, 2011

50 RALLIES IN 50 STATES

Wisconsin state capitol rotunda packed with protestorsVisit MoveOn.org to find information about a rally in your state.

In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under fierce attack. Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich—and then cutting funding for education, police, emergency response, and vital human services.

On Saturday, February 26, at noon local time, we are organizing rallies in front of every statehouse and in every major city to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. We demand an end to the attacks on worker's rights and public services across the country. We demand investment, to create decent jobs for the millions of people who desperately want to work. And we demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.

We are all Wisconsin.

We are all Americans.

This Saturday, we will stand together to Save the American Dream. Be sure to wear Wisconsin Badger colors—red and white—to show your solidarity. Sign up today to join in!

Koch Lobbying Office Draws Protest; Building Employees Gawk From Windows

Protesters clamor around the doorway of 10 E. Doty St.5:15 p.m. - Cars, SUVs and buses whoosh down Madison's King Street Thursday afternoon, honking, windows rolled down, thumbs up in solidarity as neon-vested police officers direct traffic.

"Stay strong!" shouted a man out the driver's-side window of a State Employee Vanpool van. A Madison Metro bus driver drives by, honking and cheering.

Employees in the office building, surely distracted by the protesters' drumming, peer down at the rally.Hundreds of protesters marched from the Capitol Square at 4 p.m. to 10 E. Doty St.'s glass-windowed office building, on the seventh floor of which The Capital Times revealed that Koch Industries opened a lobbying office in late October. Koch's PAC was one of the largest donors to Walker's political campaign, and multi-billionaire, David Koch, has bankrolled groups that ran expensive ad campaigns last year that helped him win the governorship.

CMD Director Lisa Graves on Democracy Now

The Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director Lisa Graves appeared on Democracy Now to discuss the financial and political links between embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the industrial billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch. "This is a situation in which a billionaire is exerting extraordinary influence, far more influence than tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents who have come out to protest his outrageous effort to destroy the unions here," Lisa said. She reminded viewers of the history of the Koch family and their political activities in the U.S.: "David Koch's father was a co-founder of the radical 1950s group the John Birch Society which opposed civil rights laws," Lisa stated. David Koch ran for president once back in 1982 on the Libertarian ticket, on a campaign platform much farther to the right than Ronald Reagan, in which he opposed Social Security, the minimum wage and other safety-net programs. After he lost that race, he spent the next 30 years forming a series of groups to advance his agenda of far right-wing positions. You can watch the entire video of the interview here.

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