Showing posts with label David Koch Scott Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Koch Scott Walker. Show all posts

Nov 23, 2013

Koch Was Not Shy About Talking Strategy for Wisconsin Recall

Updated - Every Wisconsin politico remembers the recording made in public in 2011 of Scott Walker's gushing over the man Walker thought to be David Koch.

Repulsive in about a dozen ways.

Jack Craver of the Capital Times looked at the transcripts of the Walker-faux Koch conversation and found another repulsive angle: Koch and Walker plotting to use Koch's Americans for Prosperity 501(c)(4) (AFP), illegally I would say, to help out the six Republican state senators who were recalled in 2011.

From the 2011 recording referenced in Craver's piece:
And later Walker hinted at how AFP could protect state senators running for reelection: "(P)articulary in some of these, uh, more swing areas, a lot of these guys are gonna need, they don’t necessarily need ads for them, but they’re gonna need a message out reinforcing why this was a good thing to do for the economy and a good thing to do for the state."

Koch and Walker were right about using AFP to keep GOP control in the Wisconsin senate.

Mal Contends learned last February that David Koch more than hinted, he explicitly took credit for keeping the Wisconsin State Senate in Republican control.

In February 2012, a reporter, Stacey Singer, scored a rare interview of Koch for her piece that ran February 18, 2012 in the Palm Beach Press.

Writes Singer:

Asked about his efforts to sway public opinion, Koch acknowledges his group is hard at work in places such as Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is facing off with public unions and grappling with a likely recall vote.

"We're helping him, as we should. We've gotten pretty good at this over the years," he says. "We've spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We're going to spend more."

By "we" he says he means Americans for Prosperity, which is spending about $700,000 on an "It's working" television ad buy in the state. It credits Walker's public pension and union overhaul with giving school districts the first surpluses they've seen in years.

Reached at the Press in 2012 after the Koch piece had run, Singer told me (by phone) Koch said, it "was the work our people did, what Americans for Prosperity did and the money spent that enabled them [the Republicans] to keep control in the [Wisconsin state] senate."

The problem with Koch and AFP is that AFP is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(4).

So AFP's electoral politics, electioneering, are explicitly delineated by law, and they are not supposed to act in support or opposition of political candidates.

As noted here regarding Lawrence O'Donnell reporting on 501(c)(4)s:

Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out in May 2013, 501(c)(4)s are by federal statute, supposed to be operated "exclusively for the promotion of social welfare," as O'Donnell cites federal law on non-profit, tax exempt organizations

And this "exclusively" element means  501(c)(4)s cannot be an electoral tool used to elect political candidates for public office.

Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code defines tax-exempt social welfare groups like this:
"Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare." (Evan Puschak. The Last Word with  Lawrence O'Donnell; May 13, 2013)

There have been complaints filed with the IRS and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board alleging illegal use of tax-exempt status by Koch's group.

Wisconsin awaits word on the response to these complaints. John Doe II may comprise much of this response.

Few believe and certainly not Koch and Scott Walker, that Americans for Prosperity is exclusively used for the promotion of social welfare.

Lawrence O’Donnell Show - May 2013


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Nov 20, 2013

Law Does Apply to the Rightwing and Koch Brothers

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) of Wisconsin - AFP
Is the main the main political group run by the Koch brothers.
AFP is 501(c)4; The regulations about IRC 501(c)(4)s provide
that promotion of social welfare does not include participation
or intervention in political campaigns, reads an IRS
document.
The MacIver Institute, Wisconsin Reporter, MediaTrackers and the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute are an effective party press for the Wisconsin Republican Party, as they lawyer up.

Hey, just chat, cooperate and talk straight and you won't even need lawyers unless you really went bent the law the last two years, or are a part of politcal dark money.
I care about the people of the Republican Party too much to see them live lives of dependence on legal funds and their destiny controlled by attorneys.

So, some free info:

"Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity," reads an IRS guide.
Palm Beach Press Reporter said in Feb. 2012 interview with David Koch that he took credit
for Republicans maintaining control of the state Senate Wisconsin in recall elections

Nov 17, 2013

John K. MacIver Institute and Wisconsin John Doe Probe

Update: Reader points out that in October 24, 2011 the MacIver Institute and Americans for Prosperity TV spots were the first pro-Scott Walker ads run in advance of the signature gathering for the Walker Recall.

"The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is an independent, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax-deductible. The Board of Directors of the MacIver Institute has adopted a policy to protect a donor's right to privacy. The MacIver Institute will not discuss nor disclose any information regarding our donors."

So reads the John K. MacIver Institute's self description.

Just wondering why this 501(c)(3) apparently acted on behalf of (or in opposition to) several candidates for elective public office in the 2011 Wisconsin Recall elections.

Perhaps Board members Fred Luber, Steve Fettig, James R. Troupis, Laurie McCallum, and Gerardo (Jerry) H. Gonzalez could explain.

Readers here have pointed out that the MacIver Institute (which teamed up with Americans for Prosperity) to produce the politcal It's Working, Wisconsin - Did it Right spot) is a 501(c)(3). 

This is could be a problem for the GOP front group.

And the MacIver Institute has several close ties to the Koch brothers. 

"Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office," reads an IRS guide.

Nov 16, 2013

David Koch, John Doe, Scott Walker Have GOP Panicked

I don't care if you have cause to investigate that a crime has been committed; do not investigate ... period.

This is the position of the various Wisconsin GOP propaganda outlets and the Wall Street Journal, who harbor an aversion to the rule of law when applied to Republicans.

Elizabeth Hartfield at ABC News offers Scott Walker a gushing piece for Walker's possible run for the GOP nomination, asserting, "In the general election, Walker’s presence on the ballot would very likely make Wisconsin, which hasn’t gone red in a presidential election since 1984, a real possibility for Republicans. Not to mention the hope that his proximity to another Midwestern state, Ohio, would boost the GOP’s chance in that most important of places."

Right.

Not sure what Hartfield is thinking, though she does point out Walker has one prerequisite for modern GOP presidential nominees: Walker "appeals to big GOP donors like the Koch brothers," and the unmentioned corollary, Walker does what he told.

Harfield notes that Walker will be a guest this coming Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," on Sunday morning.

Hey, maybe that probing George Stephanopoulos will amaze viewers with his penetrating questions and fearless epistemological search for the truth in the American political system.

John Doe II

It's likely that Hartfield does not realize how nervous Wisconsin Republicans are about the new John Doe probe.

John Doe probes in Wisconsin are launched to determine if and by whom crimes are committed when obstruction, conflicts of interest and other practical difficulties make a regular criminal investigation impossible.

For example, in the 2010-2013 John Doe probe into Walker's gang, "Milwaukee County prosecutors opened the secret John Doe criminal investigation more than two years ago after being stonewalled by Gov. Scott Walker's office when he was county executive, according to a newly released record."(Bice. MJS)

Six criminal convictions resulted from that John Doe probe.

Afterwards, Walker never held one listening session, explaining to the Wisconsin people why his personally appointed aides, with no veterans' advocacy experience and no non-profit experience, were appointed to Operation Freedom, from which Walker's appointees proceeded to embezzle $10,000s intended for veterans and their families

Now, rightwingers are fuming that another John Doe probe has been launched: "Francis Schmitz — who spent nearly 30 years as a federal prosecutor and was once a finalist for U.S. attorney in Milwaukee — is leading the widespread John Doe probe, according to sources. Overseeing the case is Kenosha County Circuit Judge Barbara A. Kluka," first reported by Dan Bice (with David Umhoefer and Jason Stein) of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in October 2013.

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal's headline screamed: "Wisconsin Political Speech Raid - Subpoenas hit allies of Scott Walker as his re-election campaign looms." Reads the Wall Street Journal:

Copies of two subpoenas we've seen demand "all memoranda, email . . . correspondence, and communications" both internally and between the subpoena target and some 29 conservative groups, including Wisconsin and national nonprofits, political vendors and party committees. The groups include the League of American Voters, Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Americans for Prosperity—Wisconsin, American Crossroads, the Republican Governors Association, Friends of Scott Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin. 

Bice's report says the John Doe probe is looking into whether campaign violations occurred during the 2011 recall elections among other areas, so it seems to make sense to look into the campaign contributors, while preserving the campaign contributors' privacy, and guaranteeing immunity in the investigation for those subpoenaed if they agree to testify, by statute.

"A court, on the motion of a district attorney, may compel a person to testify or produce evidence under s. 972.08 (1). The person is immune from prosecution as provided in s. 972.08 (1), subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085, reads the Wisconsin John Doe statute.

So, Republicans should stow their fake persecution outrage.

Maybe David Koch's revelation in an interview with a Palm Beach Press reporter in 2012 that Koch "took credit for Republicans' keeping control of the legislature in the Wisconsin state senate recall elections held in August 2011" is representative of campaign finance violations in the Wisconsin recall elections that saw $10s of millions funneled into Wisconsin.

Koch sprayed money all over the nation the last several years.

501(c)(4)s

Americans for Prosperity to which the Koch brothers have contributed is a 501(c)(4) organization. "Generally, political educational organizations [(501(c)(4)s] must conduct their activities in a non-partisan manner," reads an IRS guide. Americans for Prosperity, by the way, spent heavily for Republicans in Wisconsin the last three years.

As Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out in May 2013, 501(c)(4)s are by federal law, supposed to be operated "exclusively for the promotion of social welfare," as O'Donnell cites federal law on non-profit, tax exempt organizations. 

501(c)(3)s

Readers here have pointed out that the MacIver Institute (which teamed up with Americans for Prosperity) to produce the politcal It's Working, Wisconsin - Did it Right spot) is a 501(c)(3). 

This is could be a problem for the GOP front group.

And the MacIver Institute has several close ties to the Koch brothers. 

"Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office," reads an IRS guide.
---


Wisconsin statute 968.26 on John Doe proceedings is the statutory authority for conducting John Doe probes in Wisconsin.

By statute 968.26 (2) (b):
The judge shall convene a proceeding as described under sub. (3) if he or she determines that a proceeding is necessary to determine if a crime has been committed. When determining if a proceeding is necessary, the judge may consider the law enforcement investigative reports, the records and case files of the district attorney, and any other written records that the judge finds relevant.
If Republicans really have a problem with this John Doe probe, and they do, why doesn't the Wisconsin GOP legislature and Scott Walker just change the John Doe statute?


As noted at this site:

The Wisconsin Benchbook reads in part RE John Doe Proceedings:

A: "Proceeding to determine whether crime committed and by whom."

D. "Must conduct self as neutral detached magistrate in determining probable cause [47.47.]

John Doe probes examine, investigate and determine if and by whom a crime has been committed, per Wisconsin statute.

John Doe probes are not mini-trials; full evidential trials in which a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt are reached. [Consider the cases Wisconsin v. Hooper, 101 Wis.2d 517, 544, 305 N.W.2d 110 (1981)) and Wisconsin v. Dunn, 121 Wis.2d at 396-97, 359 N.W.2d 151 (1984).]

The probe's purpose is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence and facts establishing probable cause that charges against a defendant should go forward and a probability of guilt exists at trial, such that the prosecution is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of a defendant.

This is what has Republicans so spooked.

Jun 17, 2013

Americans for Prosperity Is a Koch-fronted 501(c)(4) That David Koch Said He Uses for Elections

Update: Koch brothers left confidential political document at Palm Beach donor conference.

Last year David Koch took credit for Republicans' keeping control of the legislature in the Wisconsin state senate recall elections held in August 2011, a Palm Beach Post reporter said.

Koch said it "was the work our people did, what Americans for Prosperity did and the money spent that enabled them [the Republicans] to keep control in the [Wisconsin state] senate," said Stacey Singer referring to a rare Koch interview with the press for a Palm Beach Post, (Feb. 18. 2012) piece. The quote was not published in her piece.

Singer noted in her February 18, 2012 piece that Koch also said, "We're helping [Scott Walker], as we should. We've gotten pretty good at this over the years. We've spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We're going to spend more."

One problem with this is that Americans for Prosperity is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(4). So electoral politics are supposed to be out of bounds, by law.

As Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out in May 2013, 501(c)(4)s are by federal law, supposed to be operated "exclusively for the promotion of social welfare," as O'Donnell cites federal law on non-profit, tax exempt organizations.

And this "exclusively" element means not an electoral tool used to elect political candidates for public office.

There have been complaints filed with the IRS and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board alleging illegal use of tax-exempt status by Koch's group.

Wisconsin awaits word on the status of these complaints.

Few doubt that Americans for Prosperity is exclusively used for the promotion of social welfare.

Lawrence O’Donnell Show - May 2013


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Feb 3, 2013

Scott Walker: The Phantom Governor

Used to be in Wisconsin, listening sessions and facing the people of Wisconsin was an acknowledged duty of elected officials.

Failure to adhere to this political ethos likely meant you were voted out.

For example, in Wisconsin's second congressional district, we lost Rep. Robert Kastenmeier (D-Madison, 1958-1990), a truly great public servant but one who didn't spend enough time in the district.

Now, comes Scott Walker.

And a new manner of disengagement, and embrace of anti-public billionaires like the Koch brothers, Diane Hendricks and AIG's Hank Greenberg. The Wisconsin people?

Ignore them, says Scott Walker.

Walker has transformed the Wisconsin Office of the Governor page into a personal propaganda sheet.

Walker jets around the country, this weekend in Nebraska, ignoring the Wisconsin people.

Walker refuses all non-scripted encounters with the people.

Walker refuses press conferences.

Walker has set records for jetting around the country raising money from out-of-state monied interests.

Walker's administration actually sends armed police to the homes and workplaces of Wisconsin citizens to issue citations for singing in opposition to selling out our state.

Walker stonewalled the Milwaukee DA's office and forced a criminal John Doe probe.

Walker maintains a criminal defence fund but won't face the Wisconsin people to explain.

Walker's top aides have been convicted of stealing from military veterans.

One can go on.

The question remains how long can Walker get away with this?

How about coming back from Nebraska, cut back on your time out of Wisconsin, and talking straight with the Wisconsin people?

We deserve nothing less.

Sep 8, 2012

Call Madison Capitol Police; Voice Your Objections: 608 266 8797

Wisconsin Constitution

Update II: John Nichols on Capitol Crackdown-Blame Walker/Huebsch! I disagree with John. The following-orders defense is no defense. Chief Erwin ought to tell DOA Sec. Huebsch his policy is violative of the Wisconsin and U.S. Constitutions; call a press conference and explain to the people of Wisconsin why he as a sworn officer will not violate the rights of the Wisconsin people.

Update: See Expect more free speech tests AND arrests in Wisconsin’s Capitol

Needed now: Dane County Sheriff's Public Defense of Citizen Rights and a Court-ordered escort of Citizens Protesting Politicians.

If citizens are met with more illegal police obstruction from Scott Walker's palace guard, the Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Police, Dane County deputies ought to act to protect the rights of citizens and promote the peace against the actions of Capitol Police.

The Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Police are unlawfully following the dictates of Scott Walker's Dept. of Administration Secretary,  Mike Huebsch.

As writer, Ted Voth Jr., notes: this new policy has veered into fascism.

Wisconsin citizens assembling to protest the actions of politicians such as Walker and Huebsch now reportedly face hostile actions from what Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney last year termed the "palace guards" of Scott Walker—those members of the Capitol police who choose to disregard the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions' guarantees of freedom of expression, in favor of careerism and passive compliance to Walker and what can only be termed as his regime.

Walker and Huebsch have found a new ally in their unlawful crusade against lawful dissent:  Dave Erwin who in late August promised a crackdown on citizens assembling to petition our government.

A petulant man, Erwin, walked out of a meeting with state legislators after being asked for the specifics of his policy and how he intends to enforce the lawful rights of Wisconsin citizens.

As Judith Davidoff reports in Isthmus:

Wisconsin state Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) blasted Capitol Police Chief David Erwin Friday afternoon for refusing to answer "basic questions" about the recent arrests at the state Capitol and for abruptly ending a meeting on the topic.

"I was very shocked and disappointed today when you and Department of Administrative Assistant Gwendolyn Coomer walked out of a meeting scheduled in my office," she wrote in a sharply worded letter (PDF) that was hand-delivered to Erwin's office in the state Capitol. Taylor also took the police chief to task for being unable to identify the "specific conduct you believe to be unlawful."

Erwin began enforcing permitting rules for the Capitol this week, resulting in the arrests of some 12 protesters for holding signs.
Now, it is possible that Walker, Huebsch and Erwin will again turn our Capitol into what State Sen. Fred Risser said last year was an "armed fortress." (Nichols)

But citizens have a way of making their voice heard. See Rothschild and Kemble.

Blue Cheddar (in a piece by Worley Dervish) sounds the warning on Friday(see also Voices Newspaper Blog):

The atmosphere today was boisterous and jovial—it’s always great to see so many of our friends gathered together in the People’s House. But there was also a serious side to our signs and our singing and our presence. We highly value our right to free speech, and we’re willing to defend it when it’s threatened. The Capitol police have a duty to uphold the law, the law that guarantees that “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

So thank you again, Chief Erwin, for providing us with this occasion to sing with our friends in the People’s House, for reminding us of how precious our rights to free speech and free assembly are. Thank you for the opportunity to remind you, Governor Walker, and the people of Wisconsin that we’re still here. We’re still exercising our right to free speech, assembly, and petition. And we’re not going away anytime soon

Mar 4, 2012

Cato Institute: Koch Bros engaged in hostile takeover

Gaius Publius [Americablog] breaks down the situation at the Cato Institute where the Koch brothers are turning what used to be an independent, nonpartisan research organization into an arm of the Republican Party.

Feb 27, 2012

David Koch Took Credit for GOP Keeping Senate Control in Summer Recall Elections

Stacey Singer - Palm Beach Post
Update: Singer also said that David Koch disputed the notion that the Wisconsin Recall movement is a grassroots phenomenon. "He believes it is all union-driven. He said if the union power isn't stopped in Wisconsin, it going to spread across the nation," Singer said.

In an exclusive interview with Mal Contends, Stacey Singer expanded on her blockbuster story on David Koch (Palm Beach Post, Feb. 18. 2012) that has directly resulted in complaints filed with the IRS and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board alleging illegal use of tax-exempt status by the elusive billionaire.

Singer said in her 20-minute interview with Koch that "he took credit for the fact the Republicans maintained control of the legislature in the Senate" recall elections held last August.

He said it "was the work our people did, what Americans for Prosperity did and the money spent that enabled them [the Republicans] to keep control in the [state] senate."

The republicans have a narrow 17-16 majority in the Wisconsin state senate, and lost two recall races last Summer.

Singer's piece garnered over 25,000 hits in the first hours of publication, and quickly went viral, [HuffingtonPost.com, Politico.com and Jsonline.com being the top three referring sites, the Day Editor of the Palm Beach Post said], but did not mention the specific Wisconsin Recall senate races.

"I wrote the piece for a Palm Beach audience; I would have written the piece differently for a Wisconsin audience. Including Mr. Koch's quotes about the Wisconsin senate recalls would have required an extra 10 [column] inches to explain for Palm Beach readers; and the article ended up as a 70-inch piece as it is. A 40-inch piece would be a normal piece for me," said Singer who writes often about health, science, and biotech pieces.

The quote Singer used about Koch, Scott Walker and Wisconsin reads:

'We’re helping him, as we should,' Koch said of Walker. 'We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.'
Americans for Prosperity - 501(c)(4)

Singer noted that Americans for Prosperity to which the Koch brothers have contriubuted $ millions is a 501(c)(4) organization and not a 501(c)(3), as has been reported in many media outlets.

Conceivably, Singer's notes [the interview was not recorded, Singer said] could be subpoenaed in an investigation of the alledged “illegal use of tax-exempt status by billionaire David Koch,” as the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has contended in its complaint against Koch.

In a Koch Industries Feb. 21 reaction piece Koch writes, "My comments about unions to the Palm Beach Post referred to government employee, taxpayer-funded unions. ... In addition, as the Palm Beach Post story indicated, my comments concerning support for Governor Walker related solely to Americans for Prosperity and its activities in Wisconsin."

Singer's comments regarding Koch's assertions pertaining to the Wisconsin Recall senate races may add extra fuel to the political fire.

Worth noting is the fact that 501(c)(4)s may legally participate in political elections, if done in a non-partisan manner and a limited capacity.

"1.501(c)(4)-1(a)(2)(ii) provides that the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Thus, an organization exempt under IRC 501(c)(4) may engage in political campaign activities if those activities are not the organization's primary activity," reads an IRS guideline.

Readers point out that the MacIver Institute (which teamed up with Americans for Prosperity) to produce the It's Working, Wisconsin - Did it Right spot is a 501(c)(3). And the MacIver Institute has several close ties to the Koch brothers.

Sincerity

Singer said she found Koch to be very earnest and geniune personally, and in his politics and philanthropy.

"He is terribly sincere, absolutely. I found him to be an idealist, an idealist of the Ayn Rand stripe, that the free market will help people," Singer said. "He has a deeply held belief on unions and feels the philosophy behind the closed shop workplaces is fundamentally and deeply wrong."

Singer added that Koch is "extraordinarily polite; he's a gentleman. He was willing to answer every single question I asked him."

The firestorm of the Recall movement is being felt by Koch, Singer said. "He feels intimidated right now, I think, and he is standing up for his beliefs."

Cancer

One of Koch's beliefs is curing cancer.

"He is very much a philanthropist. His donation to cancer research is going to make a real contribution to cancer treatment."

Singer, a native of Monona, Wisconsin who graduated from UW-Madison and worked as an editor at the Daily Cardinal and reporter for the Capital Times, said much of the feelings towards Koch appear to be fear.

"If people could have a real conversation with him, people might get over the fear," Singer said. "But he is sincere, he is not backing away from any thing he said to me," pointing towards Koch's comments on the Koch Industries webpage.

Anthony Shadid

Singer also noted the passing of Anthony Shadid with whom she served as an editor at the Cardinal.

"Anthony and I were editors together at the Daily Cardinal in the Summer of 1988. He was always the smartest, hardest-working journalist in the room," Singer said.

Feb 20, 2012

Koch Goes Public, Comments on Scott Walker

David Koch/Scott Walker
UW-Madison alum, Stacey Singer, scored a rare interview with David Koch, writing an intriguing piece in the Palm Beach Post this weekend.

"We're helping him, as we should," Koch says of Walker. "We've gotten pretty good at this over the years. We've spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We're going to spend more."

Koch's anti-union and rightwing political activity is detailed, as is his support and admiration for Scott Walker whom Koch describes as "very courageous."

Cancer

Lovers of the PBS science show, NOVA, typically are surprised to see David H. Koch mentioned at the beginning as a major contributor.

Singer notes Koch's "passion for fighting cancer" and his science background, which may explain Koch's support for the acclaimed NOVA, a favorite of educators and liberals across the world.

Feb 12, 2012

People Power v. Scott Walker

When Gov. Scott Walker appeared on conservative commentator Larry Kudlow's CNBC show last week, the headline crawl asked regarding Wisconsin's recall: “Most Important Non-Presidential Election?”

By John Nichols

Every signal from Walker was that it is just that.

And that Walker, despite his $12 million campaign fund, is running scared. ...

Scott Walker's anti-mandate - Via PolitiScoop
Since the recall drive began, the only big-media advertising campaigns have been those paid for by Walker and national groups that back him. [See also Koch brothers all in to save Scott Walker (Sargent. Washington Post)]

After all that pro-Walker spending, polling shows that he remains vulnerable because of popular disapproval of his policies. Even in the most Walker-friendly recent poll, 55 percent opposed his attempts to limit the number of people eligible for the BadgerCare health assistance program and 65 percent opposed his reductions in state aid to public schools. ...

But what Walker (and Kudlow) said is true. The Wisconsin recall is the most important non-presidential election of the year, and the results will send a powerful message.

It will be a real fight, pitting two critical forces in American politics against one another: the big money that Walker is raising from across the nation versus the people power [whose right to vote the GOP has schemed to block] that collected 1 million signatures on petitions demanding the removal of an increasingly desperate governor.

Aug 17, 2011

Scott Walker, You're Next

First order of business is to educate voters on the Republican voter obstruction law [assuming it survives a civil rights challenge].

As One Wisconsin Now writes:

We have weakened Walker but there’s more work to do in fighting the anti-Wisconsin agenda of Walker and his corporate lackeys in the legislature.

Walker and Company stripped 175,000 working people of their rights, slashed education and the university and technical college system, threaten our health care and even raised taxes on seniors and the working poor.

Wisconsin responded by an historic uprising. We have won huge victories. But we have much more to do.
Look for recall signatures gathering to begin in 2012 after the holidays.

In the mean time, an education, communications, message and political infrastructure effort will be launched that not even Mike Tate can screw up.

As for the Republican Party under Scott Walker, it has been revealed to be scheming, lying, and conniving, even to the point of targeting working-class families.

Rare that you hear candid and despicable talk of dropping a "bomb" in a surprise attack by a sitting Governor on real families. But the infamous Walker-Koch tape will not go away.

Jun 24, 2011

Hopper buys new home, throws new fundraiser

GOP Hypocrite, Randy 'Bed' Hopper
WKOW TV reports State Sen. Randy Hopper brought a new home, and among the first things he did was hold a fundraiser.

House-warming gifts:

  • Raising money to screw his constituents 
  • Ditching local, community control
  • Sleeping with real constituents, Scott Walker and the Koch brothers
No news on whether his GOP mistress is moving in to Fondy from Madison.
Hopper buys home, throws fundraiser

Fond du Lac County records show Sen. Randy Hopper purchased a home on the eve of a scheduled, political fundraiser at the residence featuring former republican governor Tommy Thompson.

Records show Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) finalized the purchase with a deed filed on June 22. Records show Hopper bought the Fond du Lac home from former owner Victoria Sadoff for $240,000. The property’s 2011 assessed value is $269,000.

Jun 14, 2011

Obama DoJ Shoots Down Citizen Criminal Complaint Against Gov. Scott Walker

One might believe that Gov. Scott Walker discussing planting “troublemaking” agents provocateur at the Wisconsin budget-recall rallies would certainly draw the interest of the U.S. Dept of Justice, Civil Rights Division.

Wrong.

I received the second of two letters from the DOJ June 8 responding to my allegation of a civil rights violation from one Natania Gazek rejecting an investigation and refusing to forward to any appropriate investigative unit that might be more inclined to investigate civil rights violations about which I contacted the U.S. DOJ.

Ms. Gazek volunteers that I contact a "private attorney."

Disappointing. One must go to the top, and try again. Expect a letter Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division.

The February letter is below.
---
United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin
660 West Washington Avenue, Suite 303
Madison, WI 53703

February 24, 2011

I am writing to ask for a criminal investigation into the actions of the office of Governor Scott Walker.

I refer to the recently publicized tape of a phone call in which Gov. Walker responds to a caller’s (pretending to be David Koch) suggestion (vis) [“But, uh, what we were thinking about the crowds was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.”] to place agents provocateur among the citizens protesting the Wisconsin budget bill, to which Walker replies, “You know, the, well, the only problem with that — because we thought about that. The problem — the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this” [A.G. SULZBERGER; New York Times, February 23, 2011. “Walker Receives Prank Call From Koch Impersonator”].

My concern is that—as presumably the “thought” Walker referenced was not conveyed telepathically—the Walker administration discussed planting “troublemaking” agents provocateur at the rallies that I have attended, along with members of my family. Such discussions merit an investigation.

I would like what Gov. Walker said and to whom he spoke on this matter of planting agents provocateur at political rallies held in Madison investigated under suspicion that Walker conspired to disrupt protected political activity.

In point of fact, apropos to the tape referenced above, members of David Koch’s organization, Americans for Prosperity, were bussed in on Saturday, Feb. 19, according to numerous media reports; and labor organizations and supporters were widely warned to stay away from Koch’s group and not “engage” them. Several law enforcement agencies were reportedly aware of the possibility of violence.

It is not relevant to my concern that the David Koch impersonator turned out to be a journalist. What concerns me, again, is Gov. Walker’s taped statement that Walker said he presumably discussed planting “troublemaking”agents provocateur at political rallies, rallies which continue today.

The price of my exercising my First Amendment rights ought not to be dread that my governor is conspiring to plant “some troublemakers” when I petition my elected representatives on pending legislation and peacefully assemble to protest that legislation.

Would you please forward this letter to the appropriate investigative unit?

Yours truly,


Michael Leon

cc U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin
cc Special Litigation Section, U.S. Dept of Justice
      Civil Rights Division

Jun 7, 2011

Obama 2012 Bashes Koch Brothers

The Obama for America organization is bashing the Koch Brothers as dishonest "billionaire brothers" in a fundraising e-mail blasting the Scott Walker allies:

One of the main special-interest political groups, 'Americans for Prosperity,' announced yesterday that they're launching an expensive national campaign to pin the blame for high gas prices on President Obama.

There's nothing unusual in Washington about this sort of announcement, but it caught my eye because Americans for Prosperity isn't as well meaning as its name makes it sound. In fact, it's a prime example of the kind of special-interest groups that plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars this election cycle to defeat the President in order to promote their agenda. Its backers are the famous Koch brothers, billionaires who, according to one profile, believe in 'minimal social services for the needy and much less oversight of industry, especially environmental regulation.'

That's right: A couple of billionaire oil men are saying that it's all President Obama's fault that Americans are getting gouged at the pump while oil companies bring in record profits. And now they'll be spending the summer touting carefully orchestrated 'grassroots' protests across the country, with two goals in mind: damaging President Obama, and deflecting people's frustration about gas prices so their own profit margins stay safe.

But while the Koch brothers have been plotting a campaign paid for by oil company interests and designed to mislead people instead of empowering them, we've been building ours one person at a time. Since last Wednesday, thousands of first-time donors matched another supporter's pledge to give what they could. People are even connecting by exchanging messages about why they're stepping up to own a piece of this campaign.

Grab a stake in this movement by matching another supporter's $5 donation today.

Conservative candidates relied on these brothers' deep pockets during the 2010 elections, and for many of them, it was a good bet. Just last month, most of our major opponents showed up at an Americans for Prosperity event to say just how much they want that help again in 2012 -- and thanks to the Citizens United decision, the Kochs can spend as much as they want on front groups and disinformation campaigns aimed at misleading Americans about the President's record.

They can flood the airwaves with negative ads. They can launch smear campaigns to divert attention away from what matters.

That's exactly the kind of politics our campaign is aiming to change. And that's why we're building this organization not by checks from people like the Kochs, but with a grassroots match drive whose purpose is to recruit the most people into this campaign, not just raise the most dollars.

Apr 7, 2011

Class Act v. the Sad Man

Scott Walker: "You've got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everyone else out across the state." (WSJ)

Walker's Judge lost and Walker is not happy.

Turns out "everyone" is a perverse description for our state where the Walker Judge lost 31 of the 71 non-Dane counties.

Turns out the Walker Judge lost the popular vote of the voting public across the state.

Class Act

Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg ran in the face of near-constant lies backed by assorted big money liars such as the Koch brothers which massively outspent rule-of-law forces.

Throughout the barrage of lies, Kloppenburg ran on the explicit promise to serve on the top Court as an impartial judge ascertaining the law and the facts.

Kloppenburg, no natural politician, never wavered: A class act who does honor to the idea of a judicial branch of government.

Prosser the Sad Man

David Prosser squawked around the state, memorably complaining, "I feel like the victim of a drive-by shooting. Here I am, I’m walking along, I should win this race going away. But I mean, not if people aren’t thinking about what they’re doing." (NYT, April 4, 2011)

You don't vote for Prosser, you don't think. Right.

I'm sure that Prosser does feel like a victim; like he can never stand up and speak the truth.

Prosser peddled his votes on Court cases, not his impartiality and dedication to law. He trolled for company like the desperate man he is, unsure the Koch Brothers could turn around his losing campaign.

The sad man, ashamed and desperate, v. the Class Act.

As the recount begins: May the better person win.

Apr 6, 2011

AP Numbers: JK Wins! Sykes hits panic button

Update VII: JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory this afternoon!!!

Update:VI: J-Klop wins; AP has all numbers in and JK lead of 204 votes. WTMJ calls it for J-Klop.

Update:V J-Klop lead at 206; One precinct remains: Jefferson County. MJS (Marley, Sandler and Stein) reports at 1:02 p.m.: "The Jefferson County Clerk's officer reported that Prosser picked up only 2 votes in the electronic vote in Lake Mills and that 24 handwritten ballots were not yet counted. ... "

About 220 votes were cast in Town of Lake Mills - seemingly not enough for Prosser to make up the votes he would need to defeat Kloppenburg."

Check AP for update.

Update IV: J-Klop lead at 224 votes; three precincts left

Update III: Sykes already in high damage-control mode; calls for reports of "voter irregularities."

Update II: Kloppenburg takes 309-vote lead! Five precincts left.

Update: Keep updated at AP. Twenty-four precincts left; Prosser margin at 800-plus votes. No cost for a recall with vote margin within some 7,000 votes. Still, lots of variables out there. Dunn County has posted its numbers in its two remaining precincts; AP does not have them yet but Kloppenburg will pick a few-hundred more there. See Dunn County Unofficial Election Results.

If JoAnne Kloppenburg wins the remaining 34 precincts to report (including 12 precincts in Milwaukee) by an average of 18 votes per precinct, she'll win by 20-some votes.

Thirty-two of the 34 remaining precincts are in counties Kloppenburg is winning. (Kos)

See the AP tally.

A recount seems very likely at this point.

A friend writes:

No matter the outcome at this point, we won and Scott Walker lost.

Kloppenburg came from out of no where to maybe beat a sitting Supreme Court Justice, who has the support of Koch-funded groups that spread tons of lies, massively outspending rule-of-law forces.

Mar 22, 2011

Randy Hopper in Weird Campaign Mode

State Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac)
State Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) is in a strange campaign modehiding from his constituents.

Usually, when a politician wants to run for reelection, the most dangerous place to be is between him and a camera.

But Hopper did hire a high-priced political operative and is raising money, with many political TV ads to follow. Check out the next quarterly GAB finance report.

Hopper is in the worst political shape of the eight Republican state senators who look to be recalled.

I was in Fondy quite a bit recently, and believe me the appreciation for those who protect and serve, teach, clean, and treat is very high now.

Politics needs villains in campaigns. Teachers, EMTs, police, corrections officers, cooks and janitors just do not cut it as villains.

Hopper and Gov. Scott Walker do embody the worst characteristics of villains: Lying, scheming sociopaths targeting families and communities.

As Walker said last month to the phone caller whom he believed to be rightwing billionaire David Koch: "We’d already kinda built plans up, but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb." Walker was referring to cutting the salaries and benefits of the mentioned teachers, EMTs, police, corrections officers, cooks and janitors; and using them as pawns as he bragged about coming lay-off notices.

These families whom you use as pawns; they are living, breathing people with loving families, hopes and goals.

And please note: Wisconsin citizens do not like their governor and allies to drop bombs on them.

Mar 21, 2011

Dan Bice: Sen. Randy Hopper's girlfriend gets publically funded state job at $20.35 per hour

Nice work if you can find it.

Republican political operative and Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) girlfriend, Valerie Cass, scored a nice tax payer-funded job last month for political services rendered.

Dan Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an excellent account of a corrupt political arrangement that smells even by the Scott Walker-Randy Hopper standards of misconduct.

An excerpt from Bice's column:
Even though the state is supposedly broke, top officials in Gov. Scott Walker's team were able to scrape together enough money to give a state job to the woman identified as Sen. Randy Hopper's girlfriend.

Anything for a political ally.

Valerie Cass, a former Republican legislative staffer, was hired Feb. 7 as a communications specialist with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing. She is being paid $20.35 per hour. The job is considered a temporary post.