A new investigative report reveals that Gov. Scott Walker and 13 other Republican officeholders in Wisconsin have signed on to a little-known “No Climate Tax Pledge” created by the billionaire Koch brothers, whose companies emit tens of millions of tons of coal-fired carbon dioxide every year.
Walker and his pals pledge they won't support any legislation seeking to deal with the adverse effects of climate change that raises federal revenues -- such as a long-discussed "carbon tax" -- without off-setting tax cuts. No word why they didn't simply pledge to amend any such law so it can't be funded, thus neutering it, like Republicans have neutered the health reform law and so many other laws, even while complaining nothing is getting done.
Besides Walker, signees from Wisconsin include Sen. Ron Johnson and GOP House members Jim Sensenbrenner, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble.
From the legislature, state Senators Leah Vukmir, Alberta Darling, Glenn Grothman and Mary Lazich signed.
From the Assembly, these representatives signed: Dale Kooyenga, Don Pridemore (who lost his recent bid to become superintendent of public instruction), Bill Kramer, and Jim Ott (a former Milwaukee TV weatherman, of all things). Oh, and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, too.
Over in Minnesota, only two GOP lawmakers signed onto the pledge, and one of them was departing looneytik Michelle Bachmann.
Why don't you take a minute and send the gov, your GOP senator and congresscritter and any other of your GOP legislators who signed this pledge and tell them just what you think about it? Here's a sample, two-word letter: IT STINKS.
The pledge came to light in a study from American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop. [Good thing the workshop isn't based at the University of Wisconsin, otherwise state GOP lawmakers no doubt would have tried to kick it off campus by now.]
The report surveys Charles and David Koch's huge influence-mongering efforts, through extensive use of campaign contributions, campaign "issue" advertising, partisan think-tank studies and heavily funded PR aimed at politicians, news organizations, elections and others. [Gee,
The pledge that Walker & company signed is hugely ironic and hypocritical, in that mass polluters like the Koch operations exact their own version of a "climate tax" on every square inch of the planet, day in and day out. What about all those costs, Scotty? [cue sound of chirping crickets] I guess we'll just pretend the costs don't exist.
In any event it's official: Your Wisconsin GOP lawmaker is likely now among those officially in bed with the Kochs. An ugly image, to be sure, but, hey, the rest of us in the reality-based community must not turn OUR heads away, unless it's to avoid a blast of heated coal smoke.
Among the links below are two taking you to a Madison Capital Times web post on the study and a New Yorker magazine piece on the Kochs and their heavy-handed influence peddling against the Earth, and for their own bank accounts.
Hey, here's a question: Does that megalo-sized air conditioner sitting atop Scott Walker's head run on coal-fired electricity? Who cares? The GOP holds shares in Koch Industries, and they make money every time a Koch smokestack belches another molecule of CO2.