Koch brothers

CAVEAT EMPTOR: Wisconsin right wing moves from stealth candidates to stealth web sites, ads and "news"

Craven and sensationalist though it is, at least you can say the Drudge Report web site comes right at its readers and doesn't pretend to be anything but a collection of right-wing talking points. It's been that way since its inception in 1996, when the site hyped the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton tryst from an initial news break right past impeachment.

With the Drudge Report, as with many right-wing trolling operations in the '90s and the following decade, at least what you saw is what you got. Such a quaint era, compared to our own.

Whether it's arrogant overreach or a sign that ordinary measures don't work, fakery and trickery have become increasingly manifest as tools commonly used by conservatives. What you see is what you don't get -- or, rather, what you don't see is what you do get.

The GOP noise machine early in this new century widely adopted an echo-chamber method of spreading malicious factoids, political memes and outright lies. A "leak" of information (actually, a suggestively edited accusation) would be circulated round-robin among conservative blogs, web sites, print media, TV operations like Fox's "O'Reilly Factor" and elsewhere until someone in the mainstream news media couldn't resist jumping in to make the meme seemingly respectable.

NYT: Scott Walker Sent Six Gov Employees to California to Meet with Koch, Wal-Mart Lobbyists

The New York Times reports that last year Governor Scott Walker sent six of his government-paid aides to a "pay-to-play" Republican Governors Association event in California that put key staff of Republican governors in close contact with Koch Industries, Wal-Mart and many other large mult-national corporations. 

According to the article, the lobbyists' meetings with government staff, “offers the ability to bring their particular expertise to the political process while helping to support the Republican agenda.”

Humorously, in 2011 Walker told someone he thought to be David Koch that it would be "outstanding" if "Koch" would reward him for his corporate agenda by flying him "out to Cali." (see below)

I guess, the real Koch made-good on the promise-- and even brought along most of Walker's staff! 

Blogging Potpourri and open thread

I'm going to mention a few things, issues, campaigns, and just plain stuff that's happening here:

The Indiegogo campaign for Wiscommunity is just about to end - as I write this, it has 12 hours left to go.  You can still get in on the social network for Wisconsin on the ground floor with the donation widget on the right.  As you can see, this could be going better, and the lack of funding is going to make for a long slow slog to build a networking site for Wisconsin that is a less commercial enterprise and more open to everyone. Also, it's Drinking Liberally time in Eau Claire again tomorrow night, and we're going to be talking about Wiscommunity, spreading liberal news on the Internet, and the possible upcoming Citizen Koch movie (more below).

Speaking of fund-raising campaigns - I'd like to mention that Mike McCabe is doing a Kickstarter campaign to publish his new book Blue Jeans in High Places. You should go read about it and consider making a donation.

We're working on another project here at the Uppity Farm, which is to do a theatrical showing of Citizen Koch here in the Chippewa Valley.   This is a Tugg-powered movie showing, which will mean that we will need to sell a minimum number of tickets in advance to have this showing happen. So - warm up your credit cards and get ready to see the movie that PBS was afraid to show!

And while we're talking about the Koch Brothers, the Center for Media and Democracy has dug up some interesting new documents on Charles Koch's involvement in the John Birch Society (no surprise, his father was a founder, but Charles' involvement has not really been documented previously).   Lisa Graves was on Democracy Now talking about it this morning. And I've thrown in a little blast from the past - and yes, that IS John Denver. Let us know what you think about any of this in the comments (or anything else going on).

GOP CARBONARA: Wisconsin lawmakers including Walker and RoJo formally pledge allegiance to Koch Brothers

Shared by creator Ann Stretton

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.

MENARDS: Just another "small," "family-owned" business hurt by Obama. Righhhhht.

Save big Bs

Do conservative billionaires like John Menard Jr. ever, ever, ever take personal responsbility for their actions? Menard is Wisconsin's version of Sam Walton, an entrepreneur who built up a small business into a behemoth. He's personally worth $7 billion and is Wisconsin's richest resident. A guy who, like Walton before him, bombs around in his venerable pick-up truck. So far, perhaps, so good.

But then there's more to that Walton comparison.

Koch Brothers Also Violated Wisconsin Law When They Sent Threatening Letter to Wisconsin Workers

Wisconsin Statute 12.07(3), (with a penalty of jail time), clearly states that employers can't distribute printed materials to employees threatening their employment:

No employer or agent of an employer may distribute to any employee printed matter containing any threat, notice or information that if a particular ticket of a political party or organization or candidate is elected or any referendum question is adopted or rejected, work in the employer's place or establishment will cease, in whole or in part, or the place or establishment will be closed, or the salaries or wages of the employees will be reduced, or other threats intended to influence the political opinions or actions of the employees.

GOP engineers black lists of Wis progressives while its senators filibuster sunlight law, calling it a "harassment" tool

Wisconsin progressives have watched with disgust as Republicans and their minions have turned last year's million-plus signatures on various recall petitions into a set of McCarthyesque black lists. Or maybe it's more like a set of Nixonian "enemies lists." In either case, any Wisconsin resident who signed a petition to recall any Republican from Scott Walker on down last year has since been put at risk of being singled out -- and called out -- by these scurrilous political opportunists.

UPDATE: Walker Met With Koch Brothers at "Dark Money" Event Last Summer in Aspen, Not Vail

Yesterday I wrote that a reporter in Colorado, Troy Hooper, had noted in an article he wrote last July, that Governor Walker and a group of other Republican Governors had attended an event in the area hosted by the Koch brothers.

I assumed the event Hooper was referring to was a so-called "dark money" event hosted by the Koch brothers at a nearby resort outside of Vail, a month earlier.  (This was incorrect and I apologize for the error.)

The event Hooper was referring to was something called the "Republican Governors Association Executive Roundtable," which, according to Hooper, was also hosted by the Koch Brothers:

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