Sunday, March 11, 2012

Surrounded by alligators? Please remember, we must drain the swamp

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers.  Last summer, when Walker got punked By journalist Ian Murphy pretending to be David Koch, 2 things became patently clear.  (1) Scott Walker works for a powerful group of multinational interests that undermine democracy and not the citizens of Wisconsin  (2) While Walker has fully-accepted his role as a Koch Brother's stooge, he actually has never met nor talked to them.  He is just "hired help" trying to make himself stand out and be a "star". 

Those that seek positive change need to realize he is a symptom of a much larger problem and that there are plenty waiting in line to do the dirty work of the economic/political extremists that Walker represents.

According to Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, "It's curious that the Kochs have apparently expanded their lobbying presence just as Walker was sworn into office and immediately before a budget was unveiled that would allow the executive branch unilateral power to sell off public utilities in this state in no-bid contracts."

And while the state did not sell off power plants (yet), a massively subsidized transfer of assets was done in secret.  The state's second largest railroad, largely operating on publicly-owned tracks and fully supported by federal and now increasingly state grants (read:  FREE MONEY) has been transferred to a Koch-related holding company and more subsidies are being proposed, to be directly subsidized from next year's budget by cuts to state to services .

When one listens to the audio of Ian's phone conversation where Walker promotes himself to a fake David Koch, the reasons for the extremist economic terrorism of working citizens and families become obvious.  Even if you have already heard it, please listen to that conversation again:  Part 1  and  Part 2.

While the actually recordings of the fake Koch discussion went viral on the 'net and did gather national media attention, Walker has said little about making an ass out of himself in this way other than it was “stupid” to reveal “agenda”.  How can even his republican backers stand down on this, especially now that he has lawyered up and set up a defense fund?

In this call, he admitted to conspiring to undermine democrats, stated David Koch brothers was "one of us", planned to lie and fool democrats, considered planting fake protesters to commit violence against peaceful protesters, and proclaimed that it would be "outstanding" when the fake David Koch offered a reward, to fly Walker "to Cali and really show you a good time".

I somehow doubt that Walker had endless Eagle Scout meetings and Baptist church services in mind here...

Walker states he learned something about this incident with fake David Koch, he learned to focus on his agenda and "not about what people think about me personally."

Absolutely an outrageous response - he directly admitted to having seriously impaired ethics and even more serious crimes in his agenda, but all that this taught him was to ignore the public - something he already excels at.

Koch Industries has major business interests in the Badger State, including Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Koch Pipeline, asphalt terminals, fuel terminals, and now, even direct or indirect interests in Wisconsin's second-largest railroad, WSOR.

No wonder David Koch told the Palm Beach Post “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” He says, “What Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. He’s an impressive guy and he’s very courageous. If the unions win the recall, there will be no stopping union power.”

No one is more responsible for hoisting Walker into the Governor's Mansion here and propelling him onto a national state than David Koch.  Increasingly, it appears that this was done with lies and outright theft of assets from Milwaukee County -using county positions to raise money and support his run for office.  And its starting to look like the scandal is about more than his run for governor, perhaps reaching across the state to even nation.

And what has this "achieved"?  Wisconsin is at the bottom of the nation for job growth, workers’ rights are under attack, schools are being defunded, 65,000 are being kicked off healthcare rolls (including 30,000 children), environmental regulations are being eliminated or blank-check exemptions to violate them are being granted, voters are being disenfranchised, and citizens’ First Amendment rights are disappearing, women's rights are undermined.

In short, corporate profits are the driving force of Walker's agenda even when it can be objectively demonstrated that they harm the citizens of Wisconsin and our Great Nation and destroy what is left of our Democracy.

When David Koch admits he's he’s underwritten Walker up to this point and will be giving millions of dollars more to Scott Walker, Badger-state residents should be concerned, need to stand together, and take action. 

The Koch brother's vision for America, brought to Badger Land by Scott Walker and GOP, and their reach into virtually every aspect of political, economic and physical life on the planet is probably greater than most thought possible.  Walker and the others around the nation carrying Koch/ALEC water are not the problem.

Removing Walker in a recall or seeing him go down in the ongoing John Doe investigation will not stop the radical Koch brothers agenda.  He is the hired help as are all the other republicans on ALEC "scholarships".

When surrounded with dangerous animals that want to kill you, it is not wise to spend the rest of a short and physically exhausting struggle punching one alligator in the nose only to see another rise and attack.  We need the wisdom, presence of mind, and resolve to fight against the environment that created the deadly swamp in the first place.

This is the only way we can be free and we are nearing an "end-game".

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.  To learn more about who they are, what they believe, how they work, and how you can help, please visit their website.

Scott Walker, Fitzgerald brothers, and other republican leaders have set themselves up to fail, but Koch interests are set up to continue - they are not going anywhere.   Long before the Walker recall even seemed possible, the Koch's pledged to raise $88 million for the 2012 election. 

They have spend many millions getting Scott Walker and minions in the legislature.  Last month, they spent $700,000 on another ad campaign.  No one but the brothers Koch will actually know how much more they will throw in by the time this is over, but they admit it has been and will be huge.  Some are predicting spending in this reacll will top 100 million dollars - mostly out-of-state money overwhelmingly backing Walker, mostly from Koch and Koch interests.

How do we fight back?

1.  Boycott Koch products - no meaningful and lasting political change ever came to this nation without economic actions.  The list of products include:
  • Angel Soft toilet paper
  • Brawny paper towels
  • Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
  • Mardi Gras napkins and towels
  • Quilted Northern toilet paper
  • Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
  • Sparkle napkins
  • Vanity fair napkins
  • Zee napkins
  • Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes
  • All Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products, including:
  • Dense Armor Drywall and Decking
  • ToughArmor Gypsum board
  • Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood
  • Flexrock
  • Densglass sheathing
  • G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters)
  • FibreStrong Rim board
  • G/P Lam board
  • Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing
  • Blue Ribbon Sub-floor
  • DryGuard Enhanced OSB
  • Nautilus Wall Sheathing
  • Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing
  • Broadspan Engineered Wood Products
  • XJ 85 I-Joists
  • FireDefender Banded Cores
  • FireDefender FS
  • FireDefender Mineral Core
  • Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard,
  • Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF
  • Wood Fiberboard
  • Commercial Roof Fiberboard
  • Hushboard Sound Deadening Board
  • Regular Fiberboard Sheathing
  • Structural Fiberboard Sheathing
  • (INVISTA Products):
  • COMFOREL® fiberfill
  • COOLMAX® fabric
  • CORDURA® fabric
  • DACRON® fiber
  • POLYSHIELD® resin
  • SOLARMAX® fabric
  • SOMERELLE® bedding products
  • STAINMASTER® carpet
  • SUPPLEX® fabric
  • TACTEL® fiber
  • TACTESSE® carpet fiber
  • TERATE® polyols
  • TERATHANE® polyether glycol
  • THERMOLITE® fabric
  • PHENREZ® resin
  • POLARGUARD® fiber and
  • LYCRA® fiber
2.  Demand Citizens United be Overturned or, better yet, America needs to amend the constitution to declare that corporations are not people.

3.  Fight back against corporate giveaways and tax cuts for the nations wealthiest of wealthy.  Insist those individuals and corporations pay their fair share.  In Wisconsin, start by insisting the unjust and illegal sale of taxpayer subsidized WSOR to Koch interests be revoked.

4.  Demand that Democrats fight back and do not continue to subsidize Koch businesses and  allow Koch interests to illegal purchase elections.

5.  Support Michael Tate, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair and President Obama when they take action against illegal monies being funneled to Koch assets like Walker and others at all levels of government.

6.  Tell Attorney General Holder to Fight Koch Brothers’ Voter Suppression

7.  Maintain a robust dialog about these larger problems, stressing how the same political/economic interests are behind each battle we are fighting in Wisconsin, across the nation, and around the world.  It is time to start connecting the dots.

Every voice in the fight is valuable and needs to be heard.  Please let us know here at VOICES newspaper (www.madisonvoices.com) , VOICES blog (www.madisonvoicesblog.com), or the video channel we are developing, VOICES TV (www.madisonvoicestv.com) if you have ideas, writing, or media you would like to share - please let us help you carry your message.

We cannot possibly win this war for our democracy and the economic justice that real democracy is built on until we fight the powerful influences that fraudulently and illegally divide us.  It is time for open-minds, open-hearts, and real solidarity.  We need to drain the swamps and create a more healthful and honest environment for political and economic discussions.

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