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article imageOp-Ed: The illusory multi-million dollar ads campaign comes to Wisconsin

By Bill Lindner     Mar 7, 2011 in Politics
When shady groups start running shadowy ads to aid in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's war on the working class, learning how to recognize the doublespeak and deceptive propaganda can go a long way towards winning it.
By now, most everyone is familiar with the melodrama -- which is getting crazier by the day -- in Wisconsin between Governor Scott Walker, union workers and teachers that is being protested by workers everywhere, including certain factions of Wisconsin's government. Governor Walker is trying to implement some drastic financial measures while claiming that this is not a political war on the working class, and that these cuts are necessary, but the illusory multi-million dollar campaign backing the embroiled Governor from illicit out of state shadow groups spreading lies and misinformation tells a completely different story.
A slew of National Republican donors, many of which include shady groups who spent millions of dollars last year during the midterm elections to deceptively enable their corrupted candidates and further their illicit agendas, most of which don't reveal their donors, are running shadowy "issue ads" in an effort to boost support for Governor Walker's war on workers. Walker's popularity has plummeted, but the list of outside big money attacking Wisconsin workers and teachers is quite revealing.
Protests in Madison  Wisconsin
Protests in Madison, Wisconsin
Governor Walker, a former Wisconsin State Senator, is one of the deception campaign's poster boys, having established his worth as a Republican corporate shill when what turned out to be a prank phone call ended up revealing his goals of destroying the labor movement and collective bargaining, his willingness to do whatever the Koch brothers ask and pay him to, that he was ready to trick the 14 State Senate Democrats who refuse to vote on his illicit proposals, and that he is considering setting up a police state against thousands of demonstrators and corporate supporters. It's blatantly obvious why all these shady shadow organizations are trying to help Walker push their agendas. Walker has long been a favorite of the Koch brothers who, between themselves and their PAC, have spent millions of dollars in their support of Walker.
For those unfamiliar with the Koch brothers, here is a brief history: Most recently, the Koch brothers have focused on an all-out war with President Obama, and anything that he does. The Koch brothers are billionaires with several agendas that include getting rid of -- among other things -- public-sector unions, collective bargaining rights, minimal social services for the needy, and much oversight of industry, especially environmental regulation. To battle these causes, the Koch brothers created several neutral-sounding groups like Citizens for a Sound Economy and Americans for Prosperity and has funneled more than $100 million into dozens of political organizations including the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation. The Koch brothers also have a long, well-documented history of collusion with and donations to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Multiple misleading propaganda campaigns
"Americans for Prosperity" (AFP), chaired by oil billionaire David Koch (half of the Koch Brothers), consists of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) which is a 501(c) (3) public charity, and AFP which is a 501(c) (4) organization. AFP opposes labor unions, health care reform, stimulus spending, and climate legislation. AFP, who spent millions manipulating voters in the 2010 midterm elections with their propaganda, wonders "Who decides Wisconsin's future: voters or government unions?" “Government union” refers to state workers, and most union members are also voters. Their misleading "Stand with Walker Initiative" ad will run on networks and cable channels across the state, urging Wisconsinites to support Walker's "commonsense" plan for budget reform.
The Republican Governors Association (RGA), spent $5 million -- including $1 million each from David Koch and Rupert Murdoch, as well as tens of millions of dollars from other CEOs of big corporations -- in donations last year to help Walker win last year’s gubernatorial election. $3.4 million of that was spent on TV ads and mailers assassinating the character of Walker's opponent. The RGA has launched an ad urging everyone to "Stand with Scott Walker." The ad, airing in Wisconsin, is focusing on Walker's budget message while attacking the Democratic Senators who refuse to act on Walker's proposal.
The Club for Growth (CFG), founded in 1999, is a 501(c) (4) "civic league" that describes itself as fiscally conservative, and doesn't reveal its donors. RJ Johnson, one of Walker's main consultants while running for governor, previously served as a paid consultant to CFG Wisconsin, which was formed in 2004. CFG Wisconsin purports to be leading the paid media and grassroots effort to support Walker's budget repair and biennial budget bills. The group claims the Obama administration and national unions are running TV and radio ads attacking Walker and conservative legislators.
"Economic Freedom Alliance" (EFA) -- a group that pays Karl Rove as a consultant -- is also getting involved. EFA is a 527 organization. Their ad takes selected excerpts from a speech that a lawyer for the National Education Association gave a couple years ago, just to undermine worker rights and smear all unions. The EFA's website claims, among a few other fallacies, that it will not make contributions or expenditures (directly or indirectly) to candidates for Federal office.
The Financial Revolution has come to America, and the people are fighting back
An ad from the Republican National Committee (RNC) tries to claim that Obama and the union bosses are standing in the way of economic reform, and trying to showcase efforts by Democrats and government unions to obstruct Republican visions of "reforms" to a skyrocketing federal deficit. The RNC is the main fundraiser of the national Republican Party. RNC supporters include a long list of businesses, including Koch industries.
Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, consisting of the "FreedomWorks Foundation" and "FreedomWorks, Inc." is promoting a similar message. The FreedomWorks Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization that spent a couple of million dollars on "federal and state campaigns" and faux grassroots "Tea Party" efforts last year. FreedomWorks, Inc. is a 501(c) (4) arm of the FreedomWorks Foundation which spent almost one million dollars on faux grassroots "Tea Party" efforts, and almost a quarter of a million dollars on deceptive media outreach project efforts during last year’s elections. FreedomWorks has produced an internet video focusing on Democrats that refuse to act on Walker's proposal while urging people to join the fight and is making automated calls in Wisconsin.
The "League of American Voters" (LAV) is running a radio ad and also funding automated calls to Wisconsinites. Their ad wants you to believe that Walker's proposal will dramatically improve education standards by allowing incompetent teachers to be fired, giving good teachers merit pay and allowing parents the right to school choice.
Other states, including Ohio and Indiana, are planning to follow in Wisconsin's footsteps, are also plotting ways to destroy workers and unions. The war on the working class is shifting into overdrive, and you can expect corporations, their lobbies, "think tanks," and friends who own most of Washington -- up to and including the President -- to flood the public with a lot more deceptive ads pushing their agendas.
The illusory ads campaign was made possible last year when corporately owned "Justices" in the U.S. Supreme Court deemed that the corporations that own them are people during its egregious decision in Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission case. When outfits affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and a host of other dubious individuals, who, as a whole, are greatly responsible for deceptively enabling the fraud and corruption we call politics in Washington start spending millions of dollars on political ads supporting more blatantly obvious attacks on workers, and Democracy in general, be very leery, and very aware. The deceptive ads can be viewed here. You can be sure that odoriferous stench of BS flooding Wisconsin’s air waves will lead to a heaping, steamy pile of it. Making corporations and the rich pay taxes would go a long way towards fixing the economy, but they keep trying to bleed the working class dry. The financial revolution has finally come to America, and this time, the people are fighting back. Learning to recognize the doublespeak and deceptive propaganda for what it is goes a long way towards winning that revolution.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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