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article imageOp-Ed: The GOP's costly Wisconsin Koch binge is a wake-up call

By Bill Lindner     Mar 11, 2011 in Politics
The GOP's Koch-driven declaration of war on Wisconsin workers - coming soon to a state near you -- and the deceptive passage of controversial union-busting legislation is a wake-up call that is sparking outrage and igniting a recall movement..
The Wisconsin debut of the GOP’s latest preconceived war on the American people has hit a snag and awakened the American population. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his Republican cohorts have revealed themselves as the incorrigible Koch (pronounced Coke) whores they are by surreptitiously passing Walker's "budget repair" bill aimed at destroying union workers and collective bargaining, fueling protests and a growing recall movement that could result in political suicide.
After meeting for hours behind closed doors, the "budget repair" bill was hurriedly passed using illicit parliamentary procedures with Democrats absent and without debate. Wisconsin Democrats will ask the State Attorney General to intervene because they say the rushed proceedings violate the state's open meetings law. A document (PDF) from The State of Wisconsin Department of Justice (DoJ) appears to confirm that, but we’ll have to wait and see if Wisconsin’s DoJ is as corrupt as the U.S. DoJ.
David Dayen from Fire Dog Lake has outlined a thumb nail sketch on where the fight in Wisconsin is heading. It will include legal challenges, labor strikes and recalls. Protests in Wisconsin are growing in wake of the Wisconsin Assembly voting on and passing Walker's bill. What's happening in Wisconsin will soon be coming to Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- who all have Republican Governors.
Wisconsin has several problems with its political leadership. During his term as Milwaukee's county executive, Walker illegally attempted to kill the union. Walker has lied repeatedly about who really pays for the pension and benefits of public employees in Wisconsin from the start and the media ran with it. Details of the agreements (PDF) between the State of Wisconsin and its employees can be found here. To a significant degree, much of Wisconsin's -- and most other states -- deficits are due to poor policy choices and a major lack of discipline. Like many other politicians with an aversion to the truth, Walker claims to be following God’s orders. At least three of the Wisconsin State Senate Republicans demanding that public workers sacrifice benefits, wages, and collective bargaining rights to fix the budget have reportedly applied for and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal farm subsidies.
Koch Bros. the driving force behind the anti-union efforts
Eight Republican State Senators in Wisconsin can reportedly be recalled right now, and Governor Walker can be recalled in January 2012 under Wisconsin law, which states that you can recall any government official that has been serving their current term for one year. Most of Wisconsin's Congress is off limits for one year, but gearing up the recall movement now will send a powerful message. Six Democrats in Wisconsin are also facing recalls.
A look at campaign finance records reveals that Koch Industries and its employees donated $2 million in last year's election cycle, 92 percent of which went to Republicans. Koch related donations also played a heavy hand in Wisconsin's government elections. Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Koch brothers astroturf political action committee (PAC), tried turning Wisconsinites against union workers but failed miserably. Koch Industries has about 3,000 employees in Wisconsin.
Reuter reporter Andrew Stern put together an analysis revealing the Koch brothers as the driving force behind the Republican's anti-union efforts. Mr. Stern revealed that "Charles and David Koch, who both rank 24th on the Forbes list of the world's richest people with $17.5 billion each, are behind campaign donations of tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republicans leading the anti-union effort." The Koch brothers also have several ties to U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
For years Republicans, aided by mainstream media, have fallaciously claimed that cutting union benefits and collective bargaining rights was necessary to save money because the country is broke. Unsurprisingly, no mention is ever made that the reason this country is broke is because Wall Street, with the aid of their corrupted puppets in Washington, has defrauded this country out of trillions of dollars, and that accountability for their crimes has, so far, been non-existent. The Koch brothers have spent a small fortune in Wisconsin to create and support those lies. Pushing those lies has effectively enriched corrupt politicians and their owners while bankrupting everyone else.
It's time to take out the trash and sanitize our political process
The constant mantra of blaming unions and other workers for Wall Street's fraud has grown old. For years Republicans have tried fraudulently forcing austerity down the American public's collective throats, and for years Republicans - and many Democrats - have catered to every whim of the wealthy corporations and individuals responsible for defrauding Americans out of their life savings. Americans everywhere are waking up to the fact that the Republican Party, as well as most of the Democratic Party, and their corporate masters have grown richer at the expense of everyone else. Austerity isn't the answer. Holding Wall Street and their enablers in Washington accountable for their fraudulent actions and returning the money to the people is. Making corporations and the wealthy pay taxes would eliminate the financial problems facing this country and every state in it.
The U.S. Economy is, in a nutshell, a giant ponzi scheme that has collapsed due to the excessive amount of fraud committed by, created by, and enabled by Washington’s collusion Wall Street and large financial institutions - which I will detail in an upcoming report. Here’s one example: $9 Trillion dollars is missing from the Federal Reserve, and no one, not even the Federal Inspector General, can explain where it went. But, the upper echelons of Washington know. No mention is ever made of this in Washington or the mainstream media.
Until you get U.S. politics out of the hands of corporations and put them back into the hands of the U.S. population where it belongs, this will be a recurring problem. One of the best places to start is removing 5 of the 9 corporately owned U.S. Supreme Court "Justices" and work your way down the chain, including the Pentagon, the Justice Department, Intelligence agencies, the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration and everything attached to it. Washington's corruption has spread to several states thanks to an astroturf "Tea Party" that millions of people were gullible enough to fall for when millions of others didn’t care enough about the elections to get out and vote. The time for holding the government, both State and Federal, accountable for their actions is now. It's time to take out the trash and sanitize our political process.
As noted by Keith Olbermann, "If you pass a supposedly urgent “budget repair” bill with key budget components cut from it, you forfeit the fiction that you are doing anything remedial, anything essential, anything except a naked power grab on behalf of corporations who will get the money stolen from organized labor – civic or private." Walker and the rest of his Republican Koch whores in Wisconsin have started a war and awakened the American public. The fight is definitely on.
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 DigitalJournal.com
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