-By Maggie Haberman
February 19, 2012- The Palm Beach Post has a good read on David Koch, the billionaire who, along with his brother, have helped "channel" the tea party movement, as the piece puts it, and is involved in funding the pro-Scott Walker side of the recall effort in Wisconsin:
"What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. He's an impressive guy and he's very courageous," Koch says after a benefit dinner of salmon and white wine. "If the unions win the recall, there will be no stopping union power."
Asked about union comments, Koch's spokeswoman is quick to moderate them.
-By Eric W. Dolan
February 20, 2012- The Democratic Party of Wisconsin blasted oil billionaire David Koch on Monday for supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker in his fight against public unions.
“I think I speak for most Wisconsinites when I say to David Koch, ‘Get out of Wisconsin and take Scott Walker’s dangerous agenda with you,’” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said.
In a rare interview with the Palm Beach Post, Koch described Walker as “impressive” and “courageous.” He said his conservative group Americans for Prosperity was hard at work in Wisconsin.
“We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin,” Koch said. “We’re going to spend more.”
Walker and Republican lawmakers pushed to curb the collective-bargaining rights of public employees earlier this year, eventually passing the highly controversial legislation using a parliamentary maneuver.
-By Stacey Singer
Febraury 20, 2012- PALM BEACH — David Koch has become the face of conservative America's obsession with weakening organized labor, and for that, he believes, there have been death threats - 100 credible threats last year alone, he says.
Journalists tend to describe the lanky MIT-trained chemical engineer and his brother Charles with the phrase "secretive oil billionaires."
They describe a clandestinely built political machine that disdains government regulation and taxes, obfuscates the science on global warming, and now pulls the strings of decision-makers at every level, from Florida Tea Party members to Wisconsin state senators - even U.S. Supreme Court justices.
"They make me sound like a bully," David Koch says when asked about journalists, looking a little baffled. "Do I look like a bully?"
On this night, Koch wants to talk about the battle against cancer, not unions.
-By Hurst Laviana
February 18, 2012- About 150 protesters marched through downtown Wichita on Saturday afternoon as activists from across the country gathered for the weekend “Occupy Koch Town” rally.
Although the block-long line of protesters temporarily blocked several major intersections, the march was peaceful, and police made no arrests and issued no citations.
The rally, which was organized by the Sierra Clubs of Kansas and Missouri and area Occupy movements, began about 2 p.m. at the Grand Chapel, 828 N. Broadway. Throughout the day, speakers addressed a variety of issues dealing with energy, environmental, climate policies and the controversial Keystone pipeline.
Among those attending was Nick Brothers of St. Joseph, Mo., who said he had attended several other Occupy rallies, all of them peaceful.
“It’s well known that Koch brothers are deeply imbedded in right-wing politics, and that’s their right,” he said, “But they’re using their money to destroy the environment.”
-By Brian Austin
February 15, 2012- A government that has lost the trust of its citizens is not long for power. Under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin has gone in one year from being a state renowned for open and clean government to one that is shabby and nefarious.
Actually, we need to start before Walker was elected governor -- specifically 1987, when Walker ran for student body president at Marquette University. During that campaign, he was found to be in violation of the school's campaign rules, including engaging in door-to-door campaigning, which was strictly prohibited. Walker was ultimately described to be "unfit for presidency" by the Marquette Tribune. When the Tribune endorsed Walker's opponent, Walker's supporters destroyed as many copies of the newspaper as they could find. This provides a window into our governor's character. Unfortunately, this incident received only cursory media attention during Walker's bid for governor.
-By Stephanie Pappas
February 15, 2012- Update, 4:55 pm ET: The Heartland Institute released a statement this afternoon calling the document leaks "criminal" and claiming that one of the documents, which purports to be the organization's climate change strategy, is faked. However, blogger Anthony Watts and geologist Robert Carter have confirmed online and to news organizations that they have been paid or pledged money by the Institute as outlined in the documents. James M. Taylor, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, confirmed to ThinkProgress Green that the school educational project is ongoing.
Leaked documents from the free-market conservative organization The Heartland Institute reveal a plan to create school educational materials that contradict the established science on climate change.
-By Dave Zweifel
February 15, 2012- We’ve got the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice to thank for doing the research that shows once again why politicians who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Bice went back to 2006, when Scott Walker was Milwaukee County executive, to see what Walker had to say about Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle when a purchasing director in the state Department of Administration was indicted in what turned out to be a seriously flawed case initiated by a George W. Bush-appointed U.S. attorney.
When Georgia Thompson was indicted on charges that she steered a state contract to a longtime Doyle supporter, Walker, then running for the GOP nomination for governor, issued a stinging press release that accused Doyle of essentially harboring crooks in his administration.
“Unfortunately, we have a governor that condones unethical and illegal behavior,” Walker pontificated. “The people of Wisconsin deserve better.
February 12, 2012- It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions. All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.
The American Legislative Exchange Council was founded in 1973 by the right-wing activist Paul Weyrich; its big funders include Exxon Mobil, the Olin and Scaife families and foundations tied to Koch Industries. Many of the largest corporations are represented on its board.
-Posted on Down With Tyranny! on November 13, 2011-
The new issue of the Texas Observer digs around in the fetid sewer that is the Koch family background. Yasha Levine's sleuthing helps put in perspective exactly why the Koch's have made themselves the biggest threat to American democracy since Adolph Hitler-- and for many similar-- if not identical-- reasons. To understand why Charles and David Koch are using their billions to assault American democracy-- even teaming up with Iran (the way their father had teamed up with Stalin) to do so-- you have to look back at the history of this demented, hate-filled family. There Levine finds the roots to their antipathy towards democracy, equality, public education, Social Security, organized labor, environmental, consumer and financial protections and the 99%. They've spent hundreds of millions already and plan to spend another $200 million in 2012 electing 1%-ers like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Scott Brown and other right-wing anti-government sociopaths hellbent on turning back the clock on America. Levine starts with their grandfather a wealthy Dutch-German immigrant who settled in Texas and brought his foreign, hate-filled fascist ideology to his new country, where he tried enforcing it on the people he found here.
Think Progress: INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax
-By Brad Johnson
February 14, 2012- Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.
-Blogged by Steve on Veracity Stew February 10, 2012-
One of the most anti-worker lobbyists in Washington, D.C. ran an anti-union ad during last week’s Super Bowl and had the nerve to put himself in the commercial playing a hardworking auto mechanic. It was the gold watch and manicure that gave him away.
-By John Nichols
February 13, 2012- In February, 2011, Scott Walker was just another Republican governor. A favorite of Newt Gingrich, billionaire Tea Partisans Charles and David Koch and wealthy advocates for privatization of education, the Wisconsinite had his national fans on the conservative circuit. But he was not a player, and no one (except perhaps Walker) thought he was headed for the national spotlight. Among the Republican governors ushered into power by the Republican wave of 2010, he was ranked with the “assistant Walmart manager” group of drab mandarins, along with Iowa’s Terry Branstad, South Dakota’s Dennis Daugaard and Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin. He didn’t have the national stature of Ohio’s John Kasich or Kansan Sam Brownback, nor the wild-eyed “say anything” appeal of Arizona’s Jan Brewer or Maine’s Paul LePage.
-By Paul I. Tascoupe
February 13, 2012- MADISON – Today, Democratic legislators formally submitted a bill for introduction that would clamp down on special interest organizations that write bills for legislators.
Recently, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has drawn criticism for acting as lobbyists for corporate legislation while being exempted from registering as a lobbying group with the Government Accountability Board. Many ALEC bills became law this session, including several of Governor Walker’s special session bills that made it harder for victims to sue corporations for wrongdoing.
“Last August, I infiltrated the ALEC convention and got a first-hand look at what they are up to,” said Pocan. “ALEC is like a speed dating service for lonely legislators and corporate executives. The corporations write bills and legislators sign their names to the bills. In the end, we’re stuck with bad laws and nobody knows where they came from.”