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Talking Points Memo: Walker: 'My Guess' Is Dems Had Phone Calls With 'Union Bosses In D.C.'

March 8, 2011- Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) is continuing a line of attack against state Senate Democrats, who have fled the state in order to block budget quorum on his anti-public employee union proposals, that he used at a press conference Monday: That state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D) must be taking orders via phone from union leaders. But as Walker makes clear, he doesn't have actual evidence of this.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, Walker made the latest remarks Monday evening in an interview with state conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes. "I don't have this on firsthand knowledge," said Walker. "My guess is he got a phone call from one of the union bosses in D.C. who said, 'You cannot go back there and let them have a vote.'"


Talking Points Memo: Progressives Get Serious About Wisconsin Recalls

March 8, 2011- A coalition of progressive groups are taking their threats to recall several Republican members of the state Senate in Wisconsin to the next level this week.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America say they've raised more than a half million dollars from a TV ad the groups have been running in two Wisconsin media markets for a week. Now they plan to take that money and refocus their attention on recalling three Republican Senators.

PCCC and DFA first raised the recall threat last week, launching an automated phone campaign to gauge voters interest in recall in several state Senate districts. The response? Voters are ready to give their Senators the boot -- and the PCCC and DFA are ready to help.

According to results of the campaign provided to TPM, out of some 50,000 robocalls, 59% of respondents said they'd consider recalling their Republican state Senator as the standoff in Madison between union supporters and Gov. Scott Walker (R) continues.

PCCC and DFA aren't the only ones talking recall. The state Democratic party recently geared up their own recall effort.

The Exiled: Billionaire Koch Brothers Use Their $1 Billion-A-Year Taxpayer-Funded Biofuel Subsidy To Bankroll Republicans, Tea Party, Right-wing Libertarian Groups

March 3, 2011- Why are American taxpayers forced to subsidize the billionaire Koch brothers’ massive campaign contributions to Republican Party politicians, the Tea Party movement, and policies that ensure greater subsidies to the Kochs, while cutting more public services to the taxpayers who fund the Kochs’ business and political activities?

It is an important question, but not one you’ll hear discussed much by our political class. Instead, right-wing pundits whinge endlessly about the public sector union bosses’ evil schemes to shake down taxpayers for union dues that eventually flow towards the Democratic Party. Here, for example, is Michael Barone, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow and senior Moonie political analyst, complaining in the Washington Examiner last week:

Boston Globe: Brown thanks conservative billionaire David Koch for campaign donations

March 7, 2011- The liberal blog Think Progress has posted exclusive video of US Senator Scott Brown thanking conservative billionaire David Koch for supporting Brown’s campaign last year — and asking him for help in his re-election.

“Your support during the election, it meant a ton,” the Massachusetts Republican is shown telling Koch. “It made a difference and I can certainly use it again.”

Koch and his brother, Charles, are known for multi-million dollar contributions to conservative and libertarian political causes. In what has become a well-publicized example of the power of the Koch brothers, a prankster calling the office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was recently able to get the embattled governor on the phone by pretending he was David Koch.

According to Think Progress: “David Koch directly gave the National Republican Senatorial Committee $30,400 in November 2009, [two months before Brown was elected] and the Koch Industries PAC threw in $15,000 to NRSC plus $5,000 more directly to Brown right before Brown’s special election.”

Seattle PI: Karl Rove, Koch Brothers -- on your TV, in your mailbox

March 7, 2011- The Crossroads GPS political committee, co-founded by Bush guru Karl Rove, is in my mailbox, on my TV screen and now on my radio at Whidbey Island. But it tells me nothing about who's putting up money to sway me.

Crossroads GPS will butt in a lot more next year: GPS and its partner American Crossroads have set out to raise $120 million to defeat President Obama, help Republicans capture the U.S. Senate and keep the House.

Karl has company. Charles and David Koch, billionaire heads of an oil-and-business conglomerate, plan to give and steer $88 million toward right-wing politicians and conservative causes in 2012. (Kudos to Ken Vogel of Politico for smoking out their plans.)

A Koch front is already advertising to bolster Wisconsin's increasingly unpopular Gov. Scott Walter in his bid to deprive public employee unions of collective bargaining rights (and defund a potent Democratic contributor).

Crooks & Liars: Where I Respond to Charles Koch's Editorial

March 7, 2011- So it seems Charles Koch wrote an editorial while I was away. An editorial for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, where he spends an entire column saying a whole lot of nothing. An editorial where he misstates facts, figures, and twists up truth into his weird alternate reality.

I feel compelled to respond to him.

Dear Charles Koch,

In your March 1st editorial, you make the following statements:

Years of tremendous overspending by federal, state and local governments have brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending will total at least $3.8 trillion this year—double what it was 10 years ago. And unlike in 2001, when there was a small federal surplus, this year's projected budget deficit is more than $1.6 trillion.

This is a direct consequence of the costs of two wars which until 2008, were not added to the balance sheets. Funny how you fail to account for where the deficits arose, but are quick to point to their existence.

AlterNet: David H. Koch Does Damage Control, Spouts Lies and Hypocrisy in Rare Interview

March 5, 2011- Tea Party-funding, union-busting, climate change-denying David H. Koch wants you to think he is worried what you think of him. In a rare New York Times interview (granted at the opening of his Cancer Research Institute at MIT, no less) Koch was in full damage control mode, giving the most humble, self-abnegating quotes conjurable and painting himself a victim of liberal ill will. The prank call to Gov. Scott Walker, for instance, was “a case of identity theft,” he said, and that “I didn’t even know his name before this brouhaha erupted.” If that's true, it certainly seems irresponsible to be so obtuse about where his money goes -- Koch Industries donated $43,000 to Walker's campaign, significantly helping him to get elected. But there's more!

AlterNet: Public Employee Unions Don't Get One Penny from Taxpayers and Can't Require Membership, But the Big Lie That They Do Is Everywhere

Nobody has to belong to a union or support its political activities, but you'd never know that from reading the news.

March 5, 2011- Let us begin with this simple, indisputable truth: public employees' unions don't get a single red cent from taxpayers. And they aren't a mechanism to “force” working people to support Democrats – that's completely illegal.

Public sector workers are employed by the government, but they are private citizens. Once a private citizen earns a dollar from the sweat of his or her brow, it no longer belongs to his or her employer. In the case of public workers, it is no longer a “taxpayer dollar”; it is a dollar held privately by an American citizen. Public sector unions are financed through the dues paid by these private citizens, who elected to be part of a union – not a single taxpayer dollar is involved, and no worker is forced to join a union against his or her wishes. No worker in the United States is required to give one red cent to support a political cause he or she doesn't agree with.


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