Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin: Union invaders meet the Koch invasion

WATCHING WISCONSIN GOV. Scott Walker complain about out-of-state union officials who are invading Madison to foment the protests was a teachable moment for me. It was then that I learned the distance that this zealous crusader would travel to destroy the back-channel facts in the case. I mean, these unionists were not illegal aliens or anything like that. And if labor sent a thousand out-of-staters, they would still be no match for two out-of-state brothers who influence Walker's every movement: Charles and David Koch, the billionaires (35 times over!) who own Koch Industries.

The Kochs own a lot of stuff, in addition to the pols who are expected to protect it. A shopping list of their possessions are oil refineries, 4,000 miles of pipeline and countless other things from Dixie cups to paper towels. They have an anti-union gorilla-like presence in Wisconsin in the energy field. One study by a research institute at the University of Massachusetts listed Koch Industries as one of the nation's top 10 polluters. These fellows have supported Walker with campaign cash passed through a number of fund-raising channels, including an outfit patriotically called Americans for Prosperity. Among their goals is the elimination of environmental regulations and unions, and only concede no more than minimal services for the needy, reports the New Yorker Magazine.

Any wonder that with a pot-of-gold behind him, the governor is fully confident that he can stare down the protests? Whatever else they might be telling you about Wisconsin's budget deficit, nearly half of which arrived with the governor's pet tax cuts soon after he was seated in January, you can shove it. This is all about union-busting and that will make the brothers Koch quite happy.

Speaking of brothers, what's Sarah Palin talking about when she asks her "fellow union brothers and sisters" to oppose union bosses and fight instead for the "right causes in our great country." Somehow, I can't connect the dots between this multi-millionaire wannabe Big Sister and commoners like union brothers and sisters.


PJJinOregon said...

I can see a slightly tarnished but nevertheless silver lining in Gov. Walker's brass knuckles approach to dealing with state employees who opposed his election. To paraphrase an old saw: Hubris goeth before a fall.

Wisconsin is not about the benefit level of state employees; it's about power. Right now Koch Industries has the power.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I also read that the Koch brothers own two US Supreme Court Justices -- ABC Columbus