Wisconsin: Wholly owned affilliate of Koch Brothers’ Enterprises

UPDATE: Hipparchia at Corrente and Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire have the details on the even bigger scam that the Koch Brothers are trying to pull off with their hired man, Scott Walker.

As you probably have already heard, Walker’s budget bill includes a provision that allows the state to sell of power plants to “private entities” using no-bid contracts. Cannon argues that it’s “the California energy crisis all over again,” (i.e., Enron). Read the whole thing at Cannonfire.

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Part One: In which Governor Walker gleefully answers the phone and spills the strategy.

Part Two:  In which Governor Walker asks for right wing press help.

You should check out the prank call from Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  Murphy posed as right-wing financier David Koch.  It’s a pretty sad indictment of exactly what kind of government their money can buy.

According to the audio, Walker told him:

  • That statehouse GOPers were plotting to hold Democratic senators’ pay until they returned to vote on the controversial union-busting bill.
  • That Walker was looking to nail Dems on ethics violations if they took meals or lodging from union supporters.
  • That he’d take “Koch” up on this offer: “[O]nce you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”

Greg Sargent of WAPO confirms that the it actually was the Governor on the phone.

UPDATE, 11:41 a.m.: A few items of note from the call:

* Walker doesn’t bat an eye when Koch describes the opposition as “Democrat bastards.”

* Walker reveals that he and other Republicans are looking at whether they can charge an “ethics code violation if not an outright felony” if unions are paying for food or lodging for any of the Dem state senators.

* Walker says he’s sending out notices next week to some five or six thousand state workers letting them know that they are “at risk” of layoffs.

“Beautiful, beautiful,” the Koch impersonator replies. “You gotta crush that union.”

More soon…

UPDATE, 11:54 a.m.: In a key detail, Walker reveals that he is, in effect, laying a trap for Wisconsin Dems. He says he is mulling inviting the Senate and Assembly Dem and GOP leaders to sit down and talk, but only if all the missing Senate Dems return to work.

Then, tellingly, he reveals that the real game plan here is that if they do return, Republicans might be able to use a procedural move to move forward with their proposal.

“If they’re actually in session for that day and they take a recess, this 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way,” he says. “If you heard that I was going to talk to them that would be the only reason why.”

Then the fake Koch says this: “Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.”

Walker doesn’t bat an eye, and responds: “I have one in my office, you’d be happy with that. I’ve got a slugger with my name on it.”

At least listen long enough to hear the apparent glee in Scott Walker’s voice when he believes his biggest donor is calling to check in with his war on teachers, police, firefighters, and other state workers in Wisconsin.  This is the best example of a price-tagged politician that I’ve ever seen.

Price check!  Governor’s Mansion Wisconsin!!!

The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square.

Charles and David Koch, who co-own Koch Industries Inc. and whose combined worth is estimated at $43 billion, have been recently tied with Walker’s push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers. The two have long backed conservative causes and groups including Americans for Prosperity, which organized the Tea Party rally Saturday in support of Walker’s plan to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and recently launched the Stand with Scott Walker website.

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, acknowledged in a New York Times story Tuesday that he had encouraged Walker even before the election to mount a showdown with labor groups.

Koch Industries, which owns the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the Koch Pipeline Company, operates gasoline supply terminals and a toilet paper factory in Wisconsin.

Koch Companies Public Sector LLC occupies a seventh-floor suite at 10 E. Doty St. According to an unidentified tenant there, the lobbying group moved in two weeks before Walker was elected governor on November 2. Jeffrey Schoepke, the company’s regional manager, did not return a phone call seeking more information on the firm.

According to the Government Accountability Board’s website, the firm has seven lobbyists who “represent various Koch Industries Inc. companies on public affairs matters, including Flint Hills Resources, LP, an energy purchaser and refiner & transporter of petroleum and Georgia-Pacific, LLC a manufacturer of paper, wood products and building materials.” The group’s lobbying interests are listed as “the environment, energy, taxation, business, policy and other areas affecting Koch Industries, Inc. companies.”

There’s some more information on the Koch Trust Fund Babies and the role of their money in Wisconsin in a NYT article from Monday (h/t to Ginger).

State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.

Even before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Mr. Phillips said in an interview on Monday.

We are so f’d.

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44 Comments on “Wisconsin: Wholly owned affilliate of Koch Brothers’ Enterprises”

  1. WomanVoter says:

    Good Lord is the Attack of the Billionaires on working people and the middle class. See, President Obama, you gave up the Public Option and they still want to crush working people. Greed, once acquired is a disease, that doesn’t see people as human beings and therefore goes after them without mercy.

    So, will the Tea Party working people finally leave or are they going to continue to go after their own interests/working people/middle class for the ultra rich?

  2. paper doll says:

    We need to go White Rose on this because the media WILL NOT broacast it… and twitter the shit out of it ….I’d be very interested to know who does cover it. You’ll then know which side they are on.
    Funny as I was making lunch, I kept seeing Walker as a puppet with Koch’s arm up his ass….It’s naked and they are getting a US state on the cheap…oh you KNOW the other state’s elite are watching …

    Thank you for posting!!!

  3. paper doll says:

    Then the fake Koch says this: “Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.”

    Walker doesn’t bat an eye, and responds: “I have one in my office, you’d be happy with that. I’ve got a slugger with my name on it.”

    There Walker is pimping to be the next POTUS

  4. Peg says:

    The Madison Captol Times is surely covering it:

    http://host.madison.com/ct/

  5. cwaltz says:

    If this guy had presidential aspirations they should be considered gone by now. He exposed himself as a partisan willing to cheat to win hack.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think that’s why Mitch Daniels is opposing the bill in Indiana. He wants to be President. God forbid…

    • paper doll says:

      If this guy had presidential aspirations they should be considered gone by now. He exposed himself as a partisan willing to cheat to win hack

      How does that disqualify him? /snark lol!

  6. bostonboomer says:

    This the funniest thing I’ve seen in months! Just when I was beginning to despair of anything positive happening in the world, we suddenly had multiple uprisings against dictators abroad and labor protests in the US.

    Power to the people!!

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Indiana deputy attorney general wants Walker to use live ammunition on the protesters.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/23/official-use-ammo/

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Walker tries to do damage control.

    The governor’s office has confirmed that it was Walker on the phone but says in a prepared statement that “the phone call shows that the Governor says the same thing in private as he does in public and the lengths that others will go to disrupt the civil debate Wisconsin is having.”

    • janicen says:

      I’m not surprised. As I listened in horror, I thought his apologists would defend what he said and never touch upon the fact that he’s discussing his strategy with a right-wing billionaire who doesn’t even live in Wisconsin. How ironic that he didn’t like the fact that Obama was sticking his nose in Wisconsin business as he explains his strategy to David Koch who lives in California.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Ha, the spin on that is hilarious.

    • paper doll says:

      Walker has to prove he has no heart whatsoever and he cannot be embarrassed by any craven action …if he wants to be seen as “Presidential timber” ( lol!) by the powers that be.

      • cwaltz says:

        and yet he can’t be seen as overt about it by the common folk.

        Like I said put a fork in his career.

        There is no way they this guy gets a majority with his behavior.

  9. madamab says:

    This is utterly priceless. Just stamp a “For Sale!” sign on this man’s head and have done with it!

    • jawbone says:

      No, stamp “Sold”; he’s already been bought.
      Now he’s trying to sell out his state and its citizens.

  10. foxyladi14 says:

    good for them on the gay issue :mrgreen:

  11. affinis says:

    From Madison.
    1. I noticed the Ian’s Pizza button on the sidebar. Thanks so much to anyone who has donated. The food and supplies that people have donated are greatly appreciated and have made an enormous difference (both materially – e.g. keeping people fed, and in maintaining people’s spirits).

    2. I posted this in a comment at Cannonfire, but am reposting here.

    One part of the bill would sell state-owned powerplants in a no-bid process (to whomever Walker wants). Bill Black has spoken a lot about control fraud. This is a perfect example of exactly such a setup. And there’s a potential Koch connection.

    An article in Salon stated (incorrectly):”the Kochs, as far as I can tell, do not seem to be in the business of actually buying, selling or operating ‘heating, cooling and power plants.'”

    Here’s a clear counterexample to that statement:

    “NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, NRG South Central Generating LLC, has acquired the Koch Power Louisiana Sterlington Project from Koch Power Inc. Koch Power Louisiana currently consists of four generating units totaling 75 megawatts (MW) of summer capacity. Plans call for a total of 10 combustion turbines capable of generating 200 MW of power to be in place prior to the summer 2001 peak demand season.”

    And here’s another link which contains details about a related legal case – having to do with Koch’s construction of the power generating plant and permit issues involving NRG, which purchased the plant from Koch.

    Also, regarding the Walker bill, one of the primary powerplants involved (i.e. the Charter St plant in Madison) was slated to be converted from coal to biomass. Looks like, under Walker’s orders, it will be converted to natural gas instead (Koch Industries is a major natural gas supplier).