Monthly Archives: March 2011

Wisconsin Scholar targeted by GOP for revealing their agenda

William Cronon, author and professor of history, geography and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is taking flak from Republicans for revealing the actions of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and their involvement in Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and his legislature’s illicit agenda that has fired up the nation because he published an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Wisconsin’s Radical Break,” in which he suggested Walker has turned his back on the state’s long tradition of “neighborliness, decency and mutual respect,” and then published an even more eviscerating post describing who is really behind the GOP agenda on his blog.

Prof. Cronon pointed out that it’s important to understand that events at the state level don’t always originate in the state where they occur. Indeed, far from it. To find out more about these corporate lobbyists and organizations who have been trying to destroy workers, the poor population, and Senior citizens, there are many places online that track them, such as Right Wing Watch, Source Watch, and Open Secrets.

So who does Prof. Cronon really believe is behind the Republican attack on workers, the poor population, and Senior citizens while rewarding the rich, large non-taxpaying corporations who own many politicians in the many State and Federal Governments? He doesn’t believe the Koch brothers are the only driving force behind the illicit GOP agenda. He’s been trying to discover the deeper networks from whence the legislation came, and he appears to have found them.

The most important group mentioned by Prof. Cronon is The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich — the figurehead of the New Right and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation among others. For forty years ALEC’s goal has been to draft “model bills” that conservative legislators can introduce in the 50 states. Your State legislators are paid well by these lobbyists and organizations for being told what to do by ALEC at your expense.

ALEC’s Partners Play an Important Role in Wisconsin and Other States

ALEC’s website claims that in each legislative cycle, its members introduce 1000 pieces of legislation based on its work, and that roughly 18% of these bills are enacted into law. ALEC was responsible for Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration law that passed last year. It’s necessary to start paying more attention to ALEC and the bills its promoting, as well as the politicians it owns, including Scott Walker and company. A visit to the “About” menu on ALEC’s website will give you a sense of the organization’s history, its current members, and its funders. But to get to the true depths of collusive corruption, you need to visit the site’s “model legislation” page, the gateway to all the bills ALEC has drafted. Unsurprisingly, you can’t view that legislation unless you’re a member.

Continue reading

The GOP’s costly Wisconsin Koch binge is a wake-up call

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. 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.

Continue reading