Walker Under the Thumb of the Koch Brothers

The New York Times, and even an editorial comment by Wisconsin’s Capitol Times editor Dave Zwiefel identifies Tim Phillips of Americans For Prosperity, an oxymoron if there ever was one, as being a critical lynchpin in the growing web of connections between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers of Koch Industries. Americans For Prosperity is funded by the Koch Brothers plain and simple.

Phillips has been a major actor in putting together a plan to drastically cut public sector worker benefits and their collective bargaining rights in states where Republican Union busting Governors now reside. Wisconsin is the key lynchpin in that struggle.

The editor of this blog even got robocalls from both the Republican Party and a group calling itself the League of Concerned Voters to smash worker’s rights and support Governor Walker. These actions have the feel of the scene in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington when the evil influence peddling industrial magnate calls out the boys to do mischief to a bunch of kids trying to get the word out about the truth of what is being done to them back in their state, a truth that young Senator Jefferson Smith, is trying to reveal on the floor of the U.S. Senate in a dramatic filibuster for good and right. It is one of the most endearing moments in American film but also the most disturbing. A prairie state political boss responsible for most of the corruption in that state, acting to distort and deform the political process in that state and the Union. Sound familiar?

The most difficult part of the film to see, by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart dating from 1939, is that children were hurt as thugs destroyed their little boys newspaper attempting to carry the truth over powerful media controlled by the evil boss. Here in Wisconsin, children are going to be hurt too. Badger Care will be less available to them if they are poor and cannot turn anywhere else for much-needed care. And their public schools, intimately connected with their futures are being seriously compromised: their teachers being targeted for financial ruin and a coming state budget where nearly a billion dollars and perhaps much more will be cut from funds designed to educate them properly.

The mounting evidence that Wisconsin’s Governor is under the influence of powerful interests not concerned with the welfare of the people of the State of Wisconsin, those Walker swore an oath to serve, raises serious questions about his own motives and actions to date and in the future.

Governor Scott Walker has already committed serious malfeasance in office and his comments do nothing to suggest that he will not continue on this ruinous course for the state. He seems to feel that he is working for Koch Industries and Wisconsin has become merely a subsidiary of that energy company. Someone needs to make him understand that he is not; that he serves the people of the State of Wisconsin.

His protestations to the contrary are on their face disingenuous and unconvincing in the face of the mounting evidence he is not acting in the interest of the people. The case for the recall of Governor Walker mounts. It is long past time to begin circulating recall petitions. Struggles For Justice calls upon the Democratic Party of the State of Wisconsin and the organizations of workers so affected by Walker’s actions to circulate recall petitions so that voters may recall the Governor no later than this very spring. Further, the Wisconsin State Ethics Board should begin an investigation of the ties between the Governor and outside business interests that clearly go beyond simple contacts Governors typically make with those interests.

Since Fighting Bob La Follette cleaned out the Capitol from the Thompson administration after 1898 and its ties to the railroad and timber interests Wisconsin has enjoyed and achieved a well deserved reputation for honest, good, clean government. Walker is a one-man wrecking crew in destroying that reputation for good government and is a positive menace to the state.

Worst of all, the 250,000 jobs Walker promised to worried Wisconsin voters last November are nowhere in sight and more are disappearring daily.

Let us make it clear here that no one should raise their voice in anger or threaten our Governor in any way with bodily harm. There have been loud complaints that comparisons between Hitler and Walker are wrong and too strong. They are. Struggles For Justice and those we support in this struggle for worker’s rights and now clean government in the state demand we conduct ourselves as we have with peaceful action, democratic action, and always with good, decency and right on our side.

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