Alex Constantine - February 28, 2014
By Alex Constantine
Wisconsin Governor Walker, in his latest bout with disclosures concerning his staff's stealth wifi system, dismissed the e-mails at the core of it all as "old news." But new (racist) rot was exposed by his staff's internal e-mails.
With help from the Koch brothers, he has managed to survive actual old news that should have led to a political tailspin -- the curtailing of voter rights, union busting, blatant GOP-slanted redistricting, a plan to restrict abortions.
But "old" e-mails have tarnished any political ambitions he still harbors.
The crowning blow, however, could come from leaked documents concerning a second, unrelated judicial probe of actions taken against the 2012 recall campaign.
Another GOP scandal this way comes.
The other John Doe (secret) investigation was initiated in August, 2012. A leaked filing reveals "illegal campaign coordination between (name redacted), a campaign committee, and certain special interest groups."
"Certain special interest groups" is a roundabout way of referring to extreme-right corporate fronts, particularly the Koch brothers' "social welfare" hydra. The Center for Media and Democracy reports:
Wisconsin's 4th Circuit Court of Appeals unsealed some documents last week as it rejected a challenge to the probe filed by three of the unnamed "special interest groups" that had received subpoenas in the investigation and issued a ruling allowing the investigation to move forward.
The special interest groups under investigation include Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is led by a top Walker advisor and friend, R.J. Johnson, and which spent at least $9.1 million on "issue ads" supporting Walker and legislative Republicans during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Another group is Citizens for a Strong America, which was entirely funded by Wisconsin Club for Growth in 2011 and 2012 and acted as a conduit for funding other groups that spent on election issue ads; CSA's president is John Connors, who previously worked for David Koch's Americans for Prosperity and is part of the leadership at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity (publishers of Watchdog.org and Wisconsin Reporter). Other groups reportedly receiving subpoenas include AFP, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and the Republican Governors Association.
Any way you cut it, the Koch brothers are the focus of the investigation.
Americans for Prosperity is a Koch front.
The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity also has extensive ties to the Kochs. The Franklin Center was founded with assistance from the Koch-sponsored Sam Adams Alliance, or "SAM." Eric O'Keefe -- an avid Tea Party supporter, keynote speaker at several "conservative" rallies funded by David Koch -- is the chairman of SAM. He is also a director of the aforementioned Wisconsin Club for Growth, a financial fount for ads attacking the collective bargaining rights of workers in Wisconsin. Before the Club, O'Keefe was an appendage of Citizens for a Sound Economy -- the Koch-funded forerunner of Americans for Prosperity.
PRWatch reports,"O'Keefe's latest enterprise, SAM, gets part of its funding from the State Policy Network (SPN), which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation. Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, and his wife and children, along with long-time Koch employee Richard Fink." These Koch-stained extremists comprise the board of the foundation.
And the Club for Growth? This Club only received $225,000 last year from the Kochs' Center to Protect Patient Rights, according to published reports. The latter was fined by the state of California in October, 2013 for neglecting to disclose campaign contributions. Other sources of Club for Growth financing: a $400,000 contribution from the Wellspring Committee (supported by the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity), and $60,000 from Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, with ties to the Koch brothers.
The last advocacy organization on the list, the Republican Governors Association, has received generous funding from Koch Industries, according to the Campaign for America's Future.
The remaining 501(c)6 listed in court documents, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, does not disclose its funding, but has thrown in with other Koch-driven, union-busting public perception campaigns in the past.
So it is not only Walker who stands ankle-deep in the rising tide of public disclosures. The Koch hydra is back in court -- the cold-blooded creature is losing the legal battle and may well take Walker down with it.