Daily Archives: March 3, 2011

CMD PR Watch: A CMD Special Report: Who Is the League of American Voters? The First in a Series on the Squawkers for Walker

March 2, 2011- A Special Report from the Center for Media Democracy, part one of a new series. A gaggle of secretly funded DC groups has launched an expensive PR blitz in Wisconsin in support of Scott Walker's controversial efforts to undermine union rights, part of a national assault on worker rights. A few unions have also begun running public education ads, but their sources are not kept hidden from public view; union dues are used for collective bargaining and union members can choose to make a separate donation to a Committee on Public Education fund for advertising. The total amount of anti-union spending in the works by groups funded by corporations or corporate CEOs or their foundations is unknown. What is known is that many such groups hide behind tax provisions that allow them to keep the identities of their major funders secret, insulating from public scrutiny the wealthy financial interests they are fronting and that are largely bankrolling their general operations.

Think Progress: Blogger From Koch’s Law Firm Defends Koch, Doesn’t Disclose Ties

March 3, 2011- Fighting back against public scrutiny, Koch Industries is relying on a small army of conservative bloggers, reporters, and lobbyists. Chief among them is John Hinderaker, a blogger at the “Powerline Blog.” However, in his now daily defense of the Koch brothers, Hinderaker has failed to disclose that his law firm counts Koch Industries as a major client.

Hinderaker has been on the war path defending Koch. He has tasked himself with sniping at ThinkProgress posts, spending the last few weeks defending forced-abortion lobbyist and Koch operative Tim Phillips, celebrating Koch’s self-interested propaganda against climate change science, and generally making juvenile swipes at yours truly, including posting my picture and calling me a “high school student.” In a bizarre rant defending “what a great company Koch Enterprises is,” Hinkeraker even claims ThinkProgress is being paid “millions of dollars by left-wing billionaires” to report on Koch Industries. But here’s what he didn’t say:

Wonkette: Earth-Raping Dictator-Supporting House GOP Brings Styrofoam Back

February 28, 2011- “Foamed polystyrene” is a miraculous invention that manages to be completely awful through every step of its near-eternal “life cycle” — it is manufactured with petroleum that must be imported from Middle East dictatorships, toxic “styrene oligomers” migrate into the food it holds, it’s highly flammable and produces black poisonous smoke, and most of the 25 billion polystyrene cups tossed every year will take more than half a millennium to degrade. And that’s why the Republican-led House of Representatives made it an immediate priority to cancel the House cafeteria’s four years of biodegradable food and beverage packaging. It’s part of the GOP leadership’s “return to the mid-1990s” program. Nancy Pelosi sure was a yucky woman trying to do some sane environmentally-minded things, wasn’t she? Thank the American Jesus that woman is no longer in charge of anything. A disgusted House staffer has shared the following eyewitness report with your Wonkette.

Think Progress: Koch Fight: Join Our Effort To Expose The Billionaire Brothers’ Far-Right Agenda

March 3, 2011- Over the last three years at ThinkProgress, we’ve made the Koch brothers and their far-right agenda famous. Now we’ve got their attention. A senior Koch executive recently complained to the National Review that ThinkProgress is leading an “orchestrated campaign” against Koch and vowed to fight back against us.

So, a few days ago we launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $10,000 in five days. We blew through that goal in less than four hours.

In response, the Koch-funded machine lashed out at ThinkProgress, using its vast corporate and political communication networks to promote insulting, ad hominem attacks. John Hinderaker of the far-right PowerLine blog called ThinkProgress “helpless wretches,” “ignorant kids” and “driven entirely by prejudice.” His writings were then broadcast by the official Koch Industries Twitter feed.

What neither Koch nor Hinderaker reveal is that Hinderaker’s law firm, Faegre & Benson, represents Koch Industries.

Talking Points Memo: Fox News Presents Mayhem In Madison

March 3, 2011- Let's say you run a major cable network with a partisan bent and the news of the day turns to a large protest in America's most liberal capital.

This wouldn't normally be a problem. You have a ton of resources and a staff that's met the challenge of covering large crowds repeatedly over the last couple years — including those gathered by one of your own anchors.

But the challenge is different this time. Now we're talking Madison, Wisconsin — tens of thousands of protesters whose views you abhor and whose goals you want to undermine. Your task this time is to highlight the dark underbelly of protest movements — the street violence and intimidation that sometimes mark public rebellions against the government.

Unfortunately for you, this particular protest, though enormous, is completely peaceful. What do you do?

Enter Mike Tobin, Fox News' man on the ground in Madison.

Reuters: Wisconsin lawmakers are talking compromise

March 3, 2011- Absent senate Democrats in Wisconsin are talking with the majority Republicans about possible compromises aimed at ending a stalemate over a bill to strip public sector unions of bargaining rights.

In a telephone interview with his hometown Green Bay Press-Gazette, Democratic Senator Dave Hansen said negotiations on a compromise to bring the senators back for a vote may involve preserving some union bargaining rights.

One area under discussion would allow unions to continue to negotiate on workplace safety issues and another might extend the interval between union recertification votes to two years from every year, Hansen told the newspaper.

"I'm disappointed they wouldn't give us that one (the safety issue) out of hand. It makes as much sense as anything. But we continue to discuss it and hopefully soon we'll come to an agreement," Hansen told the Press-Gazette.

"I know we won't get all that we want, but we're trying to get as much as we can."

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