Daily Archives: April 14, 2011

People For the American Way: Issa’s Sham Hearings: Brought to You by the Koch Brothers

For Immedate Release: 04/13/11:

Issa’s Sham Hearings: Brought to You by the Koch Brothers

On Thursday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA), will hold a hearing on state and municipal debt.  Parading a roster of ultra-conservative ideologues including Gov. Scott Walker to the witness stand, Issa will attempt to prove that the best way to move America forward is to deny hard-earned benefits to working Americans and their families in order to preserve tax breaks and other benefits for corporations and the wealthy.  In fact, his hearings are more likely to provide further evidence of the massive influence corporate money has on our democracy, specifically the power of Charles and David Koch, who have lavished financial support on Chaiman Issa, committee members and witnesses.

Wisconsin State Journal: State investigating vote irregularities in Waukesha County going back 5 years

April 14, 2011- The state's investigation into vote irregularities in Waukesha County will stretch back at least five years, the head of the Government Accountability Board said Thursday.

Questions over vote totals in Waukesha have lingered over the last week, after County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced she failed to report more than 14,000 votes from the city of Brookfield in initial vote totals.

The new total gave incumbent Supreme Court Justice David Prosser a lead of about 7,000 votes over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg in the hotly contested state Supreme Court race. Official results in that race have not yet been announced.

Now questions have emerged over Nickolaus' published vote counts from as far back as the fall of 2006, when there were key statewide elections including races for governor and attorney general.

"This is part of what we're looking into. We have a lot of complaints," said Kevin Kennedy, the director and general counsel for GAB. "It's part of our investigation."

CNN: Independent groups expected to rake in hundreds of millions

April 14, 2011- As President Barack Obama kicks off the 2012 money race with a series of well-publicized re-election fundraisers in Chicago, Democratic operatives are quietly crisscrossing the nation to raise big money for new independent expenditure groups.

All told, these Democratic third-party groups aim to raise up to $200 million in outside money — that's in addition to the $1 billion Obama's fundraisers set as their campaign goal. The number and size of the independent expenditure groups ballooned last year, thanks in part a Supreme Court ruling that allows unlimited contributions by corporations.

There is some irony here: Obama has denounced these secretive third-party groups as tools of "powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans." But now Democrats say, after they were trounced in the 2010 midterm elections by GOP-aligned third-party groups — including those founded by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers — they have no choice but to join them.

Talking Points Memo: WI GOP Senator: Supreme Court Race ‘Took The Wind Out’ Of Union Sails

April 12, 2011- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told a gaggle of bloggers at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday that the controversial results of the state Supreme Court race in the Badger State surprised him, and indicate that Wisconsin isn't as pro-union as the thousands who gathered in and around the state capitol in Madison during the collective bargaining fight might want to think.

He also said that the battle between pro and anti-collective bargaining sides during the budget fight last month was much uglier than has been reported, with unknown leftist "thuggery" leading many state legislators to be "intimidated."

Johnson, who replaced Sen. Russ Feingold (D) in the Senate in the Republican sweep of the Wisconsin ballot in 2010, said that the apparent defeat of liberal Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenberg will significantly slow the roll of unions as they attempt to stop Republicans across the country from passing laws they don't like.

"I was pretty depressed," Johnson said, describing his mood on April 6 morning when it looked like Kloppenberg had won by the slimmest of margins.

The Nation: Scandal in Fitzwalkerstan: Top Donor Pleads Guilty in Money-Laundering Scheme to Aid Governor Walker

April 12, 2011- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker claims the state is broke. That, he says, is why it is necessary to enact draconian anti-labor laws and to restructure state government to dramatically increase the governor’s power.

Yet, despite the supposed financial crisis, Walker gave back $810 million in federal high-speed railroad transportation funding.

The governor must really hate trains, right?

Wrong.

The governor, who today celebrates his 100th day in office, likes some trains. He likes some trains a lot. For instance, despite all of Walker’s claims about a fiscal crisis, the new governor’s administration has already found $14 million for the Wisconsin & Southern railroad corporation. The money, most of what was distributed from the state’s Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP) grants, will be used to preserve and upgrade freight rail infrastructure.

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