-by Louis Weisberg
June 19, 2011- A political group that promotes the corporate interests of billionaire David Koch has begun phone bank operations on behalf of Republican state senators targeted for recall in Wisconsin.
Huffington Post reported that 10 volunteers were making phone calls to Wisconsin yesterday on behalf of Koch’s group Americans for Prosperity. The phone bank was part of the weekend’s RightOnline conference in Minneapolis.
Koch, who gave Scott Walker’s (pictured) gubernatorial campaign $43,000 in direct contributions and funneled much more to Walker and other Wisconsin GOP candidates in 2010 through various groups, expects to receive millions of dollars worth of no-bid Wisconsin government contracts for his Koch Industries. Koch Industries is also in line to gain ownership of vital resources currently held by the state.
A key component of Koch’s strategy is incapacitating state agencies so they will be unable to provide services that Koch industries can then come in and perform at a profit. The elimination of collective bargaining rights for government unions in Wisconsin was part of Koch’s strategy to achieve this aim.
But if Democrats retake control of the state Senate through this summer’s recall elections, it could interrupt Koch’s agenda. That’s why Americans for Prosperity is gearing up to spend millions of dollars defending GOP senators in the state through phone banks, campaign ads and any other tactic that Koch’s money can buy.
Huffington Post reported that the recall elections in Wisconsin were a central issue at both RightOnline, held at the Minneapolis Hilton, and Netroots, its progressive counterpart held at the city’s convention center.
Republicans in Wisconsin recently announced they are putting up phony Democratic candidates in the recall elections in July to force a costly fake primary race. That will delay the actual recall election for about a moth. The result is that Wisconsin politics are likely to remain in the national spotlight for most of the summer.
The fake elections staged by Republicans will cost local governments in Wisconsin, which have already been decimated by Walker’s budget, an estimated $400,000.