Wisconsin dictator “governor” Scott Walker is a man after the Koch Brothers’ own heart. He is dedicated to destroying labor and education, believes that the rich should own and control everything, and that there should be no environmental rules or regulations. To Walker, nothing – even the threat of natural or man-made disaster – should stand in the way of commerce, particularly if that commerce can enrich the 1% at the expense of everyone else. Walker is not above lying and obfuscating – and he can be bought more easily than a Las Vegas prostitute.
Small wonder that Their Royal Majesties, Kings Charles and David Koch, have chosen Walker to become their White House puppet. Working through their network of corporate donors (a number of which are masquerading as “non-profits” in order to avoid scrutiny), the Koch Brothers are preparing to bet their entire $900 million war chest on Walker.
In a way, this should come as no surprise. Walker was a featured speaker at two major Koch-sponsored events this year: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Summit in January, and a conference with the name of “Unleashing Our Free Society,” held in early August.
Before that, the Kochs backed Walker’s initial run for the Wisconsin governor’s seat as well as his reelection campaign. Tim Phillips, who presides over the Koch-sponsored right-wing advocacy group, “Americans for Prosperity,” lauds Walker’s record: “The difference Scott Walker has made with his policy achievements is as transformative as any governor anywhere in a generation.” When the people of Wisconsin got fed up with Walker’s agenda and began pushing back, Koch Industries had Tea Party counter-protesters bused in to support Walker and his vicious war against collective bargaining and union labor. Another Koch-sponsored group, the “Club for Growth,” ran attack ads against labor unions, while Americans for Prosperity put up an anti-union Internet site at StandWithWalker.com. During the attempted recall election in 2012, the Kochs stepped in with their millions, rigging the process and ensuring their lapdog would remain in the governor’s office. In appreciation, Walker began gutting environmental regulations on behalf of Koch Industries and its subsidiaries, allowing them to pour massive amounts of pollutants into Wisconsin’s waterways.
Throughout his tenure as governor of the Badger State, Walker has taken his marching orders from the Koch Brothers. Now, having seen the success of their corporatist agenda play out in Wisconsin, the Koch Brothers are preparing to take it to the national level – and they’re ready to drop almost $1 billion in order to see it happen. King David Koch has been enthusiastic. In 2012, he publicly praised his lapdog to a Florida newspaper, saying that “What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important…he’s an impressive guy, and he’s very courageous.”
However, though Walker recently won a straw poll among Koch donors, it’s not a done deal. There are a few fractures starting to appear in the relationship between Walker and Chuck and Dave. The Kochs recently issued a public statement, declaring their support for reforms of the nation’s criminal justice system. Walker, styling himself as a “get tough on crime” politician, has sponsored numerous bills to criminalize an increasing range of activities while calling for longer minimum sentences and making it more difficult for convicts to get parole. Walker is also planning to force the taxpayers of Wisconsin to cough up half of the cost for a new $500 million basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. The local chapter of Americans for Prosperity, surprisingly, has been outspoken in its criticism of the idea.
The issue of the stadium may very well wind up being Walker’s Achilles’ Heel. Use of public taxpayer funds to finance venues for professional sports team is one of the few issues upon which liberals and conservatives find some measure of agreement. Although a few Wisconsin Republicans are supporting Walker in his proposal, the majority of GOP lawmakers are not.
It appears at the moment that the Kochs are ready to support Walker. However, the fact that they are at odds over the key issue of criminal justice reform as well as taxpayer subsidies for professional sports franchises could very well change their minds, straw polls notwithstanding.