VIDEO: Koch Industries Stomps on Wisconsin Unions in Governor Walker's Boots
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: 'Shoutout to the Kochs--I know you're watchin'!'
Over the last couple days, the complimentary agendas of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and Koch Industries to attack unions and state employees has been increasingly observed, explored, and revealed. Here is the condensed story of Gov. Walker’s and the Koch brothers’ union busting in Wisconsin, which will be updated as more relevant information surfaces:
- Koch Industries invests $43,000 in Gov. Walker’s 2010 election campaign, as well as donating $1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association, which in turn spends $3.4 million on attack ads against Walker’s opponents and another $65,000 on efforts to support Walker.
- Walker wins the gubernatorial race, and quickly cuts corporate taxes, benefiting large businesses in the state, including subsidiaries of Koch Industries.
- Advised by the Koch- and Exxon-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, Walker adopts the strategy of fabricating a budget crisis and calls for emergency mitigation. The state fiscal bureau denies this emergency, claiming the fiscal year could still end with a surplus, but Walker takes advantage of the crisis he created to strip labor unions of all bargaining rights except over salaries, which he plans to cut.
- Unions attempt to negotiate with Walker by agreeing to almost all of his concessions to avoid the loss of collective bargaining rights. Walker refuses. The only labor unions exempted from the law's attacks are those which supported Walker’s bid for Governor [video].
- Governor Walker’s bill includes a hidden provision to sell state energy assets to private contractors without legally mandated bids, opening up major opportunities for energy companies in a way that could provide less income to the state. Koch Industries happens to be a major energy conglomerate.
- Koch Industries watches as protests erupt over the serious threat of union disarmament, and Democratic legislators leave the state to stall the initiative. Americans for Prosperity (founded, governed and heavily financed by the Kochs) publicly backs Scott Walker.
Governor Walker threatens layoffs for 1,500 public employees by July, 2011, the Koch brothers are reminded of recently laying off 25% of their work force in a Green Bay Georgia-Pacific plant.