Friday, August 07, 2015

Koch Plutocracy Overlooks Scott Walker's Fiscal Incompetence And Criminal Behavior


The Koch brothers have pledged to spend nearly a billion dollars on the elections this year-- and no one in their right mind thinks it's because they are public-spirited. They want to capture the government and use it to further enrich themselves and their class. They apparently didn't learn the lessons of the French Revolution. They have a candidate for the presidency, though, anti-union fanatic and hollow intellectual dullard Scott Walker, the most eager among the GOP to play the role of puppet. 

I'm a little surprised, though, that the Kochs and their network are embracing Walker so thoroughly in light of his fiscal fecklessness, not just in terms of state government-- more on that below-- but in his own terrible spending habits. Walker has racked up over $20,000 in extremely costly credit-card debt, credit-card debt that comes with a horrifying and completely irresponsible 27% interest rate. That may be pocket change for the Koch network billionaires, but you'd think they'd be wary of someone so incapable of guiding his family finances. They aren't-- and Walker won their straw poll in Orange County last weekend.
In a closed-door session that included about 100 donors, Republican pollster Frank Luntz asked donors to clap to indicate their choice for the Republican Party’s nomination. While Luntz did not formally track or announce the results, sources say it was clear that Walker got the most applause, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who received roughly the same amount of applause. The next most applause was for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Most of the remaining candidates received only a smattering of applause, though one source confirmed that not a single donor clapped for South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham or former New York Gov. George Pataki. Luntz even made a joke about how quiet the room was.

...[D]espite the limited donor-sample, the poll results are notable, and could provide a boost to Walker. While the super PAC boosting his campaign raised an impressive $20 million, including big checks from many Koch network donors, it lagged far behind the super PAC dedicated to boosting Bush, the field’s fundraising leader.

For Walker, the high-dollar fundraising gap “is a problem, but what can you do, except give a great performance at the debates?” said Minnesota media billionaire Stan Hubbard, a Walker supporter, who has attended past Koch donor gatherings but skipped the one in Dana Point. He said the gatherings-- known in conservative political circles as “seminars”-- present a major opportunity for super PAC fundraising “because there will be a huge accumulation of money, that’s why.”

Some of the most sought-after uncommitted donors were among attendees at the full gathering, including the Koch brothers and Amway co-founder Rich DeVos, while Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson was represented by a political adviser.

...Though Walker has won support for his past political efforts-- particularly his fights against Wisconsin’s public sector unions-- from Koch-backed groups and many of their donors, his straw poll win was something of a surprise.

That’s because Cruz, who was among the also-rans in the poll, had received some of the biggest applause during his Sunday presentation to the donors, while Walker’s presentation on Saturday did not exactly electrify the crowd, though it seemed generally well-received.

Walker did raise some eyebrows with his answer to a question from Allen about the Wisconsin governor’s support for $250 million in taxpayer money for a new arena for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks-- a stance anathema to the Kochs’ opposition to government intervention in the free market.

Walker argued that the Bucks provide a major economic benefit in tax revenue for Wisconsin. “If they leave, I lose that,” he said-- an answer that did not seem to placate some in attendance.

But after his speech, one donor said Walker appeared more consistent in his fiscal conservatism-- the ideology that animates the Koch network-- than his rivals.

“All the candidates waffle, but he seems to waffle the least,” said the donor.
Apparently the right-wing donors were all either ignorant of Walker's criminality or willing to give him a pass. Charles Koch may not give a damn that his puppet is a crook, but Charles Pierce sure does.
There's a nice moment that comes at the end of every investigation, whether that comes at the end of a successful trial or, as is the case here, whether the investigation dies a premature death because the entire system has been rigged through politics to kill the investigation until it is really, most sincerely, dead. That moment occurs when the principals involved release all the supporting documents behind their respective cases secure in the knowledge that nobody's paying attention any more, if they ever were at all.

They are at that most interesting point up in that Koch Industries midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, a rather obvious judicial bag job ended the investigation into the shenanigans that invariably attend any campaign conducted on behalf of Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their subsidiary. Throughout the various investigations, Walker, now running for president of the United States, insisted that he was never a target of the investigation. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, this now has been shown to be something of an exaggeration.
In a court filing made in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and two deputies, a 2011 request for search warrants indicates that investigators believed there was probable cause Walker and two associates committed felony misconduct in office while Walker's administration negotiated a lease to house the county's Department on Aging. An affidavit filed by Robert Stelter, an investigator in the Milwaukee County district attorney's office, states: "I believe that there is probable cause to believe that Scott Walker, John Hiller, and Andrew Jensen, in concert together, committed a felony, i.e., Misconduct in Public Office."
Doing something criminal while negotiating a lease is pretty much the same kind of nickel-and-dime grifting that has been a feature of Walker's entire political career. The fact that it is still a big deal in what's left of the state is a window into the good-government Wisconsin that Walker, his handlers, and his pet legislature have worked so assiduously to destroy. In other words, it's more than typical. (If you want to look at grand-illusion corruption, as opposed to simple sleight-of-hand sleaziness, the Gogebec Iron Mine is where you want to look.) Ball's in your court tonight, Megyn.
Although Walker has denied he was the subject of a criminal investigation of a real estate deal while he was Milwaukee County Executive, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that there was "probable cause to believe that Scott Walker, John Hiller and Andrew Jensen, in concert together, committed a felony."
The wide-ranging inquiry resulted in charges and convictions of six Walker aides and associates for matters that included campaigning using taxpayer resources and stealing from a veterans fund. Prosecutors did not ultimately charge anyone over the real estate deal, and they shut down the probe in March 2013.

Before closing it, they opened a second investigation into whether Walker's campaign had violated campaign finance laws by working closely with conservative groups. The state Supreme Court ended that investigation last month, concluding no laws had been broken.

Such matters aren't going to get in the way of the Koch drive to capture the U.S. government with craven political puppets like Walker (and Marco Rubio, who Sheldon Adelson insists also be on the ticket). Yesterday Jeb Bush put up an attack page comparing himself and Walker.
As Governor Of Florida, Jeb Bush Created Over 1.3 Million New Jobs And Increased The Number Of Small Businesses.
Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin Ranked Last In The Midwest In Job Growth And Broke His Pledge To Create 250,000 Jobs In His First Term.
Jeb Bush Used Taxpayer Money Responsibly, Using The Line-Item Veto Over 2,500 Times To Cut $2 Billion In State Spending.
Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Has Been Marred By Scandal-- Including Unpaid Loans And Taxpayer Funds Spent On Alcohol, iPads, College Football Tickets, And Even A Maserati.
Jeb Bush Cut Taxes Every Year He Was Governor For A Total Of $19 Billion And Grew The Budget Reserves By $8 Billion.
Scott Walker Has Pushed State Debt Payments Into The Future And Reduced The Earned Income Tax Credit.

Labels: , , ,


At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Koch Plutocracy Overlooks Scott Walker's Fiscal Incompetence And Criminal Behavior" ???

I beg to differ.

The Koch Plutocracy selected Walker precisely FOR these characteristics.

John Puma

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Puma, you expressed the actual situation of Walker as pawn of Koch Money perfectly, Walker needs high flight legal defense the Koch boys can help him with: as long as he continues his professional development as their pawn.

At 9:15 PM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I was surprised to see how lame the Koch-whore looked at the debate.

It was like he was on Quaaludes and was drooling on himself.


Post a Comment

<< Home