Six-Figure Ad Buy for GOP Recall Candidates
Wisconsinites See Why 'David Koch' Was Told 'Thanks a Million!' By
Walker During Prank Call As Pro-Republican AFP Spending Tops $500,000
in Wisconsin This Year
Madison – Americans for Prosperity, the organization funded by big oil
billionaires David and Charles Koch, has just purchased over $150,000 in
television ad time for Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee in what could be a new
wave of spending to try and save the six Republican state Senators who are
being recalled for their support of Gov. Scott Walker's reckless attacks on public
education, health care, workers' rights and the middle class. This is in addition to
$380,000 Americans for Prosperity previously spent this year to support Walker's
"The granddaddy of corporate, big oil special interest money has turned on the
money pipeline in a new six-figure bid to save Scott Walker's Senate majority,"
said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "The Koch Brothers'
Americans for Prosperity has now dumped over $500,000 to pollute Wisconsin
airwaves about the failed agenda of Scott Walker and the Senate Republicans –
and they may just be getting started."
Gov. Scott Walker was roundly-criticized when just days after unveiling his
scheme to end the rights of 175,000 Wisconsin workers, he was pranked in a
recorded phone call from someone he thought was David Koch. Walker not only
admitted during the call his team considered sending agitators to cause trouble
during the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol, but also told "Koch" he
needed the group to come and spend money in the state, saying:
...they 're going to need a message out reinforcing why this was a good thing to
do for the economy a good thing to do for the state so the extent that message is
out over and over again, that's obviously, that's obviously a good thing.
Americans for Prosperity emerged as the most powerful of all of the groups fueling the
so-called Tea Party movement and has spent in excess of $65 million since 2008,
including $40 million in 2010 when Republicans seized power of numerous state
legislatures and Gubernatorial seats, including Wisconsin – which went from having a
Democratic governor and Democratic-controlled Senate and Assembly to complete
Governor Walker and the Republican legislature have put protections for clean air and
water in the crosshairs of their pro-corporate agenda. This is particularly helpful for Koch
Industries, which owns Georgia Pacific, a company that has contributed nearly 10
percent of all phosphorus pollution in the Lower Fox River basin, according to a
government report released in June 2010. Koch pipelines in Wisconsin over the past two
decades have leaked 160,000 gallons of oil and gasoline, which is particularly
problematic in a state like Wisconsin, where 70 percent of residents rely on groundwater
as their drinking source.
In the final weeks of the campaign, a new shadowy group with strong ties to Americans
for Prosperity spent approximately $1 million to re-elect pro-Walker Supreme Court
Justice David Prosser in April 2011. After the election, the head of the state Americans
for Prosperity chapter bragged about the group's effort in the campaign's waning days to
help Prosser win by the slimmest margin in any recent Supreme Court race. Prosser not
only cast the deciding vote to uphold Walker's attack on collective bargaining, but also
joined the Court's majority in overturning a "lower court decision allowing a public
challenge to the permit giving Koch's Georgia Pacific plants more leeway in dumping
phosphorus into waterways." [ThinkProgress, 4/13/11; Slate, 6/17/11]
"The Koch pipeline has opened up once again for Scott Walker and his Republican
Senate," said Ross. "But it's the attacks by Scott Walker and his Republican Senate
lapdogs on the middle class, education, health care and workers rights that are fueling
the historic recalls and rejection of the Walker-GOP pro-corporate agenda."
# # #
One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective
earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.
onewisconsinnow.org, Fri Jul 29 2011