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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Koch Brothers' End Game in Wisconsin: take over state-owned power plants for pennies

Oh my, we got ourselves quite a tail-wagging going on in Wisconsin. You are thinking, what? This is about collective bargaining and workers' rights!
Bullshit. You are being wagged.
As always this has to do with money, and the union "compromise" coming down the pipe was set up to be the "booby" prize while the Koch Brothers get their "booty" prize. This is all being well-orchestrated with an end game that has absolutely nothing to do with unions.
As I said in comments before, to much bewilderment, this is about power plants and a vertical monopoly the Kock Brothers have their eye on in Wisconsin.
So in short:
1) Koch Brothers get their puppet Governor Walker in power
2) Governor Walker gins up a crisis
3) Democrats and Progressives take the bait and counter-protest on collective bargaining
4) Governor Walker will compromise on collective bargaining if the rest of the budget is passed as is
5) Bill passes, with trojan horse give-a-way to the Koch Brothers nested in
6) Koch Brothers will buy Wisconsin state-owned power plants for pennies on the dollar in closed unsolicitated bids for which there will be no oversight
7) Koch Brothers get the best vertical monopoly in a generation

First off, before we talk about how this going to play out, because I have seen this same game tape, let's talk about why the Koch Brothers would have made Governor Walker their Manchurian Candidate.
When you are calling bullshit on such a grand scale as I, it takes extraordinary evidence.
So let's first state that the Koch Brothers placed their puppet Walker into power.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Funded by the Koch Bros.
By Andy Kroll, Mother Jones
According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker's gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. That donation was his campaign's second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin. The Koch's PAC also helped Walker via a familiar and much-used politicial maneuver designed to allow donors to skirt campaign finance limits. The PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent $65,000 on independent expenditures to support Walker. The RGA also spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker's opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Walker ended up beating Barrett by 5 points. The Koch money, no doubt, helped greatly.
Thanks to Kochs' poodles on the Supreme Court, this sort of activity is now legal. Poor Tom DeLay, bet he feels stupid for bribing the wrong people. Anyway, through the use of propaganda and corporate influence, the Kochs' money got their pigeon into the Governor's office.
Now here is where it gets tricky. Right now everyone thinks this is about collective bargaining and the rights of the worker, especially to assemble.
This is what these two Kochs want you to think. See, they are ginning up a great big whole controversy to hide something deep in the bill that they think no one will notice.
See, Governor Walker is going to back down on collective bargaining at the end of the day, if the Democrats will just "compromise" and pass the rest of the budget as is. The Democratic Party will view it as a success in policy and Progressives the land over will be doing a victory dance.
The Kochs will be laughing at you all, because they just played y'all like a fiddle.
See, when you think you won, this will get passed:
State of Wisconsin
Bottom of Page 23:
SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling,
and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the
department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may
contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without
solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best
interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or
certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to
purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is
considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification
of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
There are two big whoppers in this section, which is passing through the zeitgeist like ships in the night.
It will allow the Koch Brothers to buy or contract to operate state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants in Wisconsin without a solicitation of bids.
This is what it is about at the end of the day, and their puppet, Governor Walker, is ready to sell the Koch Brothers the state-owned utility system of Wisconsin for pennies on the dollar for his paymasters.
Governor Walker has intentionally muddied the waters concerning unions to muddy waters hoping no one will see the wholescale give-a-way of the state-owned public infrastructure to private interests.
Not only that, they are trying to redefine "public interest"! Who gets to decide? Not the public, Governor Walker by fiat!
Now combine that with the Koch Brothers' existing operations in Wisconsin:
# Flint Hills Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, is a leading refining and chemicals company. Its subsidiaries market products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol, olefins, polymers and intermediate chemicals, as well as base oils and asphalt. A subsidiary distributes refined fuel through its strategically located pipelines and terminals in Junction City, Waupun, Madison and Milwaukee. Another subsidiary manufactures asphalt that is distributed to terminals in Green Bay and Stevens Point.
# Koch Pipeline Company, L.P. operates a pipeline system that crosses Wisconsin, part of the nearly 4,000 miles of pipelines owned or operated by the company.
# The C. Reiss Coal Company is a leading supplier of coal used to generate power. The company has locations in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan.
With an ownership of resources, distribution and generation of energy, the Koch Brothers will have a vertical monopoly that would make even Rockefeller blush!
And just imagine the profits! They investment in Walker is gonna pay out big time.
Which was the plan all along.
Now we know the end game, who is going to block it?

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