Generation Opportunity (Gen Opp), a "nonpartisan" youth group funded by the Koch brothers "Freedom Partners" conduit, is backing one of the Koch's favorite politicians and thanking him for his support for a Koch-approved ALEC model bill.
The Arlington, Virginia, astroturf group recently asked Wisconsinites to sign a petition thanking Governor Scott Walker for signing "The CASE for Jobs Act." The tweets signal that the group is trying to capture names in Wisconsin perhaps for use in the election cycle. As CMD previously reported, the group has been spending big money in federal races for the U.S. Senate.
The tweets from @GenOppWI went viral on Twitter, but not for the reasons the group would have hoped. Rather, Wisconsinites reacted viscerally to the call to thank Wisconsin's governor for making progress on jobs. Read the rest of this item here.
For months, supporters of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have insisted the John Doe criminal probe into his 2012 campaign is "baseless," because the alleged coordination under investigation did not involve ads that expressly told viewers to elect Walker or vote against his opponent. As long as an ad doesn't include such express advocacy, Walker and his allies have claimed, it is beyond the reach of Wisconsin campaign finance law.
The Wisconsin Republican Party has just taken the opposite position.
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) poses as an independent science-based organization devoted to outing "junk science," but consumer advocates have called it "a consumer front organization for its business backers" that "glove[s] the hand that feeds it."
The majority of ACSH's funds have come from corporations and major foundations, but a new review of its funding sources by The Progressive Inc.'s Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reveals that some of the hands that feed the group that bashes people concerned about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemicals used in factory farming, for example, are those of the Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, through the Koch family fortune. Koch Industries profits from petroleum products like ammonia fertilizers and other agribusiness-related operations.
Newly-obtained documents show that the billionaire Koch brothers' political giving is much more expansive than has previously been known.
In addition to the hundreds of millions flowing into politics by way of the Kochs' network of foundations and funding vehicles like Freedom Partners, David Koch writes millions of dollars in personal checks to political organizations every year, and funds from the Koch Industries corporate treasury are used to bankroll the right-wing infrastructure the Kochs have developed. Koch Industries, the company David runs with his brother Charles, is the second-largest privately-held company in the country.
On Friday, July 18, thousands of people marched through downtown Detroit to call attention to a major public health crisis as the city shuts off the water for residents who are behind on their bills.
Chanting, “Fight! Fight! Fight! Water is a human right!” and “Whose water? Our water!” about 5,000 Detroit residents and allies from across the country—including many who were in town for the annual Netroots Nation blogger conference—marched from the Cobo convention center to Hart Plaza near the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
Old R&B tuned blared from a mobile sound truck hired by National Nurses United, as a large, multiracial crowd gathered, carrying signs that said “Water is a human right” “Turn on the Water” and “Tax Wall Street”. Read the rest of this item here.
If Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate this year, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), a lawmaker famous for his belief that the entire body of climate science research is a "hoax," will take control of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees matters relating to pollution and environmental problems.
So it should be little surprise then that Inhofe made an appearance by video last week at the Heartland Institute, a think tank famous for peddling big business-friendly viewpoints on behalf of corporate sponsors, during a conference for climate change skeptics. The group, like Inhofe's political action committee, is funded through hefty donations from the oil and gas industry. Inhofe's speech came during the lunch session led by Christopher Monckton, a British pundit famous for his outlandish views, including the belief that AIDS patients should be "quarantined." Read the rest of this item here.
Supporters of Gov. Scott Walker have been working hard in recent weeks to conjure up excuses to dismiss the John Doe campaign finance probe.
Now, Walker's allies are acknowledging that the probe is grounded in Wisconsin law, but are claiming that prosecutors are enforcing a "zombie law" — allegedly rendered unenforceable by the U.S. Supreme Court — that the Walker campaign was purportedly free to ignore. Read the rest of this item here.
One of the many outrageous aspects of the U.S. Supreme Court's McCutcheon v. FEC decision is how blatantly it served the interests of the very wealthiest. After all, the plaintiff, Shaun McCutcheon, was complaining that his free speech rights were being infringed because he was prohibited from spending more than $123,200 in aggregate direct contributions to politicians.
But who in America can afford to spend that much? Read the rest of this item here.
New documents indicate that just weeks after the first subpoenas were issued in Wisconsin's "John Doe" criminal campaign finance probe in October 2013, senate Republicans had begun working to change state law to legalize the activities under investigation.
On an almost daily basis, Miley Cyrus can be seen in grocery store lines on the cover of entertainment magazines and gossip rags. But now Cyrus is appearing in one place you might not have expected – on a billboard in Los Angeles denouncing higher wages.
The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), whose president is Richard Berman, the infamous PR flak dubbed "Dr. Evil" by 60 Minutes, reportedly purchased the image of Cyrus for a billboard attacking California's $9 minimum wage. Apparently, Berman's clients think that nine bucks an hour is just too much money for folks in Los Angeles, where the cost of living is skyrocketing.
The 72-year-old Berman may not know what twerking means, but he certainly knows how to exploit young people to advance his corporate agenda. Read the rest of this item here.
Grom Social, a new social media site for kids, is bursting with cuteness and commercial appeal—from the freckled 13-year-old listed as its founder, Zach Marks, to the cheerful cartoon characters on the site.
During a lunch-time presentation at Freedom Fest 2014 in Las Vegas, Zach's dad Darren explained that Grom not only allows kids to connect with friends and learn valuable lessons, it promotes a wholesome anti-bullying message and is safe, since parents monitor every click. But, best of all, according to Darren Marks, Grom is poised to cash in big by marketing products to children and parents alike, and by transforming public-education funds into profits for investors.
Walmart is in talks with Grom about advertising, the senior Marks told prospective investors in Las Vegas this month. And, the site will soon be pushing products using the subtly persuasive art of product placement and its cast of adorable cartoon avatar characters. Launched eighteen months ago, Grom has grown to more than a half million users. It is "an advertiser's dream,” Darren Marks said in Las Vegas.
The Kochs' Anti-Civil Rights Roots: New Docs Expose Charles Koch's Ties to John Birch Society
Watch the Video!
The Progressive magazine and Center for Media and Democracy have released new documents that show billionaire oil industrialist Charles Koch was an active member of the controversial right-wing John Birch Society during its campaigns against the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Charles Koch was following in the footsteps of his father, Fred Koch, a leader of the John Birch Society from its founding. Watch Lisa Graves talk about her new article, "The Koch Cartel: Their Reach, Their Reactionary Agenda and Their Record." Read the article here.
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Excerpt from a longer SourceWatch article on Freedom Partners:
Freedom Partners, formally known as the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce (and previously the Association for American Innovation), describes itself as a "nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(6) chamber of commerce that promotes the benefits of free markets and a free society."Koch Industries issued a press release stating that Freedom Partners is legally separate from the corporation. Politico describes the group as "the Koch brothers secret bank." Additionally, a document discovered after the winter 2014 donor meeting revealed extensive one-on-one meetings between donors and "representatives of the political, corporate, and philanthropic wings of Kochworld."
Raising $256 million during the 2012 election cycle, it served as a "de facto bank" in the $400 million Koch network by "feeding money to groups downstream." It is run by former top AFP strategist Alan Cobb and wages "a behind-the-scenes push in state capitols for reforms consistent with the brothers’ small-government, free-enterprise philosophy, including possibly curbing union power and abolishing income taxes."
The Association for American Innovation was chartered as a Delaware corporation on November 2, 2011, according to Bizpedia.
Deceitful Campaign Advertising
"Pants on Fire" Attack Ad Against Rep. Bruce Braley
Freedom Partners aired this untruthul attack ad against Rep. Bruce Braley that was rated by fact-checkers as "pants on fire"
On April 8, 2014, Freedom Partners began a $1.1 million advertising campaign against Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) that ran for three weeks. The ad claims that Braley took "tens of thousands from his friends in the health insurance industry" and gave them "special favors" by voting for the Affordable Care Act. Fact checkers determined that Braley has received "$20,500 from health insurance sources...about $2,000 for every year he’s served in Congress" and total "insurance donations account for less than 1 percent of all the cash Braley has raised during his political career."
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of the award-winning ALECexposed.org, launched OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org, a web resource devoted to helping taxpayers identify the corporations seeking to privatize public assets and services in their communities: including their schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, court systems, and more.
Outsourcing America Exposed
CMD has unveiled corporate profiles of America’s most notorious corporations that are quietly working with state and local lawmakers to take over public services with little accountability, along with in-depth examinations of the CEOs personally profiting from this corporate coup.
The National Restaurant Association, the “Other NRA,” represents giant fast food chains like McDonald’s, Darden, and Taco Bell. NRA is a member of ALEC and a leader in the effort to stop minimum wage increases and paid sick leave ordinances.
"Sinquefield is one of the top right-wing political funders in the country, and the single top political spender in Missouri, where he has spent at least $31.5 million since 2006 seeking to reshape Missouri laws, legislators, and policies according to his own ideological mold," said co-author Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy/The Progressive.
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