Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Scott Walker's (Latest) Dark Money Scandal

Investigative reporter Mike Isikoff has been looking into the "dark money" that has gone to Koch brothers employee of the year Gov. Scott "Koch Head" Walker (R-Kochland) and has found someone competing with the Koch's for Walker's attention (h/t Charles Pierce):
John Menard Jr. is widely known as the richest man in Wisconsin. A tough-minded, staunchly conservative 75-year-old billionaire, he owns a highly profitable chain of hardware stores throughout the Midwest. He’s also famously publicity-shy — rarely speaking in public or giving interviews.
So a little more than three years ago, when Menard wanted to back Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — and help advance his pro-business agenda — he found the perfect way to do so without attracting any attention: He wrote more than $1.5 million in checks to a pro-Walker political advocacy group that pledged to keep its donors secret, three sources directly familiar with the transactions told Yahoo News.
Menard’s previously unreported six-figure contributions to the Wisconsin Club for Growth — a group that spent heavily to defend Walker during a bitter 2012 recall election — seem to have paid off for the businessman and his company. In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records.
And in his five years in office, Walker’s appointees have sharply scaled back enforcement actions by the state Department of Natural Resources — a top Menard priority. The agency had repeatedly clashed with Menard and his company under previous governors over citations for violating state environmental laws and had levied a $1.7 million fine against Menard personally, as well as his company, for illegally dumping hazardous wastes.
It's long but very interesting reading.  Isikoff has a reputation as a dogged pursuer, so we can only hope he will be on Scotty like white on rice.

Menard is, to say the least, a piece of shit work.  He's a throwback to the Ebeneezer Scrooge School of Management and has few moral scruples in his private life (kind of like the perfect plutocrat Republican and, therefore, a perfect bedfellow for Walker).

(Image:  Watch out, Kochs!  Scott loves him some other plutocrats, too!)

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