Saturday, June 13, 2015

Scott Walker: Busting Unions "Because He Could"

In today's New York Times, Joe Nocera looks at the union-busting record of Koch brothers employee of the year Gov. Scott "Koch Head" Walker (R-Kochland), with links to recent articles in the New York Times Magazine by Dan Kaufman and in Washington Monthly by Donald Kettl.  All point to why the lightweight Walker could be such a dangerous person in the White House (spoiler alert: he won't get there):
The fact that Wisconsin has historically been strongly pro-union — indeed, the largest public services employee union, AFSCME, was founded in Madison in 1932 — only makes Walker’s triumphs that much more impressive to his fellow Republicans. This is something Walker will undoubtedly highlight if he runs for president. As he put it in his 2013 book, “Unintimidated,” “If we can do it in Wisconsin, we can do it anywhere — even in our nation’s capital.”

As for the right-to-work law, [Dan] Kaufman points out that Wisconsin’s law was “a virtual copy of a 1995 model bill promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council” — A.L.E.C. — whose conservative backers include Charles and David Koch.

The Koch brothers are staunchly anti-union, of course, and they have supported Walker in both of his gubernatorial races. Their oil baron father, in fact, was an early and enthusiastic supporter of right-to-work legislation, helping to get it passed in Kansas in 1958. They have said they will spend some $900 million on the 2016 elections. At an April fund-raiser, according to The Times, David Koch is reported to have said that Walker would be the Republican nominee. As Kaufman nicely puts it, passing Act 10 was his “audition” for potential big money backers like the Kochs.  (our emphasis)
What makes Walker especially dangerous is not his intellect (he's a dolt), but his vindictive, gut-fighting personality and, most importantly, the powerful people pulling his strings and funding his to- be- announced campaign.  As much of a lightweight as he is, he's not to be taken lightly.  Two elections and a recall later (well done, Wisconsin!), that should be evident by now.

UPDATE:  Walker's also going after the University of Wisconsin-Madison (and by extension the progressive Madison community) and his actions are likely to result in this renowned research university losing it's place in the top tier).

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