Leaky Koch Disease
So an insider has unceremoniously dumped a number of internal documents from the Heartland Institute, a Koch front group. And it's a doozy. People are making a fuss over the "controversy" based climate denialism, but that's so obvious, it's not what intrigued me. Skimmed over one doc so far. After a fairly entertaining couple of grafs tying together fracking, anti-net neutrality, charter schools, untested pharma, and tort "reform", they got to talking about Wisconsin...
C. Operation Angry Badger [*snicker* sounds dirty!]
Wisconsin was the focus of national attention due to recall campaigns waged in 2011, and campaigns are taking place in 2012 against Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and three Republican senators who voted for Act 10, the landmark collective bargaining reform legislation adopted in 2011. We have been following the Wisconsin debate closely, reporting on it in Budget & Tax News, commenting in op-eds and LTEs and on blogs, doing television and radio interviews, and sending research and commentary to elected officials in Wisconsin and nationally.
The recall elections of 2012 amount to a referenda on collective bargaining reform at the state level, making them of national interest. Successful recalls would be a major setback to the national effort to rein in public sector compensation and union power. Heartland is the largest and most influential national free-market think tank in the Midwest, so we are in the right place and with the right resources to help defend and secure Wisconsin’s recent gains.
So I guess that means Scott Walker's claim that this was all about balancing budgets was in fact a fucking lie? Funny how these guys will admit that and the SCLM won't, eh?
We are contemplating five projects:
1. Recruit and promote superintendents who support Act 10
2. Explain the benefits of Act 10
3. Document the shortcomings of public schools in Wisconsin
4. Expose teacher pay in key districts
5. Create blogs that shadow small town newspaper coverage of the controversy
You don't say! Why, it's almost as if the right-wing blogosphere is one big astroturf farm! Speaking of, who's the farmer? (Also, why do I suspect these "small town newspapers" sprang up last month?)
We anticipate that this project will cost about $612,000. Maureen Martin, Heartland’s legal counsel, with be the chief researcher and writer for this project. The anonymous donor has pledged $100,000 toward this project. We are circulating a proposal to other potential funders.
Damn, it costs that much to "recruit" a few superintendents? Interesting. Maybe those are just some expensive-ass blogs. Anyway, I wonder if Maureen Martin would be willing to reveal exactly which blogs she is maintaining as "chief writer"?
Well, gang, I'm gonna print these out and curl up in bed with a highlighter. This is gonna be loads of fun.
Oh, and there's a page with the emails and phone numbers of their entire Board of Directors, which I'll just leave here...