Since the DFP’s last article on the Koch brothers, certain events, both humorous and compelling, have involved the covert political powerhouse. A recap of the infamous duo’s past couple of weeks:
After successfully convincing secretaries and aides that he was indeed Mr. Koch, the blogger was connected to the Governor. The conversation went right to Walker’s budget repair legislation and the protests against it in the state capital. The impersonator told Walker that he considered “planting some troublemakers” (possibly with the help of Americans for Prosperity, a special interest group supported by the brothers) to damage the protestors’ image.
Scott responded by saying he had considered the same idea. After agreeing with the fake Koch’s statement that MSNBC’s Mika Brzeznski is a “real piece of ass,” Walker revealed his aspiration to defeat unions à la Reagan and the striking air traffic controllers of 1981. The fake Koch then promised, “Once you crush those bastards I’ll fly out to Cali and show you a good time.” Walker accepted this offer and claimed that his efforts are done in the name of freedom.
The phone call revealed more about Scott Walker than it did the Kochs. Still, Walker’s obvious truculence demonstrates the brothers’ influence. James Joyner of Outside the Beltway says the call “showed the extent to which politicians are beholden to campaign money.” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate noted Walker’s refusal to listen to the workers of Wisconsin while nonetheless listening to an oil billionaire. The Wisconsin Legislature has responded to the prank by introducing a bill that would prohibit misleading call recipients about the caller’s identity. State Republicans like Mary Lazich have authored the bill, which would also ban masking one’s voice during a phone call.
A ‘hacktivist’ group, Anonymous, recently started an Internet protest against paper products of Koch companies and its subsidiaries. The blacklisted products include popular toilet papers like Quilted Northern, Brawny, Angel Soft as well as a list of other brands owned by Koch subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. In a press release, the group invites all citizens of the United States to join in the effort against what they see as an attempt to “usurp American Democracy” by the Kochs. While this effort has spread awareness about the brothers’ shady doings, the prominence of Koch Industries products will make it hard to have a real effect on the powerful conglomerate.