Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bad corporate actors fund WI state GOP

State Republicans are running attack ads against two of the Democratic "Fab 14" senators who fled Wisconsin to prevent a vote on anti-union legislation. The two, Teamster member Dave Hansen and Jim Holperin, are targets of a Republican attempt to recall them.

Politico reports:
If groups such as the RSLC (Republican State Leadership Committee) can put Democratic seats in play, it will be more difficult for the minority party to take control ... The RSLC has already been running ads against Holperin on cable through an affiliated 501(c)4 group. The campaign is expanding to broadcast television and radio at an estimated cost of about $50,000 a week.
The new campaign against Hansen will start on cable television and radio, and ... it will cost “six figures over several weeks.”
And where do you suppose the money for those commercials came from? Koch Industries, for one. Those lovely Koch brothers contributed $60,000 to the RSLC. Money came from other multinational corporations that want to plunder the government, weaken unions, lower wages and destabilize American families by sending jobs overseas.

Here's a list of the RSLC top contributors from the Public Campaign Action Fund. It reads like a murderers' row of predatory corporations:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which does dirty corporations' dirty work, gave $4 million to the RSLC. The chamber promotes offshoring of American jobsfunnels foreign money to U.S. elections and recently came under fire for an undercover smear campaign against unions and critics.
Tobacco giant Altria ($1.4 million), whose U.S. Smokeless Tobacco unit paid $107 million to settle legal and regulatory suits over selling chewing tobacco.
Tobacco giant Reynolds American ($1.3 million), one of four tobacco companies that settled for $205 billion against claims that tobacco kills people.
Insurance company Blue Cross/Blue Shield ($1 million), the BC/BS Association paid $128 million to settle an anti-racketeering lawsuit alleging it had cheated doctors.
American Crossroads ($1.2 million) Karl Rove's operation, which coordinates with the U.S. Chamber.
AstraZeneca ($510,368) fined $520 million for illegally selling an anti-psychotic drug.
AT&T ($334,846) had to pay $17 million to workers who sued the company for wage theft.
Wal-Mart Stores ($273,776). The latest: Wal-Mart increases Medicaid expenditures by $898 per employee and lowers wages in communities where it does business.
Citigroup ($201,397) paid $75 million to settle SEC charges that it lied about bad loans that led to the financial crisis.

America Demands Better summed it up nicely in a blog posting yesterday:
I have to believe that more than anything else, the amounts of money being spent to promote the corporate agenda is our biggest hurdle. Those advancing the corporate agenda have masterfully conceived marketing campaigns. They are incredible at using code words to appeal to a certain faction. They use endless amounts of money to air television ads that bombard the people with lies and half truths. They pay endless amounts in the way of salaries to personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, etc, to convince people of these lies. They buy up radio stations in order to get this message as much exposure as possible.