David and Charles Koch, the billionaire oil baron brothers Greenpeace exposed last year for spending millions to gut environmental protections and fund junk climate change science, are at it again. This time in Wisconsin.
According to the New York Times, the Kochs are major financial backers of Governor Scott Walker and are using one of their front groups, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), to support the Governor’s efforts to strip public employees of their right to have a say in the workplace. This is an extension of the 40-year strategy laid out by soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Powell in 1971, which outlined the playbook for the Chamber of Commerce that worked to take over the courts, schools, Congress, and create a network of right-wing think tanks like the Cato Institute (started by the Koch Brothers) and Americans for Prosperity (also funded by the Kochs).
After filling the courts with Supreme Court justices like Justice Roberts, the activist judge who recently allowed unbridled corporate spending in elections, the corporate right like the Kochs are working to cut union ranks by up to 50% through state-by-state attacks on public employees, attempting to neuter the one force in electoral politics that could counter these big spenders.
If Americans for Prosperity sounds familiar, it should – they’re the group that has been touring the country for years telling people climate change isn’t real. Today we have found out that AFP is upping their work in Wisconsin with a $350,000 ad campaign to support Governor Walker’s attack on workers’ rights.
For the Koch brothers and AFP, this is all about undermining the democratic process. And this is why we all must stand with the public employees of Wisconsin and people everywhere who are trying to make their lives and communities better by taking peaceful action. Whether it is fighting for safe working conditions and a liveable wage or fighting to replace coal plants with clean energy, at the core we are fighting for the democratic right of all people to stand up to make the world a better place.