Yesterday, the Raisin reported on Governor Paul LePage of Maine ordering the Department of Labor to remove a mural that celebrates the history of labor in the state. There’s going to be an awful lot of blank wall space, so I thought we’d try to help and suggest a replacement. I did a little digging, and i found out about something called the Maine Heritage Policy Center. From WLBZ (Bangor):
Tarren Bragdon has risen to a position of influence as CEO of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, and was the leader of Gov. Paul LePage’s transition team. He goes In the Arena with Pat Callaghan to talk about the efforts to shrink the state budget and reform government.
The Maine Heritage Policy Center says Gov. LePage’s proposed budget doesn’t make enough cuts. The center believes Maine should cut 4,000 state jobs. Bragdon talks about that, as well as collective bargaining rights for state employees, and Gov. LePage’s decision to create private advisory groups to counsel him on business matters– which will not be subject to Maine’s open meeting laws.
Why is that important? Well, this is from Dirigo Blue:
Trevor Bragdon has stepped down as the State Director of AFP Maine, and will be replaced by long-time Republican legislator Carol Weston.
AFP Maine is a chapter of Americans for Prosperity, an AstroTurf front group founded by David Koch, a major funder of libertarian groups across the country. Trevor Bragdon is the brother of Tarren Bragdon, the Executive Director of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC), and one of the co-chairs of Gov. Paul LePage’s transition team. MHPC has ties to the Heritage Foundation in D.C., which also receives money from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.
Anyone else think it’s quite a coincidence that the Koch brothers’ names keep popping up when anyone is discussing the new Republican governors who are trying to pull the rug out from anything that’s good for the middle class and the poor? With that in mind, I’ve come up with a picture that I think will look just great on the walls of the Maine Department of
Fellating Corporate Bigwigs Labor.
From YAHOO NEWS:
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will join former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and businessman Herman Cain at a New Hampshire event next month hosted by the tea party-affiliated Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF).
Also invited, but not yet confirmed are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., was invited, but his office “politely reminded us that he’s not running,” said AFPF New Hampshire State Director Corey Lewandowski.
Just as noteworthy are the contenders who didn’t make the cut at all, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a tea party favorite.
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From THINK PROGRESS:
Shortly before signing the controversial bill that ends collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker appeared on Morning Joe today to lambaste the pernicious influence of “union bosses” and “outside money” on the debate in Wisconsin.
[He complained] of supposedly shady outside interests.
Over two weeks after receiving a request from One Wisconsin Now, Walker’s administration has refused to release details of its contacts with lobbyists from Koch Industries, run by billionaire arch-conservatives Charles and David Koch.
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From the JOURNAL SENTINEL:
Americans for Prosperity, a political action group financed by the billionaire Koch brothers, has been active in supporting Gov. Scott Walker and his budget-repair bill.
AFP director Tim Phillips said Monday that his group already had spent $400,000 on TV and radio ads in the state in support of the governor.
“Yes, we will continue to be very active,” Phillips said.
Phillips said his group’s efforts began in Wisconsin in January 2005.
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From the StarTribune:
Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson has weighed in on the Wisconsin labor protests, and is zeroing in on a measure that potentially could benefit Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s wealthy campaign contributors: the oil billionaire Koch brothers.
In a personal blog, Carlson, a Republican who served from 1991 to 1999, raises smart questions about a provision in Walker’s “budget repair bill” that deals with the no-bid sale of state-owned energy facilities.
Carlson not only questions whether the Koch brothers’ might have a business interest in this, but points out that this is the antithesis of the free-market philosophy at the heart of Republican party philosophy.
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The billionaire Koch brothers — whose deep pockets and small-government philosophy have made them conservative powerhouses — are playing an influential role in the drive to strip public employee unions of their rights to bargain in several U.S. states.
Charles and David Koch, who both rank 24th on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people with $17.5 billion each, are behind campaign donations of tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republicans leading the anti-union effort.
“They’re the poster boys for the incredible out-sized influence that corporate America has on our government right now,” said Mary Boyle of the left-leaning group Common Cause.
And they’re my poster boys, too!
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From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:
Gonzo journalist Ian Murphy noticed one of Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats complaining that Gov. Scott Walker was impossible to reach on the phone. So Murphy came up with a prank call: He posed as right-wing financier David Koch and called Walker’s receptionist. Shortly thereafter, he was on the phone with the governor himself.
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