Thanks to our old friend Tengrain over at Mock Paper Scissors (you should be visiting there often, dear Raisinettes), this is how I spent my afternoon.
From Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.
It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.
Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.
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 the Sun Journal:
AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting Maine’s labor history from the lobby of the Department of Labor.
Worker advocates described the move as a “mean-spirited” provocation amid the administration’s high-tension standoff with unions.
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.
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.