wisconsin capitol
Press Release
April 21, 2015

Koch Brothers Support Koch Loyalist Scott Walker in Race for 2016 GOP Presidential Nomination

‘Perhaps the Least Surprising Endorsement Thus Far’

MADISON, Wis. — In what may be one of the least surprising endorsements thus far in the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch have said they favor Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Walker has been a long-time Koch brothers loyalist, dating back to a 2008 loyalty pledge to support the notorious brothers animus to efforts to halt climate change that could impact their business empire’s bottom line.

“Gov. Scott Walker was willing to put his fealty to the Koch brothers in writing when he was still Milwaukee County Executive,” noted Ross. “That they would reward their loyal servant with their support in the 2016 GOP presidential nomination race may be among the least surprising endorsements we’ll see.”

In 2008 Walker, who was Milwaukee County Executive at the time, signed a pledge promoted by the Koch brothers’ front group the Americans for Prosperity in which he vowed to oppose any efforts to limit global climate change that could impact the bottom line of their business empire. Not coincidentally among Walker’s largest out of state contributors in his 2010 race for Wisconsin Governor was Koch Industries.

By 2012, after his politically divisive attacks on public workers from which the state has still not recovered, Walker’s support from the billionaire brothers continued to blossom. His efforts in the recall were boosted by spending by the Koch brothers and their front groups and brother David stated publicly, “We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years … We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” He went on to declare Walker’s efforts at the time were, “critically important.”

With dreams of the presidency dancing in his head, Gov. Walker lent his support to state lawsuits designed to stop implementation of rules proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency that could crimp the profits of the Koch’s energy industry based empire.

At home in Wisconsin Gov. Walker is allowing to stand a gag order preventing state employees at the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands from discussing climate change on the job. He has also appointed a political crony who said a volcanic eruption outweighs automobiles in producing greenhouse gases as a state power utility regulator.

Ross noted that over the years, not all of the Koch’s support has been real. During his attack on Wisconsin workers Walker was famously pranked by a caller purporting to be David Koch.

He concluded, “Scott Walker has shown time and again he’ll do or say anything to win an election. When it comes to the Koch brothers he’s always willing to pick up the phone or sell us out to curry their favor.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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