Walker Installs Koch Machine to Head Public Service Commission

Montgomery Received Koch PAC Maximum Last Three Election Cycles

MADISON, Wis. — Former GOP Rep. Phil Montgomery, Gov. Scott Walker’s choice to head the Public Service Commission, has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industries he has been appointed to oversee. The PSC is charged with oversight of utilities, including electricity, natural gas, water, combined water and sewer utilities and certain aspects of local telephone service. Montgomery received the maximum contribution allowed under the law from Koch Industries PAC, an energy provider, during the last three election cycles.

“Once again, Gov. Walker has put the interests of big business ahead of the people of Wisconsin,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Gov. Walker’s idea of ‘shared sacrifice’ is sacrificing the needs of Wisconsin’s middle class to allow big business special interests to a greater share our tax dollars.”

Montgomery’s long history of contributions from the industries he will be in charge of oversight for includes:

  • Maximum PAC Donations from Koch and Koch Subsidiaries. Montgomery received donations from Koch Industries and its subsidiaries. In 2002, the Georgia Pacific Employees Fund PAC donated $250 to Montgomery’s campaign. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 Montgomery received a total of $1,500 in contributions from Koch Industries PAC, $500 each election cycle, the maximum a state assembly candidate can receive.
  • $6,877 in Campaign Contributions from the Natural Resource Businesses He Will Now Regulate.
  • $24,540 in Campaign Contributions from Utility Company Employees.
  • $5,750 in Campaign Contributions from the Telecommunications Groups He Will Now Regulate.
  • $10,550 from Telecommunications Company Employees.
  • [Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, accessed 3/28/11]

In addition to these corporate ties, as late as January 2011, Montgomery served on the board of directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded operation designed to privatize public services to the benefit of private industries and to the detriment of consumers. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/28/11]

Montgomery’s top-announced staffer will be RJ Pirlot, who comes from a long-stint as a leading lobbyist for the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. WMC announced in October 2010 that it spent $1 million to get Walker elected.

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