A Page in Paul’s PAC Report: Snapshot of Ryan’s Corporate Masters

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The ‘€œYoung Gun’€ filed his latest campaign finance statement and it’€™s chock full-o-corporatey goodness. Ryan amassed $104,000 in PAC gifts, including 94% from out-of-state PACs.

It’€™s not surprising, Ryan’€™s corporate sycophancy extends beyond the Badger State borders, so why wouldn’€™t his grab-bagging.

But more than our words could do, page 105 of his 170 page October report, shows exactly where his special interest bread is buttered. There are three PAC checks listed totally $4,500 on the page. Click here to see it.
The Young Gun Givers:

KOCH PAC ($1,000): The official PAC of Koch Industries, the big oil conglomerate, which is the largest privately-held company in America. Koch has annual sales of $90 billion, according to the Center on Media and Democracy. Koch’€™s owners David and Charles Koch, founded Americans for Prosperity in 2003.

AFP has been the leaders behind the teabaggers and the corporate-funded ‘€œRepublican Rallies for Failure,’€ which have worked to defeat the agenda of President Obama through partisan shout-fests fueled by racism and ignorance.

Ryan has been one of the GOP congressional point-people on protecting the status quo when it comes to health insurance companies continuing to have a stranglehold on our health care system.

Other fun notes about Koch Industries:

‘€¢    Koch Industries paid $30 million for violating the Clean Water Act in 2000, the ‘€œlargest fine ever imposed on a company for violating the law.’€
‘€¢    Koch Industries paid $35 million in a six-state settlement after it was responsible for spilling millions of gallons of oil into wetlands and waterways.
‘€¢    A 97-count federal indictment was filed against Koch Industries for concealing the release of 91 metric tons of benzene. (Note: The Bush Justice Department dropped 88 of the charges against Koch, which contributed $800,000 to Bush and his fellow Republicans.)
‘€¢    In an effort to maximize additional oil and gas profits at the expense of the people, Koch-funded efforts included attempting to have the Clean Air Act declared unconstitutional.

NATTIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION ($2,500): The PAC of America’€™s gun manufacturers. The NRA opposes common sense anti-violence legislation, couching the profit-minded goals of its corporate benefactors in a faa§ade of protecting the second amendment.

The NRA gives ‘€œYoung Gun’€ and A ranking for his efforts to ensure the continuing profits of the gun and weapon manufacturing lobby. His efforts to block accountability for gun manufacturers and prohibit unrestricted selling of guns have endeared him to the gun manufacturing and sales lobby.

WAL PAC ($1,000): The PAC for Wal-Mart, America’€™s (and maybe the globe’€™s) worst company when it comes to destroying local economies, restricting workers’€™ rights and workplace discrimination for restricting the promotion of women in particular. They are also terrible on environmental issues ‘€“ the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’€™s gag-inducing environmental award to Wal-Mart, another proof positive instance of just how horrible they are.

A tiny slice of Wal-Mart’€™s sins (thanks to WalmartWatch.org)

Discrimination: Wal-Mart faces the nation’s largest workplace gender-bias lawsuit.  In June 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Jenkins granted class-action status to 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees who charge the company with paying women less and offering them fewer opportunities for promotion. The class is comprised of all current and former female employees employed between December 26, 1998, and the present. [Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. C01-02252 MJJ (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California).]

Health Care: Letting Workers and Families Rely on Public Programs. A memo written by Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart Executive Vice President for Benefits, for the Wal-Mart Board of Directors, said: “We also have a significant number of Associates and their children who receive health insurance through public-assistance programs. Five percent of our Associates are on Medicaid compared to an average for national employers of 4 percent. Twenty-seven percent of Associates’ children are on such programs, compared to a national average of 22 percent (Exhibit 5). In total, 46 percent of Associates’ children are either on Medicaid or are uninsured.” Chambers wrote, “Wal-Mart’s critics an easily exploit some aspects of our benefits offering to make their case; in other words, our critics are correct in some of their observations. Specifically, our coverage is expensive for low-income families, and Wal-Mart has a significant percentage of associates and their children on public assistance.” [Susan Chambers Memo to the Wal-Mart Board of Directors; New York Times, 10/26/05]

Environment: Lee Scott admits Wal-Mart is not a green company. At the 2008 Eco:nomics conference in California, Lee Scott made a startling revelation about his company. Despite all the pro-environmental speeches, press releases, and commitments, when asked about how Wal-Mart plans to meet the goals of eliminating waste and providing 100% renewable energy, Lee Scott said, “I haven’t a clue.” He went on to say this about Wal-Mart’s environmental strategy and public relations efforts: “It has been positive from a PR standpoint, but one of the things we learned is that we are not sophisticated enough to spin a story — ultimately, we’d get hammered. We are not out saying we’re a green company. We are not green. We have an extraordinary distance to go.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/14/08; Grist.org, 3/17/08]

Labor Relations: Wal-Mart Violated Worker Rights. More than 2 Million Times, Minnesota Judge Rules Wal-Mart violated the law more than 2 million times over a six-year period by denying workers time for breaks and forcing them to work “off the clock” for no pay, a Minnesota judge has ruled. Dakota County District Judge Robert King ordered the company to pay $6.5 million in back pay. In addition, Wal-Mart faced fines as high as $2 billion for the wage-and-hour violations. The case ultimately ended in settlement, with Wal-Mart paying out $54 million in lost wages. [Workday Minnesota, 7/2/08; Associated Press, 12/9/08]

Community Impact: Study shows Wal-Mart’s Negative Impact on Small Business. Kenneth Stone, an emeritus professor of economics at Iowa State University, first coined the term “Wal-Mart phenomenon” in his 1995 study, “Competing with the Discount Mass Merchants.” Stone found that when Wal-Mart came to a town, stores selling different products than Wal-Mart were fine, but those selling the same products struggled. Further, Stone found that the stores that bore the brunt of Wal-Mart’s competition were in towns with populations of less than 5,000 within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart. [Jackson Citizen-Patriot, 7/11/08]

With Koch, the NRA and Wal-Mart pulling his strings, is it any wonder that whenever an issue arises in which Paul Ryan could stand up for corporate America or stand up for the people of Wisconsin, he chooses Wall Street?

And lest we forget, Paul Ryan voted against eight straight Republican budgets which included $20 trillion in reckless spending that benefited the super-rich, corporations, deregulation advocates and military contractors and led to the economic collapse in which America is just now beginning to emerge.

Oh yeah, and providing the deciding vote to pass the $9 trillion unfunded Medicare Part D boondoggle, which gave drug and insurance companies hundreds of billion of dollars in taxpayer-financed giveaways.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.