MADISON, Wis. — Leaving behind Wisconsin and work on a state budget facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, Gov. Scott Walker is off to California for the second time in as many weeks, this time seeking the support of the ultra-wealthy right-wing power broker Koch brothers in his quest for the GOP presidential nomination.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross asked what, given Gov. Walker’s history with both real and impostor Kochs, he might offer in exchange for their support, “We know Gov. Walker will do or say anything to get himself elected. Now that he’s set his sights on the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination what will he be willing to do to get the support of the right-wing power broker Koch brothers?”
Soon after taking office in 2011, Gov. Walker infamously offered a hearty “thanks a million” and shared a laugh over his consideration of provoking peaceful protesters by placing his own troublemakers in the crowd in a recorded phone call with someone he thought was Koch brother David. Gov. Walker also included a measure in his 2011 budget adjustment bill to allow the no-bid sale of state power plants, reputedly to benefit the Koch brothers.
While the sale of power plants ultimately did not become law Gov. Walker has more recently aggressively doled out tax breaks to corporations, including essentially eliminating taxation on certain businesses, which could benefit the Kochs’ bottom line. He has dispatched the state’s Attorney General to court to try to block environmental protection rules opposed by some in the energy sector in which the Kochs are heavily invested.
Ross concluded, “The conventional wisdom says Gov. Walker needs gobs of campaign cash to prove his GOP primary bona fides. We’ve seen it before and we’re seeing it again, this guy will sell out Wisconsin in a heartbeat. Beseeching the Koch brothers for the millions he needs to run for president while putting together the state budget is not going to end well for those of us that aren’t right-wing billionaires.”