I believe that we simply can’t have a setting where the teachers’ unions are able to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians and then those politicians, when elected, stand across from them at the bargaining table, supposedly to represent the interest of the kids.
Mitt Romney • Calling for a ban on political contributions by public teachers’ unions, which he further denounced as an “extraordinary conflict of interest.” If implemented this would, of course, come at nearly the full detriment of the Democratic Party, a fact Romney acknowledged only jokingly: “I don’t mean to be terribly partisan, but I kind of am. In the case of the Democratic Party, the largest contributors to the Democratic Party are the teachers unions.” source (via shortformblog)
… Where to begin? I don’t even think he’s trying anymore.
How Americans for Prosperity Campaigns Without Leaving a Paper Trail
A report from the Sunlight Foundation:
Less than three hours after Democrat Tom Barrett conceded the $63 million-and-counting contest to Gov. Scott Walker, Americans for Prosperity, the big spending conservative group, sent an email to supporters hailing Walker’s win and including a video highlight reel about “how AFP educated Wisconsin residents about Governor Walker’s budget reforms.”
So how much has AFP reported spending on the Wisconsin campaign? According to Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, the agency that tracks campaign expenditures in the state, nada. “AFP has not registered with us,” reports Reid Magney, a spokesman for the GAB.
Nor is it likely to do so. Americans for Prosperity, which reported revenues of $22 million in 2010, claims immunity from such paperwork because, it is a non-profit organization…
In case there was any doubt:
”Together, we’ve helped restore prosperity to the Badger State,” the AFP email closed. “Now, onto the rest of America.” In case that was too subtle, the embedded video ended with three words on the screen: November Is Coming.”
Political Money Talks
From the New York Times:
As Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin faces a well deserved recall vote next month after stripping public unions of their bargaining rights, voters are discovering the generosity of Diane Hendricks. Ms. Hendricks, the billionaire chairwoman of the nation’s largest roofing and siding wholesaler, wrote a check for $500,000 last month to help defend Governor Walker, a Republican, against his Democratic challenger, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee.
Diane Hendricks is the donor Scott Walker was speaking with about his plan to “divide and conquer” Wisconsin workers so that the state could eventually become a right-to-work state.
Ms. Hendricks is only one of the governor’s big-moneyed and antiunion friends. He has raised more than $25 million since taking office. The first year of his official calendar shows significant access for companies that helped him with large political donations, according to the nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Governor Walker’s office says this access only confirms how sincere the governor was in promising to seek out “job creators” and proclaiming Wisconsin “open for business” from his first day in office. Recall voters should have no doubt about the real business of big-money politics signaled by that $500,000 check.