Oh, look at the shiny new offices of Koch Companies' lobbyists. Right now they have seven of them on staff, ready to do the bidding of their BirchMasters at the drop of a hat.
Via The Capital Times:
Charles and David Koch, who co-own Koch Industries Inc. and whose combined worth is estimated at $43 billion, have been recently tied by many media outlets to Walker's push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers. The two have long backed conservative causes and groups including Americans for Prosperity, which organized the tea party rally Saturday in support of Walker’s plan to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and recently launched the Stand with Scott Walker website.
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, acknowledged in a New York Times story Tuesday that he had encouraged Walker even before the election to mount a showdown with labor groups.
Koch Industries, which owns Georgia-Pacific Corp. and the Koch Pipeline Co., operates a coal company and toilet paper factory in Wisconsin as well as gasoline supply terminals.
And they're about to own a whole lot more, if Walker gets his way. Those no-bid sale/lease contracts for public utilities in Wisconsin are looking pretty for the Koch Industries folks, and the lobbyists are certainly ready to roll for their very special client.
And of course, if you're Koch Industries, the first thing you want to do is break the unions not only to weaken their voice in elections, but also so you can do things like this:
Koch Industries is a major player in Wisconsin: Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant:
Officials at Georgia-Pacific said the company is laying off 158 workers at its Day Street plant because out-of-date equipment at the facility is being replaced with newer, more-efficient equipment. The company said much of the new, papermaking equipment will be automated. [...] Malach tells FOX 11 that the layoffs are not because of a drop in demand. In fact, Malach said demand is high for the bath tissue and napkins manufactured at the plant.
Why pay man when machines can do the job, after all? And it's not about the economy; it's about making as much money as possible while workers are laid off with no other jobs opening up for them.
We can certainly expect more of this as time goes on. Their goal is to control, reduce, and coerce the labor force into their bidding.
I guess we could say the lobbying industry has grown by seven in Wisconsin, anyway. Doesn't do much for the factory workers in Green Bay, but it certainly lines the pockets of Koch and their political minions. Oh, by the way...this is the sort of thing Koch doesn't mind spending lots and lots of money on. Forget workers. Why worry about workers when they can run ads like this?
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