Fox News broke this bulletin about an hour ago. It stems from a video posted by the MacIver Institute Wisconsin alleging that a doctor is signing bogus excuses for teachers protesting in Madison. Because it is illegal for teachers to strike, they
February 19, 2011

Fox News broke this bulletin about an hour ago. It stems from a video posted by the MacIver Institute Wisconsin alleging that a doctor is signing bogus excuses for teachers protesting in Madison. Because it is illegal for teachers to strike, they called in sick and have been told they will have to produce a valid doctors excuse in order to be excused for their absences.

So isn't it interesting that a right-wing organization would produce a news report saying such excuses are fabricated? Usually, the way this works is that part of the final negotiation also forgives the days missed for protests, by the way, so this is ginned up nonsense from the start.

Here's some information about the MacIver Institute:

In December the domain was privately registered with no one willing to lay public claim to the new org. They also have set up a super duper secret Twitter account that you can’t follow without special permission. When I visited their actual website last night, it was still largely lacking substance. Right now I am having problems accessing it but here is a cached version. The site did give some important information however. It gave a glimpse of some of the people involved with this operation - a motley crew indeed. First you have Scott Jensen who still is awaiting his second criminal felony trial. Then you have Michael Dean, from the wild-eyed First Freedoms Foundation, listed as a contact person. Listed as treasurer for the org is Mark Block, the guy that got the stiffest penalty for political campaign violations ever handed down in the state. This new right wing org is also listed on a national directory and it lists Block as also being a contact for the organization.

Speaking of Mark Block, he posted an interesting entry on his Twitter account on January 30, 2009 at 3:18pm. I’m wondering if that Tweet inadvertently tells us a few more things about this new right wing outfit. It states the following:

“Klauser and Grebe will be calling meeting for Saturday, March 7th. Very important.”

Klauser is of course a long-time disciple of former Governor Tommy Thompson and Grebe is surely the right wing Bradley Foundation sugar daddy Michael Grebe. Michael Grebe and the Bradley Foundation are notoriously partisan and have funded some of the most extreme and narrow right wing outfits in the country.

The doctor on the form they show in the video is James H. Shropshire. A lookup of his political contributions shows $200 to Russ Feingold in 2000 and $200 to the DNC in 1998. Otherwise, nothing.

The MacIver "news wire" has an interesting quote, however:

On Saturday, a group of men and women in lab coats purporting to be doctors were handing out medical excuse notes, without examining the ‘patients.’

“I asked this doctor what he was doing and he told me they were handing out excuses to people who were feeling sick due to emotional, mental or financial distress,” said Christian Hartsock. “They never performed an exam–he asked me how I was feeling today and I said I’m from California and I’m not used to the cold, so he handed me a note.”

Looks like Christian Hartsock is just an ordinary guy, eh? Well, he's not.

Christian Hartsock, 24, is a director, screenwriter, producer and political columnist and activist. He earned his B.A. in Film and Video Production from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and currently produces, directs, and writes films including the music video for Guns 'N Roses' "Sorry," as well as the conservative rap music video Victicrat and the short film Sycophant which he wrote and directed, as well as the award-winning feature film The Lives of Better Men which he produced.

Hartsock directed the undercover investigation video Teachers Unions Gone Wild which exposed sleaze and corruption in the New Jersey Education Association, earning the accolades of Governor Chris Christie, produced B-roll for James O'Keefe's and Hannah Giles' investigation videos that brought down ACORN, exposed anti-Americanism at the UN Climate Summit in Cancun and continues to work on investigative journalism videos. He's traveled to Iraq with Move America Forward to document the Iraq war and was profiled in CNN's documentary Right on the Edge a documentary about young conservative activists hosted by Abbie Boudreau. He currently writes for several news and commentary websites, including Big Government and Big Journalism, and is Editor-in-Chief of Political Vanguard.

So we're clear on this, Christian Hartsock, the guy "interviewed" and also the guy who probably produced that first video is the same guy who helped out with the smears of ACORN and New Jersey teachers, and he works for Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart has bragged about being at the protests in Wisconsin today. Americans for Prosperity is linked to the MacIver Institute. A Breitbart video smear guy is quoted in an article smearing teachers. Figure it out.

Update: Think Progress has much more on the MacIver Institute:

MacIver Institute:

The MacIver Institute is a think thank that bills itself as “the free market voice for Wisconsin.” On April 9, its website, referring to the Voter Protection Act, warned that “a massive push to facilitate voter fraud” was underway and called on the public to “act soon.” It followed up with another warning on April 13 about the “vote fraud bill on fast track.” After the Voter Protection Act died, an “Open Letter to Wisconsin Tea Partiers” posted on its website thanked them for their hard work in defeating the “Alinsky brigade” and its efforts to pass clean energy and “election deform” legislation. And in a May 10 post entitled “Tea Party Impact Ongoing,” a checklist of Wisconsin Tea Party accomplishments included “Stop Vote Fraud legislation.”

The MacIver Institute has numerous ties to the ‘Kochtopus.’ Mark Block, the AFP Wisconsin state director and a key figure in the alleged voter suppression plot, sits on MacIver’s board of directors. MacIver and AFP Wisconsin also share two other board members, David Fettig and Fred Luber. MacIver also works closely with AFP Wisconsin as part of the Wisconsin Prosperity Network, along with another group with ties to Koch funding, American Majority. The think tank also participates in the Koch-funded Institute for Humane Studies’ Koch Summer Fellows Program and is a member of the Koch-funded State Policy Network.

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