Today is the day when Wisconsin districts will vote for faux Democrats or real ones. By that, I mean that the first round of recall elections is today, but instead of voting for the recall, voters will be voting in a primary to see whether a real Democrat or a Tea Party Republican in Democrats' clothing is running in their district.
You've probably seen the right-wing spin coming out of the right wing media and talkers in the recall elections - you know the drill, massive amounts of union money coming in to the state, all the protesters are out of state bussed in people, the people of Wisconsin stand behind Republican politics, political coverage is slanted by the left-wing media, ad infinitum. Most of this is either untrue or a careful spinning of the facts. What's even more amazing is that the GOP keeps accusing the lefties of the very things that they themselves keep doing, and in blatant form.
Let's take a look at an interesting campaign floating around our state. In today's Plum Line, Greg Sargent reports on the latest bit of out-of-state GOP sleazery. Flyers have been floating around the district of troubled recall candidate Randy Hopper (R - wherever the heck he's sleeping tonight) that indicate how desperate the GOP has become over that recall election. You may remember the story of how the GOP ran "fake" Democratic candidates to force primaries in the recall districts - but that these were only "protest" candidates? Apparently they're now trying to actually campaign for the fake candidates. In Hopper's district the fake democrat is 81 year old John Buckstaff, who is running in the primary against Jessica King, deupty Mayor of Oshkosh. These flyers are actually pretending that Buckstaff is a real candidate, and that he provides a genuine choice against King.
So to make this as simple as possible, here's what's going on. Wisconsin has open primaries, so Koch & Co have put up fake Dems so that Republicans can come and vote for them in order to knock out the real Democrat. Nice, huh?
Here's what you need to know about the groups orchestrating this. They're ones you know, ones I've written about before.
The group behind the fakery is a group called The Patriot Group. The Patriot Group is sponsored by Patriot Advisors, LLC. Patriot Advisors, LLC has two officers: Denis Calabrese and Tim Dunn. Denis Calabrese is someone I've written before, in the context of American Majority. He is a director of the Sam Adams Alliance, which created and sponsored American Majority. Calabrese is Dick Armey's former chief of staff. The flyer put out (pictured above) encouraging Republicans to cast votes for fake Democrats quotes the Wisconsin Reporter, which is funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. The Franklin Center is another Sam Adams Alliance project.
Back to American Majority, since that is the "activist arm" of this cabal. TheAwl has a must-read article about how the Kochs and lying Republicans got themselves elected in Wisconsin. It's long, but worth every second you spend to read it. Inside that article they expose the cult of American Majority, which is structured like Amway. In particular, note how the "New Leaders Project" is structured:
The mechanics program is a bit like a franchise. American Majority "mechanics will receive 75% of the net from their trainings" and the 2010 program required mechanics to perform at least one training per month, for a minimum of 30 trainees through the end of 2010. At $20 per person, that's a minimum take for the mechanic of $450 per month. I attempted to attend the $20 per head training in Madison on March 5th but it was booked solid.
The mechanics program was put together and began recruiting in February, 2010. Formal training took place March 24th to 26th, with American Majority flying recruits to Washington D.C., covering all travel and board.
And then the Sauk County Tea Party was founded on June 17, 2010.
Later in 2010, the Sauk County Tea Party began linking to and endorsing strategy meetings with American Majority. In mid-December of 2010, the group took part in a strategy call with co-founder Ned Ryun to discuss the New Leaders Project.
The New Leaders Project
American Majority received grants via donor-advised funds like Donors Capital and the Vanguard Donor-Advised funds in 2009. Franklin Center also received 1.4 million in 2009. We don't have 2010 reports yet, but assume there were similar amounts given back then. Donor-advised funds are an effective way to disguise the source of funding. From the 2009 American Majority 990, this note regarding contributions and/or assets not included on balance sheet:
Organization is acting as intermediary for a new organization in formative stages. New organization has a common major donor and American Majority exercises oversight and control of funds during start up phase.
Anyone want to take a guess as to who the "common major donor" might be?
It isn't enough that these evil schemers want to sully elections by running bogus candidates as Democrats in order to screw up elections. They're willing to pay "activists" in a multi-level marketing scheme to "train" others just like them.
These are the forces at work in Wisconsin, along with the John Birch Society, Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity. The names are interchangeable, but the goal is the same: Oligarchy.
Update: Bob Sloan's post on Daily Kos has even more on the Kochtopus in Wisconsin, and their evangelical ties.