GOP + DNC = Ultimate Party Unity

March 21, 2020 by Barbara With

Corporate Fascism: When legislators collude with corporations to write bills and pass laws that benefit the corporations at the expense of the land, water, air, economy, and the life, liberty, health and happiness of We the People.

Madison, WI February 2011. Photo: Darren Hauck / Reuters

Those of us who lived through the Wisconsin Uprising in 2011 witnessed the hostile takeover of our State government. That was the year the Koch Brothers, Cline Mines and other corporate profiteers began working openly through Scott Walker and the Republican majority that had swept through both houses. We would later learn that the corporate minds at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) authored their controversial budget bill; its terms and conditions were specifically designed to devalue our assets and take control of our resources. The austerity drove 14 Democratic senators to flee the state and hundreds of thousands of people to converge on the State Capitol for many weeks to protest the stealing of our government.

Madison, WI February 2011. Photo: Tom Lynn

The corporate press focused on the decimation of the teachers union, but in reality, the budget spared no one: women, workers, the poor, the aged, the disabled, LGBTQ, Native Americans, consumers, the environment and the water, health care, transportation, reproductive and First Amendment rights, voting systems, clean and open government—democracy itself. Carefully crafted by the corporations, the draconian legislation put everything on the chopping block. As the right-wing talk-radio echo chamber churned up hatred for our teachers, so began the destruction of our world-class public education system.

The black box “quasi-private” Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) was set up to drain state tax dollars to their corporate cronies, who would “promise” to bring jobs, pick up a nice chuck of cash and with remarked predictability, either leave the state or fold. WEDC was caught lying about the jobs number and declared an abject failure, but still they paved the way for Foxconn’s later bit of $3 billion corporate socialism and there went our taxes.

Early on in the Walker Regime we learned the hard way, “up” is “down,” “in” is “out,” and “When can you tell Scott Walker and the Republicans are lying? When their lips … are …” You know. They would say and do anything to keep their sponsors in control of our government and their own feeding troughs full.

They made little attempt to seem legitimate. Their tone was nasty and bullying. When confronted with questions about who was authoring the bills, they didn’t want to talk about it. Cline Mines was set to install a 22-mile mountaintop removal open-pit iron ore mine on the shores of Lake Superior. Party members all lied in coordinated effort for months to conceal who wrote the new mining bill that was giving the mining company everything they wanted and needed. After it passed, party boss Scott Fitzgerald casually admitted, yeah, the mining company wrote the bill. As if, big deal?

 

In the olden days of my Wisconsin, bill writing was done by senators and representatives going back to their districts and talking to their constituency. Returning to Madison, they’d hammer out a bill that could best represent the will of the people who voted them in. If those people didn’t like what their senator or representative did, they would vote them out. In my Wisconsin we had Democrats, Republicans and Progressives who were friends (or not) who would haggle and battle, wheel and deal, often taking their negotiations down the street to the Avenue Bar or Inn on the Park. Despite their bitching and kvetching about each other, each with their fair share of corruption, we got a budget, and Wisconsin was an exceptional place to live.

The advent of Scott Walker brought the era of ALEC. This was not my Wisconsin. Corporations would now be writing the bills. Legislators didn’t even have to go home anymore. Their job was to move as a pack, give pre-assigned sound bites, and passionately argue their support of the corporate legislation. They were to lie to us while their corporate sponsors were robbing us blind and endangering our very lives.

If some Republican started to grow a conscience, they would leave office or be out of a job. In their now-famous secret redistricting scheme, done at their lawyers’ office, Republican party bosses made party members sign secrecy agreements and threatened to redistrict or primary anyone who questioned.

Forty-six Wisconsin counties and 3,000 voting machines are being controlled by Command Central, a two-person company operating out of a strip mall in Minnesota.

We lost the battle: people couldn’t stop the takeover, but the State was woke, and we weren’t going away. Along the way we learned who really controls our voting machines and how hackable our system is. Try as we did, we watched as the evidence of election fraud in the Supreme Court recount get swept under the Government Accountability Board’s rug. Walker passed more laws to benefit the corporations by loosening Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws and making it harder to recall. Then he just expediently did away with the Government Accountability Board all together.

The State organized and gathered two million signatures to recall Walker and six senators. Though election integrity activists struggled to protect the recall votes, Walker “won” election after election. With the rigged voting systems, we would never be able to vote them out. Those of us who knew better could never again pretend to believe the results of our elections.

* * *

Fast forward and super size to 2020, the Democratic presidential primary. Today, in the same fashion as the Walker Regime, Tom Perez and the blue arm of US corporate fascism are doing their part to keep the corporations in control. Their vision for America is to invest untold billions—$500 million from Bloomberg alone—to stop Bernie Sanders and the millions of US citizens who are desperately trying to take back our government.

All signs indicate that the DNC and its lackey candidates are rigging the primaries for Joe Biden, a right-wing “Democrat” with questionable mental capacity and a horrible voting record that negatively impacted many of Sanders popular #NotMeUs movement. How easily the DNC can control the hackable, corporate-designed voting machines with proprietary software. Add the media’s non-stop propaganda feeding a willfully ignorant electorate a steady stream of corporate-sponsored pundits telling lies about Sanders that sound like slander and psychosis, and here we are again.

This time, the powerful lobby with its foot on the neck of the DNC is the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), representing most all major fossil fuel corporations, including Valero Energy, Koch Industries, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Marathon Petroleum. They have purchased politicians on both sides of the aisle to willfully lie to us while they pass laws to favor expansion of their fossil fuel nightmare we are desperately trying to rein in.

Barak Obama (Never a scandal! What a great smile!) was the star of the American Petroleum Institute (API) commercial during the 2019 Houston debates (above), bragging about how he expanded offshore drilling by 75%. Notice, in fact, all the Democrats in the clip claiming fracking is “clean energy.” Not really the solution to a crushing global extinction that is pressing down upon us and our water, and certainly not what Obama ran on or what he told us he would do about the climate crisis.

What are the chances that AFPM and API helped craft Obama’s message during Standing Rock in late 2016? The world watched peaceful water protectors being assaulted and violently arrested, strip searched, thrown into cages and their constitutional rights suspended as they were unjustly slapped with multiple felonies so an oil company could build a pipeline. When Indigenous leaders begged Obama to denounce the violence, he is quoted as saying he had to “let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the first Americans.”

One of Joe Biden’s campaign co-chairs, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), is funded by AFPM, whose Senior Vice President for Federal and Regulatory Affairs Derrick Morgan was caught on tape discussing how they authored the Anti-Protest bills that swept through the country last year in response to Standing Rock. Richmond was able to “reach across the aisle” and “get things done” with the Republicans, like block the Environment Protection Agency from regulating the disposal of toxic coal ash. He also helped make it easier for pipeline companies to avoid environmental impact statements and voted to remove the ban on exporting crude oil.

Biden’s other campaign co-chair is Steve Richetti, long-time healthcare lobbyist for drugmakers Novartis, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Sanofi. Unite the Country, the Pro-Biden super PAC, has spent over $11.8 million thus far, and is led by his friends in the pharmaceutical industry. The COVID-19 pandemic will be pure gold for all of them.

Even though a Reuters poll showed 70% of Americans wanting aggressive action on climate change, Perez voted against having a climate debate. He and the DNC also overturned their ban on taking fossil fuel donations.

Biden, Richmond, Richetti and Perez are not your friends. Unite the Country mind as well be code for “bringing together Democrats and Republicans under the corporate fascist umbrella.” They can very easily be hacking the voting machines, which were designed by Diebold for secrecy, after all, to make it easy to steal an election without anyone knowing. Thus, Biden miraculously sweeps the nation, after not campaigning, not spending any money, not having a vision, and not making any public statements, especially through the COVID-19 crisis.

For those of us in Wisconsin, it’s deja vu all over again.

WI Gov Tony Evers (D) joins forces with State Republicans and signs the anti-protest bill authored by the American Petroleum Institute. The bill makes it a felony to trespass on energy corporation land. November 20, 2019. Photo: PR Watch

 

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