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Please begin with an informative title:

Via Mike Konczal, more explanation of why big corporations like Koch Industries are going to such lengths to support Gov. Scott Walker's budget. There's some sweet deals in it for them. Ed at ginandtacos highlights one:

The lion's share of attention regarding Scott Walker's legislative proposal has been paid to the effort to revoke Wisconsin public employees' collective bargaining rights, but the 144-page bill (more reliable link here) is a far more exhaustive and inclusive list of the fundamentals of Republican politics in the 21st Century. Not many people have the time to plow through the whole bill but those who do will be rewarded with plenty of gems like this:


16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

If this isn't the best summary of the goals of modern conservatism, I don't know what is. It's like a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism. Extra bonus points for the explicit effort to legally redefine the term "public interest" as "whatever the energy industry lobbyists we appoint to these unelected bureaucratic positions say it is."

Walker's budget—and his intention—goes well beyond crippling public employees' unions. He's selling the state to the highest bidder (or more like it, the largest campaign contributor, since bids won't be required for the acquisition of state assets). The new slogan: What's good for the Koch brothers is good for Wisconsin. Breaking the back of labor is one part of that end goal, but not the whole of it.
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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Progressive Hippie.

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