Reading Patience John's diary: The Koch Brothers' End Game in Wisconsin, and sharing it with a wing nutty friend, led to an interesting series of events.
To readers of the bill, I think it is fairly evident that there is a public property grab bag giveaway that would make a Russian oligarch blush. I also think it is not much of a leap of logic that the Koch Bros, already heavily invested in the Badger State would want to either buy, or lease and leave to waste, public power stations and utilities.
Of course there's a somewhat predictable sequence of events that happened. Right winger criticizes Patience John for being a librul while existing, gets told he doesn't know the facts because he hasn't read the bill. The same wingnut emails back saying he has read it 5 or 6 times, with "the bill" attached. "The bill" isn't the bill, but rather a press release from the office of Governor Walker attached. Right winger still hasn't read the bill, and won't read the bill, remains a dumbass and unequipped to discuss the topic and doesn't care and fuck you and Scott Walker is likeable and beautiful and has a cute little bald spot. Did I mention we have a Sarah Palin fan here?
But what is interesting is what the press release did not say. The Governor's press release mentions the heating plant giveaway, but says nothing of the power plant giveaway. Could this be a willful attempt to distract and deceive the public by this omission, using the Wisonsin public's press office? Let's see if it get's scrubbed.
If you visit the state's site, the press release will give you what is described as "A full summary of the Governor’s budget repair bill..."
Parenthetically I would add that these same wing nutters who have such a huge problem with public taxation, seem to be just fine with private taxation such as insurance or the various squeezes placed on the public by way of privatization of public resources.
Here's a screen capture of what I saw. Any mention of power plants here?
Here I quote Patience John's recently reclisted diary:
Google Quick View of PDF:
Bottom of Page 23:
SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read:
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).
There are two big whoppers in this section, which is passing through the zeitgeist like ships in the night.
It will allow the Koch Brothers to buy or contract to operate state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants in Wisconsin without a solicitation of bids.
This is what it is about at the end of the day, and their puppet, Governor Walker, is ready to sell the Koch Brothers the state-owned utility system of Wisconsin for pennies on the dollar for his paymasters.
Isn't it interesting that the press office of the Governor missed the power plant detail?
Interesting little omission in the press release, isn't it?
At what point does misfeasance (doing an illegal act in a legal manner) become malfeasance (using illegal means to do an illegal thing)? Perhaps this turns on the intent to deceive.
Walker got elected, he can propose the most odious legislation in the history of the state, and there's nothing really illegal about that process, even though it's quite obvious (even to stupid people) that Walker is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Bros.
But what you can't do, is to use a state owned press office to willfully deceive my poor weak minded wing nutty friend, by giving him a "full summary" that mentions heating plants but not power plants, to give away those things to the Koch Bros without as much as a bidding process (yeah, really). Even though he's a wing nut and willingly consumes this press release crap and Fox News, the folks at the dog food factory still know that this is about as good for his intellect as a diet of lead paint chips. That omission is material fraud or deception.
Screen captures everyone, lest a scrub ensue.