As most readers here know, one of the hidden provisions in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s union busting bill concerns state-owned heating, cooling, and power plants. The emphasis in the stories I’ve read has been on the sale of those power plants, but read a little more carefully:
“[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.”
Connecting the dots would easily lead one to Koch Industries, right? This is one of the areas they specialize in – energy. Thanks to Ian Murphy at Buffalo Beast, we have clear proof of what we have known all along, that Scott Walker works for the Koch Brothers. The Kochs have quietly set up their alternative governor’s office just around the corner from that big pizzeria in the middle of the capitol square in Madison.
The Kochs funneled millions into Walker’s campaign. They’re right around the corner from the governor. They specialize in energy industries. How can they possibly claim this:
“We have no interest in purchasing any of the state owned power plants in Wisconsin and any allegations to the contrary are completely false.”
They can claim it because it’s true. They have no interest in buying the aging plants. What they want is a contract for the operation of the plants, which the governor will be authorized to draw up and sign with no oversight, no public announcement, and no limit on the amount Wisconsin taxpayers like me will pay to the Koch brothers.
I assume the contract will have a blank line where the Koch brothers fill in the dollar amount. I also assume the contract will leave the citizens on the hook for any repairs or regulatory upgrades, too. And I’m sure the Kochs own companies that can make those repairs and upgrades – for an additional fee.
The Kochs have invested millions in their new stooge, but it’s a great investment. They will get back all their campaign donations and soft money, too, plus a hefty profit, all at the expense of Wisconsin’s teachers, plumbers, garbage haulers, firefighters and other working people who are so busy trying to make a living that they can’t take the time to connect the dots like I just have.
But don’t worry. In Scott Walker’s libertarian utopia where everything is privatized, the Koch brothers will have a job for each of us – at half the wages and with no pensions or health plans.
Assembly Democrats offered an amendment last night that would require Wisconsin's Public Service Commission to oversee and approve these contracts. Common sense, right? It was soundly defeated by the Republican majority.
All together now…”You load sixteen tons, and waddya get? Another day older and deeper in debt…”