Koch is a master of misdirection and has managed to stay out of the public eye (at least until now) by finding a variety of groups and foundations that amount to little more than a web of propaganda machines. As pointed out in the first in the 60 minutes piece, he first creates a fony foundation or "grass roots" group and then sites the propaganda produced by that group in order to deceive people that what he wants is in their own interest.
All crooked pols like Walker and Ziegelbauer have to do is to take his outrageous positions and the support is pre-fabricated, washed and dried and ready for their use.
Here's a good example:
Walker has vowed to make it nearly impossible to create any more wind farms in this State. While a good portion of that stupidity is coming from the real estate lobby (2 real estate groups are in fact his top corporate contributors and lowered property values are his chief public argument) he actually uses psuedo environmental issues like bird and bat mortality around towers to negate the arguments of environmentalists in favor of wind.
"This is not the first time or place this has happened. An interesting expose' in The Atlanta Free Press documented a stunningly similar set of events in the South East.
The author Erik Curren describes a couple of supposed grass roots oppostion groups and lobbying organizations. One is the WLF (Washington Legal Foundation).
From the article:
"It's strange: Suddenly, some of the most unlikely people are losing sleep over what windmills might be
doing to birds," wrote David Case at TomPaine.com in 2001.
Case quotes an ad that the Washington Legal Foundation ran in The New York Times a few years ago:
"How many acres of land must be despoiled to erect enough windmills - and how many birds must be
shredded flying through their giant blades - to keep California from becoming a third-world country?"
Yet, the group's stated purpose is not wildlife advocacy, but opposing "activist" government. "Established
in 1977, WLF shapes public policy and fights activist lawyers, regulators, and intrusive government
agencies at the federal and state levels, in the courts and regulatory agencies across the country,"
according to its Web site. The group has received more than $750,000 from Phillip Morris (now known as
Altria Group) and more than $100,000 from the Tobacco Institute."
Here is a little more on where WLF gets its funding. It seems that Mr. Curren missed one rather important source...
Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) - Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group
WLF publishes articles on the business threats posed by regulation of global warming pollution, such as vulnerability to tort claims.
$655,000 received from Koch foundations 2005-2008[Total Koch foundation grants 1997-2008: $1,255,000]
|Year||David H. Koch Foundation||Charles G. Koch Foundation||Claude R. Lambe Foundation|
|Total received by Washington Legal Foundation from 2005-2008: $655,000|
|Total received by Washington Legal Foundation from 1997-2008: $1,255,000|
But WLF is not the only fony front.
Koch's Funding of Climate Denial
- From 2005 to 2008, the Koch Foundations provided over $24.8 million in funding to climate denial groups (see spreadsheet below); ExxonMobil provided about $9.1 million to similar organizations over the same period.
- Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP), founded and chaired by David H. Koch, received over $5 million from Koch foundations since 2005. AFP is known for its "Hot Air Tour" campaign that spreads misinformation about climate science.
- Multiple Koch-funded organizations have repeatedly rebroadcast the November 2009 story dubbed "ClimateGate," referring to stolen personal emails of climate experts. These organizations claim the emails prove a "conspiracy" of scientists and casts doubt on the scientific consensus regarding climate change.
- In 2007, several prominent climate denial scientists published a non-peer reviewed article, funded by a Koch foundation, that concluded polar bears were not threatened by global warming. Multiple Koch-funded groups reiterated the article's conclusions through their websites and other media outlets.
Time was that politicians would at least hold fat cats like the Koch's at arm's length. In one respect the fony activits and lobbying efforts are just that.
But hacks like Walker have openly demonstrated that that distance is no longer a required fig leaf. Walker's punking in the fake call from Koch clearly demonstrates the level of subservience he has to this - the biggest special interest of all.
The question is... are we going to buy what this man and his payed for minions are selling?