Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Surprised?: "Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute" (NY Times)

UPDATE: John Nichols & Matt Rothschild discuss the lesser-known, but huge, implications of the "Wisconsin Union-Busting," GRITtv, video (13:00)

"David H. Koch, left, and Charles G. Koch have long used their wallets to promote fiscal conservatism and combat regulation."

Eric Lipton (NY Times):
Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.

The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits.

“We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said.

What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch. MORE...

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