The Guardian rocks. They have leaked e-mails from Scott Walker and the John Doe Investigation into the influence of big money groups in Wisconsin politics which was shut down by the Republican controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court. It’s all amazingly banana republic stuff.
The John Doe files amount to 1,500 pages of largely unseen material gathered in evidence by prosecutors investigating alleged irregularities in political fundraising. Last year the Wisconsin supreme court ordered that all the documents should be destroyed (emphasis added), though a set survived that has now been obtained by the news organisation.
Walker became a conservative darling because he demonized and attacked public sector unions, was excited to enact voter ID laws and has since also taken the knife to the University of Wisconsin system. All of these things are naturals for southern Republican governors, but Walker was doing them and getting away with it in a northern, blue state. That gave the Koch Brothers and a lot of corporate oligarchs a collective hard on that they could stamp the entire country with their anti-democratic agenda.
Among the new material contained in the documents are donations amounting to $750,000 to a third-party group closely aligned to Walker from the owner of NL Industries, a company that historically produced lead paint. Within the same timeframe as the donations, the Republican-controlled legislature passed new laws making it much more difficult for victims of lead paint poisoning to sue NL Industries and other former lead paint manufacturers (the laws were later overturned in the federal courts).
If not for those meddling kids on federal courts we could poison the country at will and be true 19th century poison barons like the founders envisioned!
With the McDonnell conviction thrown out in Virginia, it’s become evident that there is no such thing as bribery, a pejorative, as a crime in America, there’s only the giving of large amounts of money (totally not bribery) as a way of doing business. Legal experts will say there has to be a clear quid pro quo, but even when there is, elected douchenozzels walk away to collect more checks and their scumbag benefactors are never even implicated. Their right to bribe is actually not even questioned.
We need a constitutional amendment that says “Money is not speech.”