Apr 14, 2011

Kochapolooza: Walker Admits He Lied

UFCW members in Madison, WI with Scott Walker puppet.
With real issues - a jobs crisis and budget crisis - facing Americans, what have Republicans been doing? Today they staged a hearing with Governor Scott Walker and other anti-worker activists that was bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. More than half of the Republican House Oversight Committee members, including Chairman Issa, are recipients of Koch money, and the so-called expert witnesses? Three of the four have also received money from the Koch brothers. (Walker’s DC visit coincides with a damning new report that details how he and David Prosser “quietly worked to allow Koch’s many Georgia Pacific paper plants to pollute thousands of pounds of phosphorus in Wisconsin’s water.”)

However, Governor Scott Walker's misdeeds have been so profound that the Wisconsin Republican was STILL embarrassed at this not-so-impartial hearing. Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Gerry Connolly questioned Walker thoroughly, and finally got him to admit what the non-partisan PolitiFact had already examined and judged completely false – that he never campaigned on stripping collective bargaining rights. Walker and national Republicans have used that as a key talking point, but today Walker made explicit that he lied to voters by claiming he had signaled his agenda during the election.Walker also admitted that key provisions of his so-called Budget Repair Bill had nothing to do with repairing the budget. 

But despite the Democrats' vigilance and Walker's admissions, Rep. Issa's “Kochapolooza” hearing wasn't about budgets, jobs, or corporate responsibility - that's for sure. It was about muzzling nurses, teachers, firefighters, and other public workers - the people who keep this country running - so that the Koch brothers and other CEOs and greedy Wall Street types can line their already overstuffed pockets with even more money. All this while many ordinary Americans are just barely getting by.

These Republican politicians should be focusing on creating jobs. That's what will get America moving again. That's what will fix our budget crises.  But instead, Rep. Issa is using this hearing as nothing but an excuse to sell the cruel and misguided Ryan Budget plan - the plan that would balance our budget on the backs of the poor and middle class, senior citizens, students, and working families - while cutting taxes even more for the wealthiest Americans and for Big Business.

House Republicans need to get serious and work with the American people, not against us. But in light of this hearing and the recent threats to shut down the government, does it really seem likely that House Republicans will be abandoning their ideological crusades and political crusades to focus on job creation anytime soon? America's working families shouldn't hold their breath.

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