I’m speaking at my old high school’s Career Day this week and I have no idea how to describe what I do. Any suggestions?
Uranus in Aries, beginning a square to Pluto, Mars conjunction with the New Moon in Aries with Jupiter and Mercury? If it feels like the world’s turning upside down, that’s because it is. Let’s just say a period of intense, concentrated change, both personal and political — like the Sixties, because that’s the last time we saw aspects like these.
But you’re a young Republican operative whose father is a big contributor, so naturally WI Gov. Scott Walker’s going to give you a high-paying job!
Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.
Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.
How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?
It’s all in the family.
His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year’s governor’s race.
The group’s political action committee gave $29,000 to Walker and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, last year, making it one of the top five PAC donors to the governor’s successful campaign. Even more impressive, members of the trade group funneled more than $92,000 through its conduit to Walker’s campaign over the past two years.
Total donations: $121,652.
That’s big-time backing from the homebuilders.
The younger Deschane didn’t respond to questions about his job.
But his father said he doesn’t think his group’s financial support of the first-term Republican helped his son in his job search.
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Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., where he was standing with sanitation workers demanding their dream of a better life. Today, the right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a middle-class life are under attack as never before. Find out more here.
Join us to make April 4, 2011, and the days surrounding it, a day to stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin and dozens of other states where corporate-bought politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for.
There is a group little known called Citizens for a Strong America (CSA) that has been putting a surprising amount of money into the WI State Supreme Court election to be held Tuesday. Some folks have been digging around and found some very interesting things on the group. I urge you to go read Cognitive Dissidence because it has a summary of that info and more on how these folks operate. Here is part:
Also sharing the same address as CSA and AFP is an organization called Campaign Now. Guess what. Campaign Now’s website is also registered to John Connors. Digging a little deeper into Campaign Now’s site, one can find their contact phone number. This number happens to be the same phone number that was used by AFP to register riders on the buses to the AFP (read Koch Brothers) sponsored pilgrimage to Madison on February 15, in order to represent the Koch Industries in front of the Joint Financial Committee.
Besides sharing phone numbers and addresses, these groups also share Connors, who is listed as a On-Site Production Coordinator at the AFP/Koch Brothers sponsored Tea Party held in Wisconsin Dells in 2009.
Further research shows that Connors is indeed a very busy and very well-connected young man.
Yes, if you read the Cognitive Dissidence post, it gets even more interesting:
On top of being affiliated with AFP, CSA and Campaign Now, Connors was also an intern for then County Executive Scott Walker and for the gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, all while balancing his school career and being a senator at Marquette University.
Connors is also listed as the registrant for yet another website, this time WatchDog.org, which is ironically described as a “non-profit, non-partisan” project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. And here’s a really shocker – Franklin Center is affiliated with – guess who- the Koch Brothers!
The decline of the statehouse beat is bad enough. What I find even worse is the influx of agenda-driven state “news” organizations, some with a leftist orientation but most of the newer entries tilted far to the right. They claim their sole reason for being is to inform the people and hold public officials accountable, filling a vacuum caused by the downsizing of the news industry. Their mission statements actually say they’re rushing to fill the gap.
Don’t believe it for a moment. Do what reporters should do: Check them out, as I have done. For the most part, the people in charge of these would-be watchdog operations are political hacks out to subvert journalism in their quest to grab and keep power using whatever means they have to do so. Good luck on finding out where they get their money; the IRS disclosure forms required of organizations that claim nonprofit status are singularly uninformative.
At the forefront of an effort to blur the distinction between statehouse reporting and political advocacy is the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, which finances a network of websites that focus on state government. This center has ties to a number of conservative organizations, including theAmericans for Prosperity Foundation, whose founder is billionaire David Koch. He is a longtime financier of right-wing causes whose shadowy political dealings were highlighted this past summer in a New Yorker article by Jane Mayer headlined “Covert Operations.”
As a side note to all of this, it should also be noted that Connors is not the only one who has their fingers in all of these pies. Claire Milbrandt, who was listed as Stage Coordinator at the AFP event, is also listed as Account Executive at Campaign Now, Account Manager at Connors and Co., and a consultant for AFP.
I sure hope that the Koch Brothers are paying them well for all of their hard work.
But it is very frightening to see just how many things the Koch Brothers have their dirty little hands into in Wisconsin, and none of it to the benefit of the state or its people.
It also shows just how very important that we take to the polls on Tuesday, April 5, and vote to keep Wisconsin in the hands of Wisconsinites, not the Koch Brothers.
Kristen Vigard singing for Ileana Davis in “Grace of My Heart”: