Wednesday, November 6, 2013

John Doe Deux and other GOP money-laundering

This is an outstanding rundown by Lisa Kaiser of the Shepherd Express, showing the large number of right-wing organizations that have popped up in Wisconsin over the last 3 years (i.e. the Citizens United era). In addition to the remarkable way these folks launder funds from one group to the other, starting with DC orgs like Club for Growth, AFP/Koch and the Republican Governors Association, going down to the Bradley machine and its propaganda outlets (Wisconsin Distorter, MacIver, etc.), and over to connected GOPs like Scooter Jensen, R.J. Johnson, Luke Hilgemann and John Connors.

This comes on the heels of Brendan Fischer at the Center for Media and Democracy exposing the many ways GOP mega-donor Terry Kohler has created these front groups gotten people like Connors, R.J. Johnson, and Johnson's wife to run the day-to-day operations), and tried to hide just how much he calls the shots for these fronts. The Journal-Sentinel revealed during its look into the United Sportsmen scandal (click here for a brief recap) that Kohler was right at the center of that scam.
According to open records requests for communications with lawmakers about the group, Kohler personally reached out to Republican lawmakers on the budget committee and urged that they support "a Sporting Heritage Legacy Grant to the United Sportsmen." (This revelation contradicted [then-State Rep. and current paper industry lobbyist Scott] Suder’s earlier statements that the grant was not being steered towards United Sportsmen and was meant to be competitive.)

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a long-time member and leader of ALEC, called Kohler a “good friend” and a "big supporter" of Republicans.

"If Terry sends me a letter, I read it," Fitzgerald told the Journal-Sentinel.
You know, Hillary Clinton was laughed at by many when she said this 15 years ago-
But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this — they have popped up in other settings. This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it - is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president. -Hillary Clinton
Not so funny today, now that it's pretty clear that there is a right-wing cabal calling the shots for the Wisconsin GOP, trying to get all the benefits of sending large amounts of money to promote right-wing causes, but without having their role be exposed. Both Lisa Kaiser and Brendan Fischer have done great work in showing the tentacles of these groups and the scummy oligarchs who fund them, and I highly suggest you let others be aware of it, so they can call out the next fake GOP front groups when they inevitably appear for the 2014 elections.


  1. Speaking of these groups, I recently wrote:

    Sadly, liberals have not set up an entire social structure of similar businesses that are not only controlling our political agenda, but give jobs to a pool of untalented and untrained partisan hacks. In many ways, it's really a conservative welfare program, without a job training requirement.

  2. We don't call it wingnut welfare for nothing, John. It really is one freaky, incestuous family down at WisGOP, and while connecting these dots are hard to do on 30-second ads, it's something that needs to be consistently tried.

    By the way, the liberal groups in Minnesota have done something like that, and you see the results for the Dems