Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Americans For Prosperity: Criminals

In some ways, I have no problem with Republicans being Republicans or conservative. Heck, there has to be another side, right? I especially understand Republicans who have boatloads of money and assets wanting corporate-friendly lawmakers in office to support their views that less taxation and less regulation leads to more money in their pockets, some of which is funneled back into elections to keep these lawmakers in office.

But here is where I have a problem--if you are not independently wealthy, and you support Republican and conservative and tea party ideals--well, I'll come out and say it--you are an idiot. Because those ideals mess with our democracy and the fabric of what made our country great. Don't let them tell you that taxes and regulation are bad for our country--those things are only bad for their bottom lines, not yours. You will benefit with the rich paying more in taxes (their relative contribution to the US Treasury is at the lowest percentage in years and corporations like GE paid no income tax in 2010) and helping to lower our deficit, which in turn will help our economy get out of its rut because the rest of us will have more money to spend, which will spur demand and create more jobs. For the record, the Bush tax cuts did not create jobs and trickle down economics is a fraud, but that's for another story. Luckily we progressives are fighting back and taking to the streets as we did here in Madison a few months ago, and as we are prepared to do at the polls in Ohio in November to repeal Senate Bill 5.

And you know, I'll even go so far as to say that I don't mind healthy debates with Republicans. But here is where I really have a problem--the Koch Brothers, aka billionaire business moguls Charles and David Koch, are lynch pins for a group called Americans for Prosperity. Here are a couple of the dirty tricks Americans for Prosperity has recently employed to try and game elections and strike fear in ordinary people--especially those who are less fortunate.

They tried to rig the Wisconsin state senate recall elections by sending out phony absentee ballots that had the wrong return date listed on them. They put phony eviction notices on the homes of folks in Michigan, scaring them into thinking that the building of a bridge to Canada would cost them their homes. Instead the Kochs and AFP were scaring these folks so that they could continue to support their billionaire pal Matty Moroun, who happens to own the current bridge from Michigan to Windsor, Ontario.

And then last week, also in Michigan, with governor Rick Snyder (what is it with conservatives all being named Rick?) facing push back and potential recall, and with concerned citizens circulating petitions to repeal Public Act 4, which essentially lets state governments take over city and county legislatures as they see fit--Americans for Prosperity used robo calls claiming that those circulating petitions are identity thieves who will use signees' personal information to steal from them. The end game here, of course, is the hope that these folks won't sign the recall petitions out of fear, and the bad guys will win--no recalls, more power for them, more money in their pockets, more power for Republicans, etc. etc. etc.

There are no doubt hundreds, maybe thousands, of examples of this criminal activity. And groups like AFP must be stopped, and must be exposed for the frauds that they are. But what's more, if you are a conservative and think that this activity is okay--well, as I said earlier, and I stand by this--you are an idiot.

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