Corporate Coup d'Etat in Wisconsin - by Stephen Lendman
Ralph Nader calls Washington corporate-occupied territory - "every department agency controlled by the overwhelming presence of corporate lobbyists, corporate executives in high government positions, turning the government against its own people."
Nader also said corporations don't just control government, they are the government. "The corporation IS the government!" They bought and own it at the federal, state and local levels, running it like their private fiefdom at the expense of working Americans, systematically stripping them of hard-won rights.
They have 10,000 Political Action Committees and 35,000 full-time lobbyists. "Just imagine," says Nader, "even the Labor Department is not controlled by trade unions - it's (owned and) controlled by corporations."
In 1938, Franklin Roosevelt defined the problem, saying:
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power."
Today it's more virulent and pervasive than anything Roosevelt could have imagined, using corrupted politicians to smash worker rights.
It's more evidence of America's fake democracy and the criminal class running it. Politicians are bought like toothpaste. Mock elections pretend to be real. Behind the scenes power players control everything, supported by brazen media misreporting, whether about war and peace, the rule of law, or other vital issues, including worker rights.
Overnight on March 9, fascist Republicans erased them in five minutes, in violation of Wisconsin's open meetings law, requiring "24 hours prior to the commencement of (special sessions) unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical."
The measure had nothing to do with budget-balancing. It's corporate ordered union busting. Wisconsin is a microcosm of America, ground zero, now breached as well as Ohio. Expect other states to follow. Public and private sector workers nationwide are losing out - betrayed by brazen politicians and corrupted union bosses, selling out rank and file members for self-enrichment and privilege.
On March 9, New York Times writer Monica Davey headlined, "Wisconsin Senate Limits Bargaining by Public Workers," saying:
The 23-day "bitter political standoff in Wisconsin over Gov. Walker's bid to sharply curtail (public worker) collective bargaining (rights) ended abruptly Wednesday night as" on-the-take Senate Republicans rammed through an illegitimate bill, voting 18 - 1 - with no debate or Democrat members present.
On March 10, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JS) writers Patrick Marley and Lee Bergquist headlined, "Maneuver ignites furious protests," saying:
Republicans secretly "devised a plan to get around the impasse and hurriedly approved the bill late in the day." Some financial issues were removed to be voted on separately. Included were provisions raising worker healthcare and pension contributions. Democrat Senator Bob Jauch called it 'political thuggery,' saying 'it's akin to political hara-kiri. I think it's political suicide.' "
The measure gives Walker dictatorial power over BadgerCare health coverage for low-paid Wisconsinites earning too much for Medicaid. It also makes 37 civil service jobs political appointments.
Moreover, state and local public employees must pay half their annual pensions cost contributions, and minimally 12.6% of healthcare premiums. In addition, future pay raises are pegged to annual CPI increases, a rigged index not reflecting true inflation. Greater ones may only be approved by statewide referendum, a cumbersome process taking time.