Malloy Administration ushering in a “Wisconsin Moment” at UConn and CSU

During last year’s gubernatorial campaign, Connecticut’s state employee unions mobilized their members with the powerful message that a vote for Democrat Dannel Malloy was the only way to prevent Connecticut from having a “Wisconsin Moment,” a reference to Republican Tom Foley’s comments in support of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s unprecedented attack on public employees and their rights.

As the state employee unions wrote in a commentary piece that appeared in a summer 2014 on CT Newsjunkie entitled Union Members Not Interested in ‘Wisconsin Moment’

The last thing we need is a Koch Brothers-funded campaign to transform Connecticut into Walker’s Wisconsin.

AFSCME’s newsletter further explained,

“Preventing a “Wisconsin moment” from taking place in Connecticut was the prevailing theme of the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s 10th biennial political convention that took place June 16-17 in New Haven.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders electrified the more than 300 union delegates to the convention with his keynote address on June 16. “We can’t afford Connecticut to become another Wisconsin.”

[…]

Hours after Saunders’ speech, Gov. Malloy declared “We’re going to have a ‘Connecticut moment!’” in contrast to Republican endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley’s call last year for a “Wisconsin moment.”

In response, Connecticut’s state employees gave Malloy the votes he needed to stay in the Governor’s Office for a second term.

Now, a year later, faculty at the University of Connecticut (UConn) and Connecticut State University (CSU-Board of Regents) have become prime targets in the Malloy Administration’s attempt to push through some of the very policy changes that have been championed by the appropriately vilified Scott Walker.

The Malloy administration’s proposals to remove shared academic governance at the University of Connecticut and destroy tenure protections at Connecticut State Universities by repealing the requirement of declaring financial exigency prior to laying off tenured faculty are exactly the policy outcomes contained in Wisconsin Act 55, which Scott Walker signed into law this past July. Continue reading “Malloy Administration ushering in a “Wisconsin Moment” at UConn and CSU”

Inaugurations – Did you help finance Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reelection campaign?

Today it is Dannel Malloy who is being sworn into a second term as Connecticut’s governor.

Two days ago it was Wisconsin’s conservative, Tea-Bag Party Governor and presidential wannabe Scott Walker.

While there are stark differences between the two, on the issues related to public education, teachers and the corporate education reform industry, Malloy and Walker have shockingly similar platforms.

Like Malloy, Walker spent his first term trying to destroy teacher tenure, eliminate collective bargaining rights for teachers and dramatically expand public funding for charter schools and the overall effort to privatize public education.

The primary difference was the same in Connecticut, thanks to a Democrat-controlled legislature, Malloy’s worst proposals were removed from his “education reform initiative.”  Whereas in Wisconsin, a right-wing, Republican-controlled legislature passed Walker’s proposals and made Wisconsin ground-zero for the corporate education reform effort to destroy teachers, the teaching profession and teacher unions.

Another major similarity between the two individuals is that both candidates relied heavily on the support of special interests to fund their campaign operations.

While the tea-party conservatives lined up for Walker and the unions lined up for Malloy, both candidates collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from major corporations.

Malloy’s corporate support came from political action committees including, Aetna, Alcoa, Alexion, American Medical Response, AQN, AT&T, Bank of America, Boehringer Ingelheim, CBS, Cerner Corporation, Cigna, Comcast, Computer Sciences Corporation, Covanta Energy, Dominion Energy, Enterprise Holding, FoxPAC (Yes, related to the Fox News Corp.), General Dynamics, General Electric, GHC Corporation, Guardian, Hartford Financial, HNTB Holdings, Maximus, Minerals Technologies Inc., National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Northeast Utilities, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, Praxair, Public Service of New Jersey, Purdue Pharma, Reinsurance Association of America, Safelite, Spectra Energy, Synergy, Nestle Waters, The Phoenix, The Travelers, Walt Disney Productions, Thermo Fischer Scientific, UnitedHealth, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Webster Bank, Wellpoint, Xerox and the list goes on.

During the past gubernatorial campaign, Corporate America also invested in Scott Walker’s campaign, leaving one to ask…

Did your purchases help fund Walker (or Malloy’s) campaigns?

Did you buy a Pepsi, Coca-Cola or Snapple this year?  Do you have a cell phone, use a bank, take medication, buy insurance or purchase any number of other consumer products?

Well you may be among the millions of consumers who helped fund Scott Walker, the darling of the Koch Brothers and the right-wing in the United States.

Despite Walker’s controversial positions and record, Walker collected 53% of the vote in last November’s election, funding his campaign with donations from a plethora of “mainstream” American corporations.

A review of campaign finance records in Wisconsin show dozens of national corporations gave Walker money or provided financial support to organizations engaged in funneling money into Walker’s campaign.

Even the controversies surrounding Walker’s potentially illegal campaign activities didn’t stop major corporations from pumping consumers’ dollars into Walker’s political ambitions.

Walker’s dubious claim to fame is based on a variety of proposals and actions including the following;

  • On raising Wisconsin’s $7.25 minimum wage, Walker said discussing raising the amount had no ‘purpose’ and in October 2014, Walker’s administration wrote, “There is no reasonable cause to believe” that the state’s minimum wage isn’t a living wage.  This despite the fact that 700,000 people in Wisconsin – one in four workers – are earning poverty wages.
  • On the critical issue of reproductive rights, Walker signed sweeping new restrictions on reproductive rights in Wisconsin.  The law requires women, regardless of the patient’s wishes, to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound before they get an abortion, Said Walker, “I don’t have any problem with ultrasound.”
  • To those who say efforts are needed to ensure more American have health insurance; Walker recently explained that denying health coverage to additional low-income Americans helps more people “live the American Dream” because they won’t be “dependent on the American government.”
  • On the issue of “equal pay for women,” Walker successfully pushed to repeal Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Law.  One of Walker’s Senate Republican allies defending the effort by exclaiming, “Money is more important for men.
  • Walker’s attacks on public school and higher education have been unprecedented.  As widely reported, Walker’s cuts to public schools have cost more than 3,400 jobs, including more than 1,900 teachers.
  • And when it comes to promoting democracy, Walker “accomplishments” includes legislation to disenfranchise tens of thousands of young voters, senior citizens and minority voters as a result of his voter suppression and voter ID laws.

But despite Walker’s right-wing political agenda and offensive comments, corporations donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Walker.

The following is a just a partial list.

Corporation Contribution Amount
3M Company PAC $22,000
Abbott Labs Employee PAC $5,500
AT&T Wisconsin PAC $23,000
Centene Corporation PAC (Health Insurance) $21,000
CenturyLinkPAC $12,500
Citigroup Inc. PAC $1,000
Coca-Cola PAC $8,000
Deloitte Political Action Committee $10,000
Dominion Resources Inc. PAC $5,000
Dr Pepper Snapple Group PAC $3,000
Eli Lilly and Company PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $21,000
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. PAC (Car Rental) $14,000
Express Scripts, Inc. PAC $1,000
Federal Express PAC $10,000
General Electric Political Action Committee (GEPAC) $7,000
General Motors Company PAC $8,500
GlaxoSmithKline PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $4,000
Hewlett-Packard Company PAC $10,500
Honeywell International PAC $40,000
Humana Inc. PAC (Health Insurance) $18,000
Johnson & Johnson PAC $3,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co. PAC $3,500
Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. PAC $7,500
Marathon Petroleum Corporation PAC $16,500
Molina Healthcare Inc PAC $2,500
Monsanto Co. PAC $24,000
Motorola Solutions, Inc. PAC $2,000
Murray Energy Corporation PAC $15,000
Northwestern Mutual Life PAC $57,000
PepsiCo Inc PAC $2,000
Pfizer Inc PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $43,250
Sprint Corporation PAC 6500
The Caterpillar Inc. PAC $50,000
US Bancorp PAC $1,000
Valero Energy Corporation PAC $1,000
Walgreens Co. PAC $7,500
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. PAC $15,000
WellPoint, Inc. WELLPAC  (Health Insurance) $27,000
Xcel Energy-WI PAC $12,500
Xerox Corporation Political Action Committee $5,000
Zeneca Inc. PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $8,000

*Donations since 2011 from major U.S. corporations to Friends of Scott Walker, Scott Walker – Rebecca Kleefisch Victory Committee and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

And this list doesn’t even highlight some of Governor Walker’s other corporate donors including $51,000 from the BNSF Railway (RailPAC), $45,000 from the national construction company HNTB Holdings Ltd. PAC, $27,000 from the Koch Brothers and $23,000 from Union Pacific Railway.

Which brings us back to the question; did your consumer spending help fund Walker’s successful re-election effort?

Or for that matter, did your consumer spending fund Malloy’s successful re-election effort.

And finally, what are the following companies doing supporting both Malloy and Walker?

AT&T, Dominion, Enterprise Holdings, General Electric, HTNB Holdings, Pfizer, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, WellPoint, Inc, and Xerox