Friday, December 26, 2014

Oops. I meant to write the Koch brothers!

Oops. I meant to write the Koch brothers!

I'm sorry, I meant to post something earlier about the Koch brothers (why do these guys remind me of the great Philadelphia movie, "Trading Places"?). They're definitely headed our way, although whether they can gain as much traction in Harrisburg as they almost did in Madison remains to be seen:

Last week, the president of a tea-party-linked political group heavily funded by the Koch oil-and-gas fortune - Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity - told reporters covering the labor unrest in Wisconsin that Pennsylvania is one of three states, along with Ohio and Indiana, where the group plans a push to curb union benefits and power.

Americans for Prosperity, or AFP - the national budget for which has soared to $40 million in the past two years with support from the Koch brothers and like-minded wealthy conservatives - sent another strong signal last week when it announced that former Reading-area lawmaker Sam Rohrer, who was backed by many tea-party groups when he ran for governor in the 2010 GOP primary, will serve as the group's state executive director.

"I personally believe - and I think AFP would underscore this - that anybody who's paid by the public, who's paid by the taxpayers, has neither the right to strike nor the right to collective bargaining," Rohrer said in a phone interview.

I know what you're probably saying right now (because I read my emails and listen to my voice mails) -- what about George Soros? What about him? Soros donates large amounts to national causes (including $1 million recently to Media Matters for America, where most regular readers know I've been a senior fellow) but a preliminary search does not turn up cases where he or the groups that he supports have been heavily involved in state issues here. (In contrast, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is stepping up its Harrisburg operation.) But if I'm overlooking something regarding Soros and Pennsylvania, let me know and I'll write about it!

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