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Wisconsin - It's not just the union-busting...

... but there's also no-bid contracts for the operation and/or sale of publicly owned utilities to The Kochtopus "private entities."

Gin and Tacos:

The lion's share of attention regarding Scott Walker's legislative proposal has been paid to the effort to revoke Wisconsin public employees' collective bargaining rights, but the 144-page bill (more reliable link here) is a far more exhaustive and inclusive list of the fundamentals of Republican politics in the 21st Century. Not many people have the time to plow through the whole bill but those who do will be rewarded with plenty of gems like this:

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).


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Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

"The relevant text is on page 24 identified as “16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant.” It is included as Section 44 of the bill, and is created, not an amendment of existing law."

Buying up existing power plants is one of the major operations of Koch Industries and this explains their sudden interest in Wisconsin - an opportunity to expand their empire on the cheap.

The provision eliminates all oversight of these no-bid sales. This is obvious corruption.

Submitted by hipparchia on

thanks for the reminder.

i'm still having internet connectivity issues[and yet this is still miles better than at&t was], so when i get a chance to hit the 'post' button, i take it.

Submitted by jawbone on

brothers access to buying state-owned power generation plants for pennies on the dollar. That's why there's the no bid part...their success can't be guaranteed if the process is open and transparent.

(BTW, doesn't Wisconsin have laws about selling assets? Like, with bids and transparency?)

This is sort of like when the USSR assets were sold off to the highest bidder for access (unless they were already in power and had the access as part of that), and then got to buy the assets for the lowest dollar in purchase price. Lowest return to the people via their government; highest return to the Oligarchs.

I vaguely recall some critics of the neo-libs' advice to Russia saying this kind of cronyism would be coming the US in due time. With ConservaCrazy Republicans its here.

The diary says this is actually the end game, that the attack on collective bargaining succeeding would be a nice bonus, but the real objective is for the Koch brothers to achieve a vertical monopoly in Wisconsin and wherever they can get their puppets in power.

And, according to a local article, the actual legislation has still not been made public?

Worth a read. Bolsters what Hipp is posting.

Submitted by hipparchia on

[thank you for that link, it's a good one] including, especially, the comments on that post.

it appears that the state-owned power facilities are are a relatively small portion of the wisconsin utilities pie, so i most definitely do NOT want to see the union fight derailed by career progressives suddenly shifting all their attention to the utilities aspect of the bill.

it would appear that the bill is truly evil on multiple levels, and that we're just going to have to wage major battles on multiple fronts.