Friday, April 03, 2009

Rose Fernandez and Her Corporate Backers

We already know that Rose Fernandez is connected in several different directions to the out-of-state for-profit K12, Inc. We know that they have bragged about making as much as $5 million off of Wisconsin taxpayers and would surly like an ally leading the Department of Public Instruction to pocket even more. We also know that executives and other staff from this out-of-state special interest have given cash to the Fernandez Campaign. But it looks like not only that special interest is involving itself in the DPI election, now even more corporate interests are getting into the act.

It appears that Americans for Prosperity is set to run radio ads supporting Fernandez. This is the same organization that was created in 2003 by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. That foundation itself is financed by the fortunes of Koch Industries and its owners David and Charles Koch. This is an oil and gas conglomerate and is the largest privately-held company in America. They have been on the wrong side of many issues and have tried to repeatedly use their corporate power to influence policy both nationally and locally. The head of the Wisconsin chapter of this corporate interest mouthpiece is Mark Block, a man that was at the center of what the Wisconsin State Journal described as "one of the largest political-corruption cases in state history."

Speaking of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), it should also be noted that they made a January poll public (sort of) that seems to be very Rose Fernandez specific. Although AFP may have put up a link to it, I would like to know who actually paid for this preprimary poll? Was it AFP or was it actually paid for by some corporate sponsor? Was this poll shopped around Wisconsin by anyone and does that help explain some of the conservative support for an inexperienced candidate like Fernandez over one like Van Mobley? If so, then who shopped it around and what interests do they represent? Furthermore, did anyone in or close to the Fernandez Campaign see this poll after AFP made it public and did they use any of it in any way? It just seems awfully convenient that this expensive poll was conducted when the Rose Fernandez campaign probably couldn't afford to do one themselves.

Whatever the answers to these important questions, the new ad push by AFP only confirms that Rose Fernandez is the candidate of the corporate special interests.

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