The U.S. Supreme Court will today hear from a key case that could be a major blow to the national union. Janus v. American state, county and municipal employees’ union cases involving workers who are covered by union bargaining contracts are required to pay some union dues, even if they are not union members. This case is in recent years, the right-wing donor money for one reason for a series of conservative – including the Koch brothers, they boast that they recently won the government trump “laundry list” of victory. For more, we talked to the intercept investigative reporter li fang. His latest article, entitled “Koch documents reveal laundry lists of policies extracted from the trump administration”.
JUAN gonzalez: and, lee, for marketing, I want to ask you about your big marketing efforts. The kochs are talking about the $400 million to $500 million art in the upcoming midterm elections. You can talk about their network, the webinar network, you’ve seen it, and what is the likely impact of these huge expenditures on upcoming elections?
Li fang: well, look at the Koch brothers more than a decade, have organized other republican donors – these are billionaires, very wealthy donors – present at the secret meetings with the Koch brothers, pledged to Koch network. And the Koch network money involved a series of groups, different think tanks, university efforts, and campaign ads and grassroots efforts to get votes. The seminar network is dedicated to institutionalizing this fundraising network. They meet twice a year. At a recent conference in Indian Wells, about 500 different donors came to the Koch brothers to introduce their strategy.
And, you know, the kochs ‘top priority in this year’s midterm elections is to maintain the republican majority in congress and continue to elect republicans at the state level. Two major efforts are under way. They are very concerned about the upcoming census, which will redraw the political map of each state within two years. So the people who control the legislature after the mid-term elections will map out the next decade. They also worry that republicans will lose control of the senate. So they are now a crime for many incumbent democratic senators. We’ve seen television commercials across the country, like indiana and Missouri, where there are vulnerable democratic senators, you know, in the states where trump won the election. They’re already on the air. They’re hiring people to go out and organize work, you know, to thrive in groups like americans. But they are attacking, hoping to pick up some democratic seats while protecting the republican majority.
AMY GOODMAN: I’d like to talk about Charles Koch, chief executive of Koch Industries, who delivered the opening speech last month at the palm springs symposium network.
Charles hodge: over the past five years, we’ve made more progress than we have in the last 50 years… The core of our accelerated progress is the philosophy we follow and increasingly follow to make Frederick douglass an effective social change entrepreneur. That is to say, as he said, to unite with anyone and do right, no one does anything wrong.
AMY GOODMAN: so, if you can talk about the agenda, and lobbyists on Capitol hill, dangdang funded think tank not only, and pollsters recently with you a piece about the Koch brothers target Claire McCaskill of Missouri against republican tax cut?
Li fang: yes. You know, in the very chaotic context of the first year, Donald trump actually helped to make the Koch brothers a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very You know, in the three main areas that we’re talking about, the republicans in congress and Donald trump have enacted tax cuts for the Koch brothers. These are tax cuts to the top. There is an estimate recently that each of the Koch brothers, David and Charles Koch, will receive $500 million a year – just an estimate – just from the tax bill.
And regulation. The trump administration, along with many of the appointees directly from the Koch network, has issued a series of rulings and modifications to the Koch brothers, mainly in the area of environmental rules.
In the department of justice, the Koch brothers of long-term systemic change very hard, Donald trump is ready to break the record, and through a series of federal appointment record to the judicial institutions. He appointed judges and appellants at an unprecedented rate. These are lifetime dates. The referee will be there again to 10, 30 or even 40 years, in order to trump after leaving office, if there is progress or democratic President and the congress, the referee will potentially disable any rule from there is more progress out of the administrative or any law.
AMY GOODMAN: soon, McCaskill?
Lee: Claire McCaskill is a senator who opposes tax cuts, which makes the kochs very unhappy. But she is a very vulnerable democratic senator. She was in a state where trump had won a huge state in Missouri. It will be a very active senate race. This is part of the Democratic Party that the Koch brothers wanted to elect for the republican party. So even if the republicans suffer in congressional elections, they want to be able to attack and take that seat.
JUAN gonzalez: well, Mr. Lee, talking about the Koch brothers, the Supreme Court of the United States, listening to the argument today can also deal with a major nationwide strike, the union’s main case. The case is called Janus v. U.S. state, county and municipal employees, it is covered by the union contract negotiations whether workers need to pay part of the trade union membership dues, even if they are not union members. In 2016, after the sudden death of conservative antonin scalia, the Supreme Court fell 4 to 4 in the case. But now Mr Trump is expected to break the tie by ruling the unions. Right-wing and conservative donors have been funding the case and other efforts to weaken the union. The New York times introduced a conservative donor base around the case. Can you talk about the importance of this case?