The owners of the Chicago Cubs are supporting Gov. Scott Walker, the stealthiest extremist in the Republican field who has proven to be highly adept at implementing right-wing policies in Wisconsin.
The group supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential bid, Unintimidated PAC, has raised nearly $20 million in its effort to help boost Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential bid, campaign finance records released Friday show.
The filing shows the super PAC’s top donors include some familiar names, including prominent conservative donors the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, and Diane Hendricks, the owner of a Beloit-based roofing and siding company ABC Supply, with each contributing $5 million.
That means that about half of the $20 million raised came from those two families.
He’s the most dangerous candidate because he is in the pocket of ALEC, and therefore has the professionals behind his campaign who can make him a viable candidate if he sticks to their scripts and flies under the radar on his most rightward positions.
So that makes me of two minds on this: On the one hand, this is a sport and sometimes sports should just be sports. Not everything has to have a political side because that’s just not how being a fan works. The Cubs players did not sign up to support ALEC. (Although I do wonder how all those Latino players might feel about their bosses supporting Walker.)
On the other hand, ALEC and Walker are so extreme, I do hope someone gets the chance to ask a member of the family in public which parts of the Walker agenda they support. It doesn’t seem like an issue that should just be ignored.
If you are a union member — and there are many of you in Chicagoland — this guy is very bad news.
If it seems as if the right-wing echo chamber on the web, television and radio seems to have a sudden interest in Americans working more hours and longer work weeks, you might consider that that interest may not be so sudden as it is calculated.
These issues are often interconnected thanks to the behind-the-scenes work from shadowy groups like ALEC — described by the group ALEC Exposed:
“Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called ‘model bills’ reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.”
What this means is that time and again these issues that seem to percolate up from the state and local level might be part of a coordinated plan.
Take Wisconsin, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who takes his marching orders directly from ALEC, has through numerous small and large legislative and executive actions, weakened the state’s labor movement to the point where he and the state’s corporations are now moving to make it so the five-day work week is a thing of the past:
This week, presidential candidate Jeb Bush was harshly criticized for saying that the solution to some of America’s economic woes could be solved if Americans worked more hours. Republican politicians in Wisconsin are trying to make this theory reality, with a proposal to allow seven-day work-weeks.
Wisconsin’s GOP is trying to nix an existing law that requires employers in the manufacturing and retail sectors to give employees at least 24 hours off during each consecutive seven-day period. Currently, for an employee to skip his or her weekly day off, an employer has to get approval from the state’s Department of Workforce Development. The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce association—a staunch advocate of the bill—suggests that the step is onerous and unnecessary, since the department has approved 733 such requests over the past five years, a number they imply means that the department is rubber-stamping the requests.
Supporters also suggest that the plan ultimately helps employees who want to work more hours.
But there are many who are skeptical. “I think it’s been portrayed as an effort to try to help workers; it’s clearly designed to benefit employers,” says Donald F. Kettl, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and the former director of the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin. “Many people like extra hours, but the idea of being in a position where you’re asked to work seven days [raises the question] of how much of a choice it really is.” In response, advocates of the bill suggest that coercion won’t be an issue, and if it is, employees can report business owners.
“This isn’t a bad thing. It’s what workers have already. It’s what they want. We’re just removing a bureaucratic obstacle,” said the spider to the fly.
The effects are linear if you look at the data: states with strong labor movements and unions have better pay, working conditions and benefits for workers overall — even non-unionized workers — than do states with weak labor movements.
Some of this is due to globalization and the American labor movement’s jobs moving overseas in unfair competition with countries that have few, if any, labor laws, wage standards, environmental protections and enforceable building codes to protect the public.
However, the right-wing noise machine has also through decades of propaganda convinced many Americans that unions allow the fat and the lazy to get things they do not deserve while the non-unionized work harder for less. It’s called the politics of resentment and it works because it pits one group in society against another so that those groups are fighting each other instead of noticing that hand in their back pocket or purse about ready to steal their wallet.
Just ask Scott Walker why he had to weaken unions in his state before daring to introduce harmful legislation that affects all workers in Wisconsin.