Over two weeks after One Wisconsin Now filed an open records request for all email and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration, the Walker administration has yet to fulfill the request. One Wisconsin Now said it is considering legal action and notes the unusual speed at which Gov. Walker’s office released staff email communications this week it claimed were proof of the administration’s willingness to negotiate with Senate Democrats in the budget repair bill dispute.
“Gov. Scott Walker needs to learn there isn’t one set of open records laws for emails you want to release and another set of open records laws for emails you don’t want to release,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Suing Gov. Walker to obtain these records is not what we want to do, but we are more than willing to take him to court if he refuses to promptly fulfill our reasonable and legal request.”
Unlike Gates and Buffett, who have been widely known for decades through news and media coverage, David Koch, 70, and Charles Koch, 74, ( pronounced “ Coke”) have assiduously avoided public notice or attention. On August, 2010, Jane Mayer in The New Yorker magazine brought them into the open with an indepth investigative article that focused on the Kochs as longtime libertarians using their money to influence government policy and practices. It was entitled, “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”
However, they were still not household names until Governor Scott Walker, who ignited the anti-union uproar in Wisconsin, took a telephone call from a prankster who identified himself as David Koch. Walker had received $ 43,000 from Americans for Prosperity, a Koch funded foundation, and the caller was put through immediately. The imposter taped the lengthy conversation about the Democratic senators who had fled to Illinois and complimented Walker on his refusal to budge. Walker: “I’ve got layoff notices ready . . . “ Koch impersonator: “Beautiful; beautiful. Gotta crush that union.” Once the prank call hit the cable news and the late night jokesters, David Koch and his brother could no longer remain reclusive billionaires who have been backing conservative causes for decades.
Then, there are the calls to boycott brands owned by Koch Industries, including: Angel Soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, Dixie paper products, Mardi Gras napkins and towels, Quilted Northern toilet paper, Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper, Sparkle napkins, Vanity Fair, Zee napkins, Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes, Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products, Lycra, and Stainmaster Carpet - to name a few.
The Koch name first came to be associated with the budget repair bill when an online news editor posed as David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, and duped Walker into taking a prank call.