Lions & Tigers & Kochs – Oh My!


Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 3.57.40 AMJack Hanna, one of the great zoo-keepers in the world, is pissed.  The Kochs have decided to go hunting, for tax dollars, and, in the process, take out a substantial amount of revenue for one of the great zoos.  Naturally, the Koch Machine, via AFP, is lying about the tax increase.  Thanks to the lies of Americans for Prosperity the voters in Franklin County turned down the small tax increase.

“...Hanna says his word can be trusted on the levy after he spent years generating millions of dollars in free publicity for Columbus.

“Over 29 years on David Letterman, four to five times a year, and if you had to pay for that advertising, and you hear how he introduces me from the Columbus, Ohio Zoo, that’s worth a little more than $800,000 a show,” said Hanna.  “You take Good Morning America, now in my 31st year, six times a year.  You take Anderson Cooper, FOX and Friends, Ellen and all these shows where they mention Columbus, Ohio, you add all those up and it comes to $34 million dollars for this city and this county.”

Franklin County voters will decide tomorrow whether to approve the permanent, $1.25 million levy to support the zoo and its expansion plans. The property tax would replace a 10-year, $750,000 zoo levy that expires at the end of next year and cost homeowners $21 a year per $100,000 of assessed home value. The new levy would cost $44 per $100,000. Part of the reason for the size of the increase is that the state no longer pays 12.5 percent of new levies for homeowners. If the levy fails tomorrow, Hanna says another effort could happen as early as this fall.

“Yes it does personally hurt me but I’m not going to sit here and say ‘well, Jack, you screwed up it’s your fault,'” said Hanna.  “I can’t say that.  If something were to happen I’ll be right back out there on Wednesday morning at daylight.  Jack Hanna is not a person who is going to say we can’t do something.  It will go.” …”

Why would Americans from Prosperity want to shoot down a budget increase for the Columbus Zoo?  What’s the point? They were opposed to what would have amounted for a $23/year tax increase on each $100K value of property.  You know, I don’t like property taxes, but that’s peanuts for the elephants, and monkeys, and other little animals.

Well, it’s all about control.  Americans for Prosperity is spreading its wings, spending a fortune on small, local issues, throwing millions against issues where there is very little money to fight the Brother’s Koch.

“…Outside interests weighing heavily in federal races may be the new normal, but their involvement in normally sleepy local and judicial races is becoming more common, too. The New York Times reported last fall that AFP has fought property tax battles in small towns across Kansas, Ohio, and Texas, exactly where outside money can easily skew election results. Likewise, Koch Industries has poured money into the normally quiet North Carolina Supreme Court primary. In Tennessee, the Senate passed a bill to ban mass transit projects in the region, after the AFP chapter recommended the idea. Since AFP calls this advocacy non-partisan and issue-based, they generally do not disclose how much it spends….”

Thanks to people like the Kochs, not a single US city ranks among the world’s most livable. Not a single US airport is ranked among the top 100 airports in the world.  Our infrastructure is falling apart, turning this once magnificent country into a total disgrace, reflecting the libertarian desire to privatize everything.  We don’t even lead in the world of literacy.  36% of Americans have low reading skills.  We are rapidly becoming a third world country, with ultra wealthy oligarchs gobbling up everything, even wanting to tax the sun and the wind.

According to the Koch Machine, there is no issue too small for them to be involved with.  That alone is quite chilling.  And – that is why this story is so important.  They went after the Jack Hanna’s zoo because it is important, one of the best zoos in the world.  That’s the point.  This is all about control and proving that no one, that nothing is safe from them.

“...It’s all part of the plan. Although AFP is a national organization, its Ohio state director, Eli Miller, told WOSU that his group will be “engaged in local issues, in state issues, on federal issues. There is no issue we won’t get involved in if you’re going to raise taxes.”…”

The Koch Machine has just sent middle America a message we can’t refuse.  They are in control.  They run the country.  They control the Supreme Court.  They control every single elected state legislature in the country.  They control every elected Republican governor.   In the state of Arizona, they have sponsored a bill forcing the taxation of wind and solar energy devices.  The same thing is happening in Oklahoma.  It is coming soon to a state, county, and community near you.  Just the other day, in New Mexico, their minions struck, again.

“…Had enough? Good. FreedomWorks is not grassroots. It speaks for Corporate America’s right wing. But the Journal’s journalistic failure goes deeper than accepting the organization’s grassroots lie at face value. It includes accepting at face value the rest of the organization’s description – “that serves citizens in their fight for more individual freedom and less government control.” That reads like a smokescreen, too, hiding what FreedomWorks and its affiliated organizations do – politics in the interest of its bankrollers, according to other sources.

For, as we’ve noted here many times, the Journal exempts them from coverage. That’s why a citizen who reads only the Journal (Heaven forbid!) wouldn’t know the Kochs and their fossil fuel business allies are spending millions to slow the progress of alternative sources of energy.

For example, Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved a surcharge on the power home solar users sell back to utilities “at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs.”…”

LA Times
LA Times

Charles & David Koch literally now run this country.  They have bought and paid for it via their political whores. They basically own anyone who now has a “R” by their name.  You want to know why I can no longer stomach being part of the GOP – Charles & David Koch!