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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


PLUS: Sam Seder interviews Brad on 'Ring of Fire'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 10:51pm PT  

"Whether he discussed it or not, he's doing their bidding," insists Jeff Tittel, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "The Governor has a problem about completely telling the truth. If the Governor was Pinocchio, you'd be getting hit with his nose about now."

Those were among Tittel's remarks today during my interview with him this afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show here on KPFK in Los Angeles. (Full audio posted below.) Needless to say, he doesn't have much confidence in NJ Gov. Chris Christie's latest denials about his relationship with the billionaire oil magnate Koch brothers.

As we've reported over the past 24 hours, last night, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) scammed a local radio host concerning his meetings with the Rightwing billionaires. Earlier today, finally, local media forced a direct answer from him on whether he ever discussed the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the Kochs. The co-owners of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the nation, which they inherited from their father, hate the RGGI cap-and-trade plan to curb pollutants, as created by 10 Northeastern states. Christie's unilateral withdraw from the agreement last May was a shocker, though one celebrated by the Kochs and their well-funded Climate Change Denial Machine who had long been lobbying against it.

Today, Christie denied the topic ever came up in either of two now-known private meetings with Kochs, both revealed by Part 2 of our exclusive report last week at Mother Jones on the secret speech Christie gave for the Kochs at their ultra-exclusive Summer Seminar near Vail, CO last June, and David Koch's introduction to it. (Audio we obtained and transcribed, from that speech, is posted right here.)

After we'd broken the story last week, Tittel, told AP the secret Koch Tapes provide "the smoking gun that shows [Christie's] been working with the Koch brothers from the beginning."

But now, even after Christie insists that discussion of RGGI "never came up" during discussions at either the Colorado appearance, or during his secret two-hour meeting with David Koch in New York City earlier this year, Tittle is not inclined to believe him. He explained his reasons why on today's KPFK show, where you'll also get to hear some of the audio from the Koch seminar (such as when Koch describes Christie as "my kind of guy"), and Christie's bamboozling of the NJ radio host who had asked him about the topic last night...

Download MP3 or listen online here [appx 28 min]...

* * *

Also, since I received a lot of nice compliments on it, the video of Sam Seder's interview with me --- also discussing the Koch tapes --- from this past weekend's Ring of Fire, is posted below...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 1:26pm PT  

After being allowed to bamboozle 101.5FM's Eric Host on last night's Meet the Governor radio program in New Jersey, by conflating one secret meeting with David and Charles Koch with another that occurred months earlier, Gov. Chris Christie is now denying he ever had any discussions about a key environmental initiative with the billionaire oil baron brothers in either of the secret meetings.

According to Timothy J. Carroll at PolitickerNJ today, the Governor was pressed once again at a press conference this morning to clear up an issue that has remained in contention since we posted our exclusive story at Mother Jones last week, revealing audio we'd obtained of Christie's secret keynote address --- and David Koch's introduction to it --- at a recent, invitation-only Koch brothers political strategy and fundraising seminar near Vail, Colorado...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Equates political strategy session, fund raiser for billionaire oil magnates with trip to deli, family vacation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2011 8:05pm PT  

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) was asked about his secret meetings with the billionaire Koch Brothers this evening on a local New Jersey town hall radio show, and whether his private meeting had any affect on his surprise decision to unilaterally withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced "Reggie) last May.

The Governor failed to tell the truth in his response during tonight's appearance on the monthly Meet the Governor radio show on New Jersey's 101.5FM. Moreover, he purposely conflated two entirely separate events in order to mislead in his evasive response.

The question arose out of our story published last Wednesday in Mother Jones, featuring exclusive audio from inside the Koch brothers' ultra-confidential 2011 Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, where Christie delivered the keynote address to hundreds of corporate millionaires and billionaires on June 26th, after being introduced by oil tycoon and hard right political activist David Koch.

During his introduction to Christie --- whose presence at the secret political strategy and fund raising session had been kept a secret from his constituents until we broke our story last week --- Koch revealed that he had met with the Governor privately "five months ago."

"We met in my New York City office and spoke - just the two of us - for about two hours," said Koch, who, with his brother Charles, had taken extraordinary security measures to help ensure that nobody outside of the event would ever hear what had taken place inside of it.

The Kochs have spent millions funding the Global Warming Denial Industry and lobbying against RGGI, an agreement among 10 Northeastern states to create a cap-and-trade market to curb pollutants --- such as those emitted by many of Koch Industries' plants --- and to invest the profits into clean energy initiatives.

Tonight, Christie was asked directly about the private meetings, but managed to bamboozle the show's host Eric Scott --- and the voters of New Jersey along with him --- in his answer, charging that the issue has only come up because "reporters don't do their homework." It seems it may have been Scott who hadn't done his, as he allowed Christie to deflect the question from the private, one-on-one meeting Koch revealed he'd had with Christie, and instead claim that the June meeting in Colorado couldn't have affected his decision on RGGI, since it took place a month after his announcement about it.

"I don't know how a conversation I...had two months after I did something, could have an effect on what I did," said Christie, knowing exactly how he was scamming both Scott and his constituents who were listening tonight...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2011 2:20pm PT  

During the billionaire Koch brothers' secret Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, on June 26th, their secret superstar keynote speaker, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie, criticized President Barack Obama, charging that he "had failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth, unvarnished truth."

Never mind that until our exposé at Mother Jones last week, based on a complete audio recording of his secret speech, Christie himself had failed to tell the truth to those who had hired him, by concealing the fact that he had flown half way across the country to address the Koch's gathering...just a few months after he had also secretly met with billionaire brother David Koch himself one-on-one, "for about two hours --- just the two of us," as Koch revealed during his introductory remarks, in the oil and chemical magnate's New York City office. That secret meeting took place just prior to a major announcement by Christie to unilaterally withdraw from a Northeast greenhouse gas initiative which Koch had been long advocating against.

So what are the local media obsessed with, given so many of the revelations that suddenly came to light in both our detailed report and its accompanying audio and transcript? Whether or not one of the state's top Democrats, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, should step down from her position!

Naturally. Heckuva job, New Jersey media! (And Democrats!)...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2011 6:40pm PT  

Were you too busy last week to keep up with Part 1 and Part 2 of our blockbuster Mother Jones exclusives on the Koch Brothers' super secret (until now) Summer Seminar near Vail., Colorado, and the extraordinary audio we obtained and released, as recording inside of it?

If so, here's your chance to get caught up in one fell swoop!

I've been doing a lot of media interviews this week in support of the stories, all of them quite good. But the conversation with my friend, the great Peter B. Collins, is likely the most definitive, as we had a full, commercial-free hour, to discuss both parts of the story, play a bunch of clips from the "secret" speeches of Charles Koch, David Koch, NJ Gov. Chris Christie and Fox's Judge Andrew Napolitano, as well as discuss the background context and what it all means as we move forward into 2012.

Get caught up on all the key points of the "Secret Koch Tapes" stories by giving the PBC interview a listen over at his joint, or below...

Download MP3 or listen online here...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
'Koch and a Smile' Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 9/8/2011 3:00pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: In our exclusive leaked audio, climate denial kingpin billionaire David Koch calls NJ's Chris Christie "my kind of guy" and reveals they met privately before the Governor pulled out of a major greenhouse gas initiative; Wednesday's GOP debate goes from science to fiction; Gov. Perry's TX is now the hottest state ever on record! PLUS: The planet is still not listening to Republicans ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Skeptical Science Wins Award for Demolishing Denier Myths; Google Details Electricity Usage of Its Data Centers; Bankrupt Solar Company Solyndra Raided by F.B.I.; Solar PV systems to double on Americans homes by 2016; BP removes tar balls in Alabama; Nobel Winners Call On Obama to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline; Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects; Policing Your Power-Hungry Appliances; Is Obama’s reluctance to mention climate change motivated by a false assumption about public opinion?... PLUS: Climate Change: An Issue This Critical Demands at Least 45 Seconds of Real, Concentrated Panic Each Week ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2011 4:30am PT  

Well, it looks like Part 2 of my Secret Koch Tapes exclusive at Mother Jones yesterday has ignited a political firestorm. Several of them, actually, particularly in the state of New Jersey. Oops.

One of the firestorms has even led the Democratic Speaker of the NJ Assembly to call Gov. Chris Christie "disgraceful," charge that his comments about her were "outright lies," that he is "not fit to lead the state," and that she is "beginning to wonder if Gov. Christie is mentally deranged." All statements given to local media late today in response to our release of the tapes. Though some local Dems are still wondering if it may be the Speaker, rather than Christie, who is hiding the truth.

As I described in my BRAD BLOG piece linking to Part 2 at MoJo on Wednesday morning, the good citizens of the Garden State (and the whole of the mainstream media along with them) learned only yesterday that their Republican Governor had snuck out of state on June 26th, right after appearing on Meet the Press, jetted across the country to deliver the keynote address at the super-secret, ultra-exclusive gathering of rightwing corporate barons and billionaires --- otherwise known as the Koch Brothers 2011 Summer Seminar --- at a resort near Vail, Colorado, before he then flew back home to NJ that night, and went on to appear on three cable news shows, in studio in Manhattan, the next morning. Nobody ever knew he was gone --- at least until my story broke at MoJo yesterday morning.

Since then, local media and politicos have been combing through our report --- and Tuesday's Part 1 before it, as described later that night. They've apparently been digging through the full transcript of Christie's remarks, and David Koch's introduction to it, as transcribed from a secret audio recording of the goings on at the Koch fete, which we obtained from an insider source.

More on the Part 2 fallout, including new details, confirmations from officials, ignited firestorms and opened hornets' nests below. But first, I wanted to front page these nice comments from an NPR report by Frank James, which helps to put this entire flurry of Koch muckraking in perspective:

The reports are well worth taking time to read not just for the secret thrill you'll get from glimpsing something never intended for the public eye.
...
It's a look behind the curtain of how big money is raised in conservative circles that's a worthwhile addition to our sum of knowledge about how American politics is practiced in the early 21st Century.

Indeed. And with that, on to the summary of yesterday's noteworthy fallout and, at points, rather mucky, developments...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2011 6:35am PT  

After raking a considerable amount of muck yesterday at Mother Jones with Part 1 of our exclusive on the secret Koch tapes which I obtained from an insider source, it's time to do it again today in Part 2.

In yesterday's report, we promised to reveal the identity of the Koch brothers' opening night keynote speaker at their super-confidential, ultra-exclusive, invitation-only 2011 Summer Seminar. We teased that the mystery man was a high-ranking GOP public official who, until our special report, had managed to keep his appearance at the billionaire brothers' soiree at the plush Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort in Bachelor Gulch, CO (near Vail), a complete secret from both his own constituents and his local media.

That GOP superstar, we reveal today, is none other than New Jersey's flamboyant Republican Governor Chris Christie who, on the morning of Sunday, June 26, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press, then jetted quietly out to Colorado, mingled with the billionaires, offered a rousing stem-winder of a keynote address over dessert, jetted back home, and then appeared live Monday morning, in-studio, on three different cable news shows (two on Fox and the other MSNBC's Morning Joe) in Manhattan.

He never breathed a word of where he'd been the day before. Nobody other than those inside the big dinner pavilion at Bachelor Gulch --- where, outside, "pink noise" was blasted into the mountains on huge loud speakers to deter eavesdroppers on the night Christie appeared --- would ever even know he had left the state. Until now.

At one point during his nearly hour-long remarks (including a lively Q&A), Christie criticized President Obama as having "failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth." Ironically enough, however, Christie seems to have forgotten to have told the people who hired him the truth about where he spent the day and night on June 26th.

While GOP Presidential front-runner Gov. Rick Perry (TX) as well as Govs. Bob McDonnell (VA) and Rick Scott (FL) had been discovered to have attended this year, Christie's presence had not previously been reported publicly anywhere. That changes today, thanks to the secret audio recorded inside the Koch's 2011 Summer Seminar.

Part 2 in my exclusive series is now published at Mother Jones here.

Any reason in particular that Christie didn't want his constituents to know he was palling around with the Kochs and delivering a wildly entertaining stem-winder to the hundreds of gathered corporate titans? Dunno. While his office confirmed to us that the trip was not on his public calendar, they declined to respond to multiple attempts seeking comment on the Colorado trip. Maybe, as the Kochs did yesterday, they'll decide they want to respond after all, once the story gets out today.

As noteworthy, if not more so, billionaire brother David Koch is heard introducing the Governor and revealing, among other things, that he had met privately with Christie in Koch's New York City office a few months prior, "just the two of us - for about two hours," according to the audio tapes. Afterward, the oil-and-chemical magnate, said to be worth $22 billion (just like his brother, as they both inherited their father's fortune), determined that Christie was "a true political hero" and "my kind of guy."

David Koch's "kind of guy." Well, that's the sort of thing that could leave a mark. Especially when the entire thing is recorded for posterity on audio tape. Perhaps that's why Christie didn't want anybody to know he was hobnobbing with the Kochs...or what he had to say at their secret shindig, including (but hardly limited to):

  • Details on wielding extraordinary unitary executive powers to declare a "fiscal emergency" upon taking office in order to impound billions in planned spending ("The good news for all of you and for me is that the governorship in New Jersey is the most powerful constitutional governorship in America.");
  • Snookering and strong-arming Democrats in the state Legislature to cut pensions and benefits and collective bargaining rights from public workers ("You know, I cannot believe how stupid these people are");
  • How the same tactics and strong-arm governance he's brought to New Jersey need to be applied to the country as a whole, and;
  • How his next major plan for his Garden State constituents is to crush the power of public school teachers ("We need to take on the teachers' union once and for all.")

It's all in today's report.

Part 2 of my exclusive special report at Mother Jones...
Complete audio & transcripts of David Koch's introductory remarks and Gov. Chris Christie's keynote and Q&A...

Enjoy!

* * *

UPDATE 9/8/11: Looks like Part 2 of my MoJo exclusive has ignited several political firestorms --- particularly in New Jersey. Oops. Full details now here...

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Kochs respond, the story is advanced, my appearances on CNN and MSNBC, and even a response from the White House...of a sort...
By Brad Friedman on 9/6/2011 11:07pm PT  

A few quick follow-up items, for now, in advance of tomorrow morning's Part 2, from Part 1 of my exclusive secret Koch tapes scoop at Mother Jones this morning which went very viral, very quickly today, as I figured it probably would.

• As I noted in UPDATE to my short stub story this morning linking over to the MoJo article, the Kochs finally decided to respond today, first to Jake Tapper at ABC News, after days of their refusing to give me a response --- even though I pressed them, multiple times in advance, for an explanation of Charles Koch's seeming comparison of "Saddam Hussein" to Barack Obama and the 2012 election as the "Mother of All Wars." See their response, and my response to it, in that UPDATE.

• CNN's Brian Todd did a decent report on the Situation Room today, in which I offer a quick comment...


• After years of appearing on Fox "News" and CNN, it was nice to finally be invited today to appear on MSNBC for the first time. Here's my appearance this evening on The Ed Show...


And just a few more quick points for now...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/6/2011 3:12pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Texas is roasting! (and Rick Perry is still denying); 2011 disasters are getting expensive; Climate science is vindicated --- again; PLUS: Obama calls for infrastructure jobs - again - but undercuts clean air rules ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Regulator says Murdoch oil shale company must fix faulty wells; Bachmann dodges question on whether God uses weather to send messages; China challenges U.S. supremacy in shale gas; Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster; If you eat strawberries, you should know about Methyl Iodide; Iran’s 1st nuclear power plant goes into operation; New microbe can clean up uranium; Solar power innovator Solyndra files for bankruptcy; NSFW: Don Cheadle is Captain Planet; Fukushima’s long link to a dark nuclear past ... PLUS: Scientist: “The Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades in battle against climate change ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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[Now UPDATED with comment from the Kochs, finally, as given to ABC News & more...]
By Brad Friedman on 9/6/2011 5:10am PT  

Those of you who follow The BRAD BLOG closely may know that I've been working in the background, for a number of weeks, on an exclusive series concerning the billionaire Koch Brothers, the co-owners of the nation's second largest private corporation, the oil and chemical conglomerate Koch Industries. They are also massive funders behind much of the Rightwing political disinformation machine. The articles, as I can now reveal, cover audio I've obtained as recorded from inside their super-secret, super-confidential, invitation-only Summer Seminar held in late June at the tony Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort near Vail, CO (seen above).

Among this year's attendees, in addition to hundreds of corporate baron billionaires and millionaires, were GOP public officials such as current Republican Presidential front-runner Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL).

It appears the brothers went to extraordinary measures, particularly on the first night of the event, to assure that none of the uninvited would ever know what went on inside or even who the first night's keynote speaker actually was.

Nonetheless, a few of their closely guarded secrets are about to spill out.

The first of my two articles in the series is finally published at Mother Jones today.

Part 1 focuses on the opening and closing remarks, as heard on tape, by billionaire brother Charles as he raises still more undisclosed political money and rallies his troops in advance of the 2012 Presidential election --- or "the mother of all wars" as he's heard describing it. On the first night, Charles welcomes his "great partners" to the event, alludes to President Obama as "Saddam Hussein" and proceeds to list --- by name --- those "partners" who have donated more than a million dollars to the Koch Foundation political causes over the past year. So much for the post-Citizens United "anonymity" that Koch exec Kevin Gentry, the emcee for both evening's dinners, informs patrons they can "help protect."

The full audio and text transcript of Charles' opening and closing remarks are posted here.

Today's article also details remarks, several rather noteworthy I think, made by the Kochs' closing night speaker, Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox "News." The Fox host tells the crowd of corporate titans, among other things: how he got his job at Fox (it had to do with the FL 2000 Presidential election debacle, he claims); how he "sometimes" gets in "a little bit of trouble at Fox" when he's too tough on Republicans, and; what he believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution is really for. You'll have to read the article and/or the Napolitano transcript excerpts for the full details.

Finally, today's report at Mother Jones describes some of the extraordinary security measures taken by the Kochs to try and ensure that nobody outside the dinner pavilion at the Beaver Creek Resort in Bachelor Gulch would ever know the identity of the GOP public official who delivered the keynote address on opening night. To this day, neither the official's own constituents nor his own local media seem to have any idea that he'd ever even left the state to pal around with the Kochs, much less offer their opening night's headline address.

In tomorrow's report, we'll reveal the identity of that headliner and detail his stem-winder of a keynote! But for now...

Part 1 of my exclusive report at Mother Jones...
Complete audio & transcripts of Charles Koch's opening & closing remarks...
Transcript excerpts from Judge Andrew Napolitano's closing night speech...

Enjoy!

* * *

UPDATE 3:56pm PT: Has been a busy day over her for some reason. CNN's just aired a not-bad story on the above (including a quick appearance by yours truly), and I'll be on MSNBC's The Ed Show tonight, late in the 10p ET / 7p PT hour. Ironically, I've been on Fox and CNN many times in the past. This will be my first appearance ever on MSNBC. Go figure.

After trying for days to get comment from the Koch's on Charles' "We have Saddam Hussein, this is the Mother of All Wars we've got in the next 18 months" remark, they've finally decided to respond now that the story is out and not, um, reflecting very well on them, it seems...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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New Republican-passed voting restrictions for 2012 lead experts to warn there could be 'chaos in a dozen states as voters find themselves barred from the polls'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/31/2011 12:21pm PT  

[NOTE: Ari Berman, author of the article discussed below, joined me on my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show today. That interview is now posted here. - BF]

* * *

While readers of The BRAD BLOG may be familiar with many of the items covered in Ari Berman's fine new article "The GOP War on Voting" at Rolling Stone today (and in its Sept 15, 2011 issue on newsstands), it's great to have a summary of all of the latest state-based assaults on voting rights instituted to date, in the wake of last year's Republican wave election, all in one place.

Berman covers all of these and more in his piece on the "unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008," described by one civil rights advocate as "the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/18/2011 1:48pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Extreme weather in 2011 breaking records for record-breaking; Civil disobedience coming to the White House over Canada's Keystone XL pipeline; PLUS: TX Gov. Rick Perry thinks he knows more about climate science than climate scientists do...and the GOP candidates' attacks on the EPA may be costly ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Every farmer in the world will be affected by climate change'; Wal-Mart Going 100% Renewable - in Canada; Op-ed: No to Arctic Drilling; Koch Brothers Fund Bogus Study Bashing Offshore Wind in New Jersey; Melting Arctic sea ice drives walruses onto land; Famine-struck Somalia faces cholera outbreak; EPA's Planned Phaseout of Harmful Refrigerant Hits Snag; Human Excrement to Blame for Coral Decline; Obama administration moves against ANWR oil drilling; Public's ideas for BP oil spill restoration projects; Otters are back in England; U.S. bans Syrian oil imports; Myth: smaller, fuel-efficient cars increase traffic deaths; Army Corps re-calibrating ’500-Year Flood’ standard; Fukushima's meltdown: reactors were doomed to fail" ... PLUS: Living beyond our means: How our indulgent economic and environmental models threaten future generations ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/11/2011 2:22pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama in Holland --- Holland, MI, that is --- pushing back against Republicans with investment in jobs & clean energy... while Republicans fight harder for Big Dirty Oil; Not enough praying? Record TX heat wave still breaking even more records; Japan, five months after disaster; PLUS: Goo-B-Gone: mysterious Cheeto blob blankets an Alaskan town ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Arctic Death Spiral: Sea Ice Passes De Facto Tipping Point; Joe Bastardi Pulls a Charlie Sheen on Fox News, Pushing “Utter Nonsense”; Sen. Sanders: Tar Sands Pipeline "Will Keep America Addicted to Oil"; New Deal: Charge your elec. car with home solar; Utilities, not residents, will gain from smart metering; Why the meat industry sells salmonella; Hot river shuts Tennessee nuke plant for 2nd time; Enviros call on Super Committee to energy subsidies & tax breaks; US fracking advisory group has abundant ties to energy industry; Gas Fracking panel finds serious environmental risks; US Launches Eco-Network; BP to return to MI for clean-up; "Remember, Nature always bats last" ... PLUS: How to profit from climate change, resource wars, and ecological mayhem ...

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Creator of 'United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, Inc.,' John Connors, is a long-time AFP affiliate, has history of deceptive campaigns...
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2011 5:17pm PT  

On Saturday we posted an article detailing the similarities, and apparent coordination, in misleading "Absentee Ballot Application" mailers sent out to Democratic voters by both the David Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity - Wisconsin and a mysterious group calling themselves United Sportsmen of Wisconsin.

The Americans for Prosperity mailer, sent out in Wisconsin last week in advance of tomorrow's state Senate recall election of six Republican state Senators, included instructions that absentee ballots must be submitted by August 11th --- even though the election in question is actually tomorrow, August 9th.

The PO Box described as the "Absentee Ballot Application Processing Center" on those mailers belonged to a Rightwing family group tied to the anti-abortion movement. A spokesperson for the group, as we reported, said that while they were part of a "coalition" with AFP, they claimed to have had no idea AFP was using their PO Box on the mailers until they started receiving them, and that they hadn't seen the mailer before it went out. For their part, AFP claimed the incorrect date was simply a "typo" in two districts where they had sent the mailings, and that "liberals" were making a "mountain out of a molehill" about it all. Late last week, however, in a followup mailing, the group admitted that it had gone out to "everyone" in all of the state Senate districts, rather than just the two where Democrats will face recall elections next week (as opposed to tomorrow's GOP recalls) and blamed the incorrect date on their printer.

The United Sportsmen of Wisconsin (USW) mailers, almost identical in form, font, content, and type-setting, as we showed, had no information about who had paid for the mailings on them, and instructed voters that they needed to return their absentee ballots to the elections clerk by August 4th --- even though ballots may be delivered to the Wisconsin election clerks as late as the close of polls on August 9th.

Since we ran our article over the weekend, which suggested, among other things, previously-undocumented coordination between AFP and USW, and since there was little information to be found about USW on the web, a number of readers have been digging in to try and figure out exactly who the so-called United Sporstmen of Wisconsin actually are, as have we.

And, whaddaya know, a bit of digging reveals that the group was very recently founded by one John W. Connors, a long-time staffer and director of Americans for Prosperity, a College Republican leader, and a rather prolific founder of a number of hard-right political front groups with a record of deception in recent Wisconsin elections...

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