Case Study On How Big Money Is Fueling Lame Duck GOP In its Power Grab Tactics In WI/ MI

Image result for photos of republicans grab for power in NC WI MI

I’ve been blogging and decrying the current actions of GOP lame duck lawmakers instituting laws and resorting to other last minute tactics under the clock of darkness/ secrecy to diminish the power of incoming Democrats who will be seated in January 2019, in the states of Wisconsin and Michigan.

I have been theorizing that many of the republican losers have been acting in undemocratic ways to limit the incoming democratic lawmakers’ power, has to do with big corporate donors having just spent a lot of monies to help GOP candidates win, only to find their millions going down the toilet as the voters preferred to elect Democrats. Now these big money donors are upset about this result to where they have been demanding that the GOP legislators take action. They don’t care about these power grabs being disrespectful of the voters’ wishes.

Image result for photos of republicans grab for power in NC WI MI
In 11th-Hour Power Grab, Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan Use Koch Playbook to Subvert the Will of Voters

It is my opinion that all this craziness started with a US Supreme Court decision in 2010 called Citizens United v. FEC which allowed corporations to donate monies like an individual to political candidates. There are loopholes which allow these donors to donate anonymously.

Now, “we the people” are having the power of our votes diminished because GOP elected officials are being bought and sold by these big donor guys.

One case study/ analysis has to with Walgreens. Guess who will be writing a letter to Walgreens CEO, and guess who will not be stepping one foot into any of their pharmacies, anytime soon?

These corporations are stealing our democracy from us.

Image result for images of walgreens headquarters in wisconsin

Here is the rest of the story…

On December 9, 2018, David Leonhardt of the New York Times penned the following opinion piece, “The Corporate Donors Behind a Republican Power Grab” (“Walgreens and other major companies are key supporters of the Wisconsin legislators now trying to undermine democracy.”)

Excerpts:

“Walgreens portrays itself as the friendly neighborhood drugstore. It gives flu shots to children, helps communities after storms, donates to charity — and makes feel-good advertisements trumpeting its various good deeds.”

Image result for IMAGES OF WI REPUBLICANS WITH WALGREEN EXECUTIVES
Wisconsin Republicans work overnight on lame-duck bills

“But Walgreens also has a tougher side, one you won’t see in those ads. To protect a tax break, the company has allied itself with Wisconsin’s brutally partisan Republican Party. That party is now in the midst of a power grab, stripping authority from Wisconsin’s governor and attorney general solely because Republicans lost those offices last month. The power grab comes after years of extreme gerrymandering, which lets Republicans dominate the legislature despite Wisconsin being a closely divided state.”

“Wisconsin’s Republicans really are trying to undo democracy. When I asked Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt — the political scientists who wrote the recent book “How Democracies Die” — about the situation, they agreed that the Wisconsin power grab was the sort of move their book describes. If it continues, it can lead to the breakdown of a political system.”

Related image

“So you might think that an organization that claims to care about community values would speak up. But Walgreens has not. Neither have other corporate supporters of Wisconsin Republicans, like Microsoft, Dr Pepper Snapple, J.P. Morgan Chase or Humana. It’s yet another example — alongside soaring C.E.O. pay and stagnant worker wages — of corporations abdicating the leadership role they once played in America.”

“The story of Walgreens and Wisconsin has its roots in a decade-old court case.”

“In 2008, the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of an aggressive tax strategy by the company, in a case known as Walgreens v. City of Madison. When calculating the property taxes it owed, Walgreens used an artificially low valuation of its stores. It did not pay taxes based on the actual value of those stores, as reflected by their purchase price and rent. Instead, it took into account the value of vacant stores nearby.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF WI PROTESTORS OVER GOP POWER GRAB
Former GOP Governor Walker/ Republicans Are Clinging to Power in Wisconsin

“The court ruling allowed this “dark-store” practice — by Walgreens and other retailers — costing cities and towns millions upon millions of tax dollars. The resulting budget shortfalls, local officials point out, have caused taxes on families and small businesses to rise more in Wisconsin than in neighboring Minnesota.”

“The Walgreens loophole is deeply unpopular, based on the results of a nonbinding ballot initiative across Wisconsin. And last year, a bipartisan group of state legislators began a push to change the law. But then, somewhat mysteriously, the effort died. The legislature’s Republican leaders — including Robin Vos, the Assembly speaker, and Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate majority leader — appeared to play a crucial role in the demise of that measure.”

Image result for IMAGES OF WI REPUBLICANS WITH WALGREEN EXECUTIVES

“A few weeks later, Walgreens donated $1,000 to Vos. Over the summer, it donated another $6,000 to the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate. A couple of weeks before Election Day, the company gave $1,000 to Fitzgerald. These donations weren’t simply a matter of spreading money around. Walgreens did not donate to state-level Democrats this year, as it has in the past.”

“The sums here may not be enormous. But neither are the budgets for local campaigns. Even more important is the message that Walgreens is sending to politicians: We don’t care if you undermine democracy, so long as we get to keep our tax break.”

Image result for IMAGES OF WI REPUBLICANS WITH WALGREEN EXECUTIVES

“It would be healthier for companies to spend a little more time thinking about the meaning of these donations,” as Judd Legum, author of the political newsletter Popular Information, told me. “Right now, it’s all transactional.” In recent months, Legum’s reporting has caused Facebook, Google, Walmart, Major League Baseball and others to ask for the return of donations to politicians whose values the companies were not comfortable defending.”

“So far, Walgreens has not been willing to do the same in Wisconsin. I asked the company last week what it thought about the recent events in Wisconsin, and it ducked the question. But Phil Caruso, a Walgreens spokesman, told me the company was “in the process of evaluating” the situation.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF WI PROTESTORS OVER GOP POWER GRAB

“The silence of major companies is disappointing because they could actually make a difference.”

“If corporate America refuses to speak up, these attacks on democracy will become more common. The one in Wisconsin follows a similar power grab in North Carolina two years ago. And Michigan Republicans are now trying to execute their own version. In Ohio and Missouri, there are less blatant — but still alarming — attempts to overturn the will of the voters.”

“Being able to operate in a well-functioning democracy doesn’t bring the same obvious bottom-line benefits as, say, a tax break. But our corporate leaders are making a big mistake if they decide that democracy doesn’t matter.”

7 comments

    • Dear Suzanne,

      This is all as a result of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v FEC where the corporation has the same rights as the individual to donate to candidate’s campaigns.

      Thanks a million for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear John Fioravanti,

      Of course Democrats and others will be challenging these questionable lame duck laws in the courts. The point is that voters shouldn’t have to be dealing with these shenanigans because GOP candidates lost fair and square.This costs monies and take time. But the corporate executives who have been buying these GOP lawmakers don’t care.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

    • Dear Roger,

      Walgreens is a very popular chain pharmacy in the US. Guess who will not be stepping foot in one of their stores. I would like the names of other corporate culprits trying to steal our US democracy from the voters. Somehow their names have to be exposed.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed Gronda.
        All around democracies there are folk who beat their chests to let everyone know who suspicious of governments they are, while trotting out their V for Vendetta masks.
        While at the same time buying into the subtler tentacles of the big corporations.

        Liked by 1 person

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.