The Koch brothers: proud owners of North Carolina

And the takeover couldn't have happened without some Judas Iscariots to betray our freedoms:

Phillips declined to say how much money AFP, which isn’t required to disclose its contributions and spending, spent in the state. “It was significant,” Phillips said. “There will be more old conservative policy changes in North Carolina than in any other state this year,” said Dallas Woodhouse, AFP’s state director. “We have a lot of ground to make up. We have the right mix of state leaders and governor to pass some earth-shattering reform.”

Yeah, that's just what you need when you're trying to struggle your way out of a recession; "Earth-shattering". And just for those Republican lawmakers who happen to be reading this (I know some of them do), I want you to pay special attention to not-the-bus-driver's wording: "We have". That's possessive, meaning Dallas and his paymasters believe you are now a possession. And possessions do as they're told. You don't agree? Prove it.

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And from the other team's locker room:

The chairman of the state Democratic Party, Randy Voller, said he’s been making calls to donors “every day of every week,” setting up breakfast and lunch meetings to explore ideas and make fundraising pitches to donors.

“I’m aware that there are outside groups but their focus is for themselves. They do things that benefit us, but our focus in this office is on people who want to invest in the N.C. Democratic Party,” Voller said. “If the party actually shows that it stands for these beliefs and it actually does it, the money will flow and the boots will be on the ground.”

At the risk of being dragged into the unfortunate and counterproductive shitstorm that's raging, I feel it necessary to voice an inconvenient truth: until the rift is closed between the two sides in this intra-Party conflict, don't expect much money to flow. As I mentioned a few months ago (can't find the comment now), the very first thing the new Chairman needed to do is close the breach, and reunite the Party. That's the first test of leadership, and it takes a dash of humility. Not only has that not happened, things are even worse now.

I'm not privy to the goings-on behind the scenes, so maybe somebody can comment about any efforts that have been made on this? Anyone? Bueller? We've had more than enough information about what wrongs the other side has done, so if you don't mind, let's table that shit for now. I want to hear about the olive branches.

Thoughts on the Koch bros and Pope

A few things come to mind reading this.

Dems and progressives have to deal with the difficult truth that they can't compete with the Koch's Americans for Prosperity Machine on spending - what the Koch's throw at politics is only a tiny fraction of their net worth. If you try to outspend them, they'll spend more.

We also have to remember that, while the Koch's are the biggest donors to the Tea Bagger astroturfing effort, Americans for Prosperity is a billionare's club that includes several of their peers - Art Pope himself was the second biggest contributor to it. If the Koch's don't want to spend more, they'll find someone who will.

NC's one of the few states where the Koch's had any success with their spending in the last election cycle. In states where gerrymandering didn't come into play, voters just didn't fall for their elaborately funded and staged bullshit.

If you refer back to a post I did a few weeks ago, you'll understand my theory about how to overcome the Koch/Pope astroturfing machine. They're hiding behind laws and court decisions that keep the flow of money into election cycles - and how it buys influence - behind the curtain.

The Koch's aren't throwing this money around out of the goodness of their own hearts or deep-set political convictions. It's an investment. With Pope's people in place in the state capital, like Tony Tata, it's not a stretch of the imagination to think that they'll use this influence to get state contracts that benefit them directly. Construction going on in the Dept of Transportation or the UNC system? You bet they'll be using Koch Industries materials.

Dems and progressives need to be prepared to scrutinize exactly how NC is spending money under the McPope administration and how that spending directly benefits the Koch's and others associated with Americans for Prosperity, ALEC, or companies that work in conjunction with religious organizations in areas like home schooling. And Dems and progressives don't need to be afraid to file ethics charges or encourage criminal investigations where necessary.

You can't outspend the Koch brothers - the only way to stop the Koch machine is to make their investments in buying politicians very inconvenient and a potential legal liability. Like drug dealers on the corner, they'll move to another town to peddle dope if the heat is on.