The article, besides evaluating the ads factual correctness, also pointed out an issue of question regarding CSA:
We wanted to ask Citizens for a Strong America-- one of five conservative groups that reportedly have spent $2 million in TV advertising against Kloppenburg -- for evidence to back its claim. That proved to be difficult.This was picked up in other places and they made some further progress.
According to its website, the group is based in Beaver Dam, Wis., and "promotes public policies that reduce tax burdens on families, increase public safety and protect the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s medical, psychological and educational well-being."
No names, phone numbers or e-mail addresses were provided on the website. And there are no Beaver Dam phone numbers listed for Citizens for a Strong America or for Veronica Johnson, a person identified as having placed the TV ad.
operating out of a drop box in West Bend, even though they are apparently able to channel money by the truckload, but there they became stymied.
Buckeyville was able to trace CSA's website to a John Connors, who has a Milwaukee address which happens to be the same as that for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a well-known front group for the Koch Brothers (remember them?).
Jessica Arp, a reporter for Channel 3000, also filed a video report regarding this story, which includes a focus on how inaccurate the advertisement really is. She also noted the drop box, that their phone number is a Middleton number, and that John Connors tie in.
But all of these astute reporters haven't gone all the way looking into the convoluted and intricately interwoven mess that is behind CSA.
Independent of the above cited research, a friend of mine, and a cognitive dissident in his own right, had his curiosity piqued by the Politifact article, and did his own look see behind the scenes. He was kind enough to share what he found with me. (Please note that he did give me this information last night, and it is my own fault that this is only getting posted now.) Some of this will be redundant of what I wrote above, but I will take that risk for the sake of keeping it consistent in both my mind and the mind of the gentle reader.
As noted above, the website for CSA is registered to John Connors. As also noted above, Connors' address is listed as 1126 S. 70th St., Suite S420, West Allis, WI 53214. This is also the same address for AFP.
But that's not all. Not by a long shot.
Also sharing the same address as CSA and AFP is an organization called Campaign Now. Guess what. Campaign Now's website is also registered to John Connors. Digging a little deeper into Campaign Now's site, one can find their contact phone number. This number happens to be the same phone number that was used by AFP to register riders on the buses to the AFP (read Koch Brothers) sponsored pilgrimage to Madison on February 15, in order to represent the Koch Industries in front of the Joint Financial Committee.
Besides sharing phone numbers and addresses, these groups also share Connors, who is listed as a On-Site Production Coordinator at the AFP/Koch Brothers sponsored Tea Party held in Wisconsin Dells in 2009
Further research shows that Connors is indeed a very busy and very well-connected young man.
On top of being affiliated with AFP, CSA and Campaign Now, Connors was also an intern for then County Executive Scott Walker and for the gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, all while balancing his school career and being a senator at Marquette University.
Connors is also listed as the registrant for yet another website, this time WatchDog.org, which is ironically described as a "non-profit, non-partisan" project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. And here's a really shocker - Franklin Center is affiliated with - guess who- the Koch Brothers!
It should be noted that the Franklin Center is one of these so-called news organizations, a la MacIver Institute. Here is a real good summary of how messed up this stuff is getting:
The decline of the statehouse beat is bad enough. What I find even worse is the influx of agenda-driven state “news” organizations, some with a leftist orientation but most of the newer entries tilted far to the right. They claim their sole reason for being is to inform the people and hold public officials accountable, filling a vacuum caused by the downsizing of the news industry. Their mission statements actually say they’re rushing to fill the gap.As a side note to all of this, it should also be noted that Connors is not the only one who has their fingers in all of these pies. Claire Milbrandt, who was listed as Stage Coordinator at the AFP event, is also listed as Account Executive at Campaign Now, Account Manager at Connors and Co., and a consultant for AFP.
Don’t believe it for a moment. Do what reporters should do: Check them out, as I have done. For the most part, the people in charge of these would-be watchdog operations are political hacks out to subvert journalism in their quest to grab and keep power using whatever means they have to do so. Good luck on finding out where they get their money; the IRS disclosure forms required of organizations that claim nonprofit status are singularly uninformative.
At the forefront of an effort to blur the distinction between statehouse reporting and political advocacy is the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, which finances a network of websites that focus on state government. This center has ties to a number of conservative organizations, including the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, whose founder is billionaire David Koch. He is a longtime financier of right-wing causes whose shadowy political dealings were highlighted this past summer in a New Yorker article by Jane Mayer headlined “Covert Operations.”
I sure hope that the Koch Brothers are paying them well for all of their hard work.
But it is very frightening to see just how many things the Koch Brothers have their dirty little hands into in Wisconsin, and none of it to the benefit of the state or its people.
It also shows just how very important that we take to the polls on Tuesday, April 5, and vote to keep Wisconsin in the hands of Wisconsinites, not the Koch Brothers.