Monday, October 01, 2012

Koch Brothers purchasing Florida's Supreme Court

I found this Miami Herald story via Daily Kos:
The new stealth campaign against three Florida Supreme Court justices is being backed by those meddling right-wing billionaires from Wichita, Charles and David Koch.
They couldn’t care less about Florida, but they love to throw their money around.
Last week they uncorked the first of a series of commercials from their political action committee, Americans for Prosperity. The targets are Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince.
They were three of the five-vote majority that in 2010 knocked down a half-baked amendment slapped together by state lawmakers seeking to nullify the federal Affordable Health Care Act.
The Florida Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions in finding that the proposed amendment contained “misleading and ambiguous language,” the hallmark of practically everything produced by this Legislature. Stoned chimpanzees have a keener grasp of constitutional law.
Conservative groups have gone after local justices before. In Iowa, a place which has nothing but vowels in common with Florida, three state justices were fired by voters after being vilified for ruling against a ban on gay marriage.
On the November ballot, Lewis, Pariente and Quince are up for merit retention, meaning voters can choose to retain them or not. This simple system was put in place to keep the state’s high court above the sleaze of political races.
The mission of the Kochs, hiding as always behind their super PAC, is to get the three justices dumped at the polls so that Gov. Rick Scott can appoint replacements.
This is worth repeating: If the Kochs have their way, Rick Scott — yes, that Rick Scott — gets to pack the Supreme Court with his own hand-picked crew.
Yikes is right.
What we have here is a couple of hard-lined conservatives who are willing to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into buying politicians and judges, who will rule favorably in their own economic, self-interest, over that of the rest of society.  In other words, we no longer have a democracy in the United States--we've got an oligarchy! The Citizens United ruling sealed the deal in allowing the Koch brothers to hide behind their SuperPac, Americans for Prosperity, and purchase these politicians away from public scrutiny.  If the Koch brothers get their way in packing Florida's Supreme Court, you can bet they would have upheld the "half-baked amendment slapped together by state lawmakers seeking to nullify the federal Affordable Health Care Act."  They probably would have struck down stronger environmental laws, labor laws, business regulations, worker safety regulations, making it easier for Koch Industries to pollute the environment, weaken labor unions, creating more hazardous working environments, reducing employee pay and benefits, slashing all forms of business regulations, and consolidating more power and money with the Koch brothers.  What is good for Koch Industries is not good for the United States.  What is good for Koch Industries is only good for Koch Industries, and detrimental to the rest of U.S. society. 

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