Walker To Make No-Bid Sale Of Wisconsin Power Plants To Koch Brothers

by Ben Hoffman

A controversial plan to privatize state-owned power plants, a plan that last caused a stir in 2005 before being vetoed by then-Gov. Jim Doyle, has been revived by Gov. Scott Walker in his budget bill.

The provision would give the state Department of Administration the authority to sell the plants or contract for their operation. The proposal calls for net profits from the sale of the plants to be deposited in the budget stabilization fund.

Source

Here is the text in the bill:

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

The Koch Brothers have been active in purchasing power plants and who basically funded Scott Walker’s gubernatorial run are the likely beneficiaries. This is corporate cronyism at its worst.

The privatization of services and goods for the commons in never a good idea. The savings never materialize. The workers are paid less, the services are often of lower quality, we lose accountability, and the owners rake in the profits by screwing the public. This is fascism coming to America.

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14 Comments to “Walker To Make No-Bid Sale Of Wisconsin Power Plants To Koch Brothers”

  1. And what passes for your point is what exactly?

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with no-bid contracts just as their nothing inherently right with low-bid contracts.

    BTW – despite your allusions – based upon falsehoods and anti-Americanism as always – all such services are run under contract by private firms. The states don’t have the skills or resources to build, maintain, or manage them themselves.

    Worse, if they were run directly by states, there’d be a good chance they be run by unions. That’d be nice. One strike and parts of the state go dark.

    If it were a nuke plant, it’d be even worse because only a true fool would believe that unions wouldn’t let it “cook off” just to get their way.

  2. he savings never materialize. The workers are paid less, the services are often of lower quality, we lose accountability, and the owners rake in the profits by screwing the public.

    And I’m sure the links are coming in 3….2….1….

  3. You mean fascism like how how Obama corrupted TARP, which was already pretty bad, or the Auto Bail-outs and resultant persecution of Toyota by the Liberals in Congress? Hmmm?

    You might try educating yourself on the nature of bids and the appropriations structure before you spew your filth. It might just make you look a little less like a buffoon and enemy of America.

    I’ll give you one thing though – it appears that you actually have some understanding of the economic underpinning of fascism which arose out of the Italian Syndicate model.

    • [You mean fascism like how how Obama corrupted TARP]

      No, he didn’t “corrupt” TARP. TARP was a giveaway to the banking industry and corrupted by Bush and Paulson.

      [I’ll give you one thing though – it appears that you actually have some understanding of the economic underpinning of fascism which arose out of the Italian Syndicate model]

      “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”
      ~ Mussolini

      You right-wingers embrace corporatism, which makes you pro-fascism.

  4. [You right-wingers embrace corporatism, which makes you pro-fascism.]

    No true conservative or libertarian for that matter endorses corporatism in that manner. The idea of joining corporations and the government is clearly a left wing ideal. TARP, GM and AIG bailouts are not conservative ideas even though the left wants to claim Bush as one.

    Also, corporatism is a Marxist ideal by the way. I’ve never heard Marxism and Conservatism being one in the same, but maybe I’m just an idiot.

    Dump Um Out

    • Corporatism is corporate run government. Marxism is government run corporations. Big difference.

      [TARP, GM and AIG bailouts are not conservative ideas even though the left wants to claim Bush as one.]

      They are not liberal or progressive ideas, either. They were, however, made necessary because of conservative ideas. The bastion of conservatism is deregulation and that is what caused the crisis.

  5. I almost, but not quite, hate to break it to you but it was regulation, not deregulation, that led to the current crisis.

    It was part of the Basel I accord that controlled banks’ capital minimums known as the Recourse Rule. It applied different risk values to different investments that a bank might use as capital to offset its loans.

    The Recourse Rule, normal, asset-backed security, like a mortgage-backed bond, received a 20% risk weight, whereas cash had a 0% risk weight. A 50% risk weight was assigned an individual “unsecuritized” mortgage.

    This meant that commercial banks could issue mortgages – regardless of how sound the borrowers were – sell them to investment banks to be “securitized,” then buy them back as part of a mortgage-backed security, in the process freeing up 60% of the capital they would have had to hold against individual mortgages!

    Poor and too much regulation, with all their attendant complexities and unintended consequences, caused this problem, not a lack of it.

    • That’s deregulation, you idiot.

      The Basel Accords govern banks’ capital; in 2001, the US?amended the Accord with its so-called “recourse rule”. US retail banks were required to retain just $2 in capital for every $100 invested in AAA or AA-rated CDOs (or any asset-backed security issued by the state-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), compared to $5 for the same amount in actual mortgage loans and $10 in commercial loans. The recourse rule – pushed through by the Fed and other regulators – was deliberately designed to steer banks’ funds into CDOs – and it worked a treat. The banks gorged on them. No fewer than 93 per cent of their holdings of mortgage-backed securities were either AAA-rated or were issued by Fannie or Freddie, as stipulated by the regulations; as far as the banks were concerned, they were merely following the new best practice.

      Source

  6. Hmmmm… Rules created by the Fed and intended to “steer” banks into a specific set of practices is deregulation?

    I think you either need to have your doctor revise your medication or stop self-medicating with whatever drug you’re buying off the street.

    Poor regulation and poor or no foresight in the goals of regulation is not the same thing as deregulation.

    • [Poor regulation and poor or no foresight in the goals of regulation is not the same thing as deregulation.]

      Okay, so you admit that conservative policies caused the Great Recession. Good. We can agree on something.

  7. It was the gross corruption and cronyism that flourished prior to the institution of public bidding that gave rise to the public bidding process in the first place. If public bidding is curtailled or eliminated, we have no reason to expect anything but more cronyism and corruption.

  8. to Ben Hoffman; You sir have the patience of a Saint to listen to & intelligently reply to the ignorant insanity of folks like jonolan.

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