Wednesday, January 31, 2018

¶ Considering 1/29/18 Durango Herald report on Americans for Prosperity - Jonathan Romeo

On Monday Jonathan Romeo authored another Durango Herald article that looked at Americans for Prosperity’s campaign against the land-use code that La Plata County’s duly elected County Commissioners are drafting.  I’ve taken selected quotes from the article and annotated them with observations gleaned from my past few days researching Americans for Prosperity.

Americans for Prosperity launches campaign over La Plata County’s land-use code

Koch brothers-backed group says it will fight proposed rules

By Jonathan Romeo County & environment reporter
Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 | Durango Herald

“This plan is harmful in many ways to farmers and ranchers and grossly infringes on individuals’ property rights.” 
{What about all the ways it’s helpful in dealing with serious growing pains?  We can’t simply ignore this reality.}

Americans for Prosperity was founded in 2004 as a political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers, who owns the second largest privately held company in the U.S. …
{Here we touch on the fundamental problem with AFP, it was created to serve Koch’s interests.}

In the last eight years, Americans for Prosperity has turned to homing in on smaller communities in an effort to oust progressive elected officials and undercut the left’s command in grass-roots organizing.… 
{Thus smother all opposition to Koch’s radical agenda for our government.}

Tim Phillips: “It’s about building a brand in a community. Then, when the attacks come, ‘Oh, you’re just part of a Koch network or some national network,’ it doesn’t really ring true with what people are seeing.”
{Shrewd wordsmithing, but ignores the fact that it’s all about having people learn and adapt Koch’s and Americans for Prosperity preordained agenda.}

…USA Today reported the group planned to spend $889 million over two years to fund this effort.
{Right, Dark Money straight from the pockets of Koch and other oligarchs intent on winning their war against our government for the people, by the people.}

Americans for Prosperity set up shop in Colorado – historically a swing state – in 2010 to focus on upholding TABOR, to roll back environmental regulations and to fund charter schools, among other initiatives listed on the group’s website. ...
{AFP seems to consider our “environment” as some sort of enemy, only good for exploiting and consuming.  Their libertarian childishness makes them refuse to recognize that our “environment,” is our life support system!  We need it healthy if we are to thrive! 

AFP also is focused on destroying the public school system.  Seems they're also against community cohesion.}

He added that {KOCH’s} group is going to take an active role to influence {pressure} La Plata County’s land-use code, to reach out to residents directly, to inform {manipulate} them of the issues involved and to teach them how to have their voices {Koch’s will} be heard.

“I find it alarming that outside agitators funded by the Koch Brothers are actively working to influence public opinion and what happens in our county,” said Commissioner Gwen Lachelt. “What is AFP’s interest in La Plata County? Is it to kill yet another attempt to adopt a new land-use code? Is it to unseat a progressive elected official? Is it both?”

County officials say reforming the codes will provide more predictability for developers and landowners who want to build, and focus that growth in the areas that make the most sense. 

They also say the codes are intended to protect scenic and natural resources that drive businesses here, and to update a much outdated code that is not equipped to handle the unprecedented growth happening in the county.

Some county residents oppose the land-use codes because they say they overstep the role of government and infringe on property rights by imposing rules … 
{But the process is working!  
Commissioners are adjusting the plan in light of public input from the local citizens.  Local ranchers and farmers don’t need an agenda driven billionaire’s political machine to teach them how to think.  

AFP seems to have no appreciation for the nuances, or the duties and responsibilities of the people sitting in ‘the chair.’  They disregard the many hours over many months and years of studying and grappling with the many interconnected complexities of community planning.

They oversimplify the issues and come at everything with an absolutist attitude.  

Every tax and regulation is a mortal sin in their eyes.  How are real people dealing with real problems supposed to be able to constructively work with that?  Sure we all hate paying taxes, but we sure feel entitled to the benefits.

We need government and it needs us paying taxes and agreeing to rules of the road and rules of a crowded growing community.

What’s unAmerican is the way AFP tries to ignore the reasons for these unpleasant regulations.  Instead always complaining about the solutions without ever truly acknowledging the problems and complexities forcing these decisions.

Our community is getting more crowded than anyone ever anticipated.  Every time we turn around there’s another development popping up.  I find the loses of open landscapes, I’ve witnessed in my nearly four decades of driving these roads, a real bummer.  

But that’s how it goes, we live and learn and grow and adapt to our circumstances, that is the challenge of life.  

The people continue coming, there needs to be some thoughtful plan created to manage the challenges of the times.  A realist pragmatic plan is needed, but AFP is demanding an ideologically driven document instead.}

Mallory said he knows the group is sometimes criticized by people who don’t like outside influences on local issues.  “They are free to express their opinion,” Mallory said {With the smugness of a conqueror.}. “But I would encourage them to look at the great work we do educating {were it only so, I know of too many AFP deceptions to buy that line} the public on issues.” …

{Nice words are cheap.  What I’ve found and shared in previous posts reflects deception and single minded focus on achieving a billionaire’s radical self-interested plan.}

“We give a voice to individuals  
{In actuality, the long history of Americans for Prosperity looks more like a billionaire’s long and arduous campaign to brainwash Americans into hating their government and each other, in order to clear the way for crippling our government.  

The government that was the only thing that stood between us little people and the unbridled avarice of oligarch’s such as the Koch brothers. 

Deftly played, while Americans dozed in a consumerist haze.} 

... concerned about controlling government spending, property rights and other matters,” he said. “That’s why we’re there and why we exist. Some take issue with that, and they have a right to do so.
{Sweet with the words, we’re all concerned with those issues!

Although, let me add, an interesting life has taught me, it’s the glad handers, big smiles and overly nice smooth talkers who tell you what you want to hear, whom you had better watch out for!  They’ll be the predators, softening you up, probing for any weakness to exploit.}

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaking out against the efforts of Charles and David Koch, who are using their vast fortunes to push for right-wing, pro-industrialist policies.

They said so.  I'm not making those words up.  One of the brothers kept harping on the fact that he has a radical philosophy and they do.  So I ask my Republican colleagues in the Senate: Is even one of you, even one of you, willing to stand up and disavow the Koch brothers radical agenda?  

03:30  -  It’s radical.  It’s radical because they say it's radical, and it is radical, all you have to do is look at it:  

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers radical plan to privatize Social Security

Will they come here and reject the Koch brothers radical plan to end Medicare as we know it

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers radical plan to end the guarantee of affordable quality health care and put insurance companies back in charge - so tens of millions of Americans are again one heart attack away from bankruptcy?

Will Senate Republican Senators reject the Koch brothers radical plan to allow insurance companies to deny coverage for a child with a heart murmur, a survivor of breast cancer, a teen who suffers from acne, or absolutely anyone with a pre-existing condition - no matter how minor?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers radical plan to eliminate minimum wage laws and workplace safety standards - that's what the Koch brothers want?

Will Senate Republican senators reject the Koch brothers radical plan to decimate Americans public education system - that's what they want?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers radical plan to rollback environmental safeguards and give themselves the unfettered right to pollute our air and water?

We have to, Mr. President, look out for our children our grandchildren having pure water to drink, good air to breathe, not with the Koch brothers.  That isn't what they want.

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers radical plan to give more tax breaks to the richest of the rich, to profitable oil companies, corporations that ship jobs overseas, and billionaires who pay lower taxes than their secretaries?

Not one Republican stepped forward, so obviously they must agree with the Koch brothers radical philosophy 
Senator Harry Reed

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