Union busters have always relied on scare tactics to boost anti-worker legislation -- fear, threats, lies and intimidation are standard fare for politicians trying to weaken labor laws, and they're generally effective. In a recent example of this, right-wing think tanks are going after universities and professors for emails that might mention anything regarding the mass protests across the Midwest. Yesterday, the case of William Cronon, a historian at the University of Wisconsin, who was targeted by the GOP for his emails in an effort to smear his reputation was reported. You see, Cronin had the audacity to weigh in on Wisconsin's turmoil by creating a blog called scholarcitizen. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which is funded by the union-busting Koch Brothers, filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for any emails sent during state time, on state computers which contained, 'Scott Walker,' 'Wisconsin,' 'Madison,' 'Maddow.' Maddow? Huh, the right wing is always saying how she's irrelevant and no one watches her while touting Faux' big, big ratings on their propaganda channel. So why is the lefty truthteller on little ol' MSNBC so scary to them?
In abusing Open Records to attack academic freedom and intimidate critics, the Cronon situation is an indicator of just how vindictive, how un-American, one of our two political parties has become. I watched Fair Game earlier tonight. Ever since Bush-Cheney fired the shot over the bow to expose CIA Agent Valerie Plame due to husband Joe Wilson's damning article about their Iraq lies, and got away with it, Republicans have established a war on any type of criticism headed in their direction. By the way, I highly recommend the movie although I regret they didn't go even more in depth. They just told the story.
Rachel Maddow followed up this evening being that she was named and all, inviting Mackinac backers -- including Charles Koch and The Walton [Wal-Mart] Family Foundation -- to appear on last night's show and discuss the FOIC request. Neither responded, I know - shocking. Also interesting was the response of another Mackinac backer, The Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation (the parents of Blackwater founder Erik Prince) -- who claimed not to know what they were talking about, before abruptly hanging up. Watch the clip below, Rachel doing it as only she can!