From the fever swamps of the left to your (Wisconsin) neighborhood democrats, dark conspiracy theories about the nefarious Koch brothers, and their puppetry of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are slowly becoming mainstreamed.
Let's put a couple of things into perspective here. I have no problem with "following the money," but the Kochs have hardly tilted the playing field. Their contribution to Walker's 2010 campaign was dwarfed by contributions to Democrats by Wisconsin teachers' unions alone.
There's big money in politics all right, but as the indispensable Michael Barone has pointed out, the biggest money of all comes from AFSCME, which contributed almost $90 million in 2010, almost exclusively to Democrats.
It's no wonder Democrats are fighting tooth and nail against the reforms proposed in Wisconsin. It's not about unions, or collective bargaining, or workers' rights or any other anachronistic nonsense being chanted by the dime-store tub-thumpers in the capitol building.
It's about protecting the campaign cash gravy train that's been the heart and soul of the Democrat machine for the last fifty years.
And the provision in the bill that they fear the most has nothing to do with concessions on pay or even collective bargaining. Rather, it's the change in law which would give government employees the option to join the union in the first place. Right now, those workers have no choice. They have as much as $1,100 a year extracted from their paychecks (read: Wisconsin tax dollars) and have no say in the political purposes on which it is spent.
Less than 7% of private sector workers are unionized. If government workers' unionization shrank to that level, Democrat campaign cash would dry up very quickly.
Let's face it, the outcome of the battle in Wisconsin will ultimately have little appreciable effect on the pay or working conditions of government employees.
For Democratic politicians, though, it's a battle for survival.