MADISON, Wisc. -- Judith Davidoff reports :
Koch Companies Public Sector LLC occupies a seventh-floor suiteat 10 E. Doty St. According to an unidentified tenant there, thelobbying group moved in two weeks before Walker was electedgovernor on November 2. Jeffrey Schoepke, the company's regionalmanager, did not return a phone call seeking more information onthe firm.
The headline's a bit much -- who opens a lobbying office any way but quietly -- but it adds some kindling to the Democratic outrage over the influence of Koch Industries in Wisconsin, which broke out on the Assembly floor yesterday as it's broken out in the halls of the Capitol. According to state lobbying records, the "business or interests" are, "Koch Industries, Inc. companies on public affairs matters, including Flint Hills Resources, LP, an energy purchaser and refiner & transporter of petroleum and Georgia-Pacific, LLC a manufacturer of paper, wood products and building materials." The lobbying interests:
Legislation and rules relating to the environment, energy, taxation, business, policy and other areas affecting Koch Industries, Inc. companies.
Who are the lobbyists? Jeff Schoepke is the regional manager for state government affairs for Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC. The rest of the registered lobbyings are Robert Fassbender, Andrew Engel, Amy Boyer of the Hamilton and Associates, and Kathleen Walby, Ray Carey, and Jason Childress of Foley & Lardner LLP. All of them have multiple clients, including XCel Energy, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy. The Foley & Lardner lobbyists all do work for Smart Government, Inc, a local think tank, and the telecom group TDS, as well as some charitable interests. Until this week, really, this was public information just sitting there; now Democrats are citing it as proof of corporate greed behind the budget repair bill.
On a conference call hosted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, State Sen. Chris Larson got asked about the impasse-ending tactic Scott Walker floated on his conference call in an interview with a fake "David Koch."
"I'm not aware of this prank call," he said at first. "I've heard rumors of it." But he ran with it. "You know, maybe it reveals something about the governor's character."