Friday, May 9, 2014

3 Cheers For Fred Young And His Millions!

Young is one of only several people who actually fund
the Racine Tea Party.
Once upon a time, Young Radiator Company employed hundreds of people in Racine. The Young family were pillars in local society and Fred Young Sr. moved his family into the Harvey House on 16th Street - the home built by Walter Harvey of the candy, Cubs and Racine Belles fame.

As it goes, Fred's son, also named Fred, took over the company - sold it for $70 million to an outsourcing group and everyone in Racine lost their jobs.

The Young's were set. Trust funds were created which of course were raided causing minor scandal - rich people problems, you know.

Fred joined the traveling Deadhead tour for the wealthy known as the Koch Brothers Annual Summit, and started to really take to heart how tough it is out there for 2nd generation millionaires.

He met other millionaires - who didn't create their own wealth either - but sure weren't going to give away their birthright to the unwashed masses who wanted stuff like jobs, food and maybe the occasional visit to the doctor.

Young ran all the rich Libertarian bases, Reason Foundation, Cato Institute and rubbed elbows with the inner-circle of the Koch universe. Young isn't Koch rich, he's not even Diane Hendricks rich - but he does his part.

He was behind the dark money plot to oust Russ Feingold in 2010 and replace him with shiney new candidate, Ron Johnson, another guy who won the millionaire lottery by marrying his money.

See, even then, Fred Young didn't like anyone telling him how he could spend his money in campaigns or on candidates and McCain-Feingold was a total pain in his ass.

If money equals speech, then Young had a lot to say.

The group Young helped to fund, SpeechNow, ran ads in Wisconsin (with Young chipping in at least 100k) telling voters that it was Feingold who was responsible for the deficit - you know the one caused by two unfunded wars, the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and Medicare Part D written by Paul Ryan and his friends.

It was really Feingold's efforts to eliminate soft money in politics that Young hated - but SpeechNow couldn't actually run ads that said a bunch of millionaires just wanted to purchase candidates and public policy as easily as they did summer homes and ski vacations.

Oh, but the teabillies ate it up and pretty soon Young was funding their "grassroots" jamborees too.

Tens of thousands to Americans for Prosperity and thousands to the little ol' Racine Tea Party - one of only seven people who actually funded them. Where those sincere, looney teabillies thought the money was coming from, we have no idea.

Musta been Jesus...

Fred wasn't finished. After replacing Feingold with the human door-stop, Ron Johnson, Fred channeled his energy towards fighting the recalls. It must have really crushed him to lose in Racine - his own hometown. Can you imagine? All that money down the drain.

What Fred Young needed was to be able to spend MORE money.

And so he challenged Wisconsin law which puts limits on how much one person can donate to political campaigns within a single cycle. You'll never believe it, but Fred won yesterday.

With the Supreme Court favorably ruling on a similar challenge a few weeks ago - it was pretty much a formality that Fred Young would get his way.

Now, rich guys like Fred Young can give to as many candidates as they want, in as many races as they want - even if those candidates are hundreds of miles from where they live. They can also give as much as they want to PACS and issue organizations - even if they create them themselves - and they will.

Democracy is saved.

Fred Young didn't want to spend his money on employing people in Racine - in fact, he made millions by firing them. He even fired over a hundred workers just before selling his company to make it look more attractive to potential buyers and squeezing out a few more million from what his father had created.

Fred Young wants the kind of democracy he and a few of his friends can purchase, because that is what freedom looks like to him. If YOU can't afford that kind of freedom - well, that's your problem.

Three cheers for Fred Young and his millions. Ain't democracy grand?