Tea Party? Try Tea Puppets | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Bob Norman's Pulp

Tea Party? Try Tea Puppets

I wonder if the nonsense-spewing Tea Partiers are really paying attention -- because if they are they'll know they're just puppets for war profiteers and the oil industry, which are one and the same.

Case in point: A federal audit just found that former Florida Republican Party finance chairman Harry Sargeant -- the former frat brother of Charlie Crist who pours huge amounts of money into GOP politics -- ripped off taxpayers some $200 million while he supplied fuel to the war effort in Iraq.

[That story, by the way, was broken for the Washington Post by my friend Penn Bullock, a freelance writer who got his start with this publication.]

When you hear the Tea Party and the Republican Party and Fox News ginning up fear and hatred to fuel more wars, remember what's behind it: Our own cold hard cash. 

And how about Florida's own fraudster-in-chief, Rick Scott? 

Inside, read about how the oil industry -- namely the Koch brothers, who have put millions into the Tea Party "movement" -- is really behind Scott's rejection of $2.4 billion in federal funds to pay for the bullet train project. It wasn't idiotic -- it was corrupt.

From former state legislator Curt Levine's op-ed in the Sun-Sentinel:

Rick Scott's decision to reject federal funds to construct Florida's high-speed rail project was no surprise to observers who knew Scott's game plan. When Scott appointed Robert Poole as his transportation advisor, it sounded the death knell for any type of non-highway-based mass-transit public transportation projects in Florida during Scott's administration.

Poole is director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, a right-wing lobby group of road-based transportation industrial interests, including petroleum, asphalt and rubber-tire manufacturers. And, not coincidentally, Reason receives substantial funding by the ultraconservative billionaire Koch brothers. David Koch serves as a Reason trustee.

Scott claimed he was rejecting federal funding for Florida's high-speed rail project based upon a Reason Foundation report of Jan. 6, 2011, authored by Wendell Cox, head of the Wendell Cox Consultancy. Cox claims to be a disinterested, independent transportation consultant, but has long been known as an opponent of rail transit projects and on the roster of the Reason Foundation and other highway promoters such as the American Highway Users Alliance, a pro-highway construction lobby group.

In 2004, then-Gov. Jeb Bush also relied on Poole and the Reason Foundation as cover for overturning the voter mandate of 2000 to build the high-speed rail system.

Get it? Oil money pours money into a sham foundation and pays off prostitutes like Wendell Cox to put out an "independent" study to give bogus politicians like Rick Scott something to point at as they sell the public down the river for oil industry. Wonderful little circle, that.

And the Tea Party -- funded by those very same Koch brothers -- is the one supposed to be outraged? 

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