Guest Blogged by Sue Wilson
Just days after resigning as Chairman of the Tea Party Express, Mark Williams, former talk show host at Sacramento's KFBK radio, began encouraging people to file claims for the BP fund which is being set up to provide financial assistance to those damaged by the Gulf oil spill. He's not just encouraging residents of the Gulf or those who do business with Gulf Coast fisheries to file claims; he is encouraging everyone in the country to file a claim against BP, and brags about having done so himself.
Williams asserts on his blog, MarkTalk.com, that in so filing, people are not stealing. He writes, "You are only recouping some of your own money that the Obama regime is stealing from you to redistribute," and he cites fund administrator Ken Feinberg as telling people "we should '...all file a claim…' because specific criteria for valid claims has not yet been set."
He further writes, "Let's show the Marxists who occupy our government and their flying monkey supporters what life under socialism is really like when the productive stop producing and join the gravy train."
The BP fund, according to a conversation I had with Feinberg's office this week, "is paid entirely by BP." Even the administration of the fund is paid by the private corporation which caused the spill. "There are no merits to claim that U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill."
Nonetheless, Williams describes the fund as run by "Marxists", constituting "life under socialism", and as nothing short of a "gravy train". Yet, oddly enough, it's the "conservative" Mark Williams, whose agenda could lead to the waste of untold numbers of tax-payer dollars...
To be clear: A multinational corporation drilling for public resources off our shore in international water causes a disastrous oil spill which imperils not only wildlife, but the opportunity for Gulf residents to earn a living through private business. The President of the U.S. puts political pressure on said oil company to pay not just for clean up, but for compensation for loss of business opportunity.
Yet, there is one federal government agency which will likely use taxpayer dollars as part of the administration of the BP Fund. Again, according to Feinberg's office, "As with the 9/11 fund," which Feinberg also administered, "Mr. Feinberg will be working with the US Department of Justice Fraud Division to ensure there is no fraud in the fund."
So in other words, it is Mark Williams who, by knowingly promoting ineligible people to apply for BP money, is costing taxpayers untold dollars to ferret out fraud. So much for "conservative" fiscal responsibility. And oh, yes, so much for a "conservative" talk show host getting facts straight.
Funny, too, that Williams' blog uses the tag line - very similar to one long-used by The BRAD BLOG --- "It's Not Right vs Left, It's Right vs Wrong." Readers will have to make their own judgment about that.
It's interesting to note that Sacramento, the state capital of "liberal" California, somehow manages to launch national Right Wing voices. Williams, Rush Limbaugh, Joseph Farah of rightwing media outlet WorldNetDaily, and the Tea Party Express itself, all hail from Sacramento. Must be something in the water, and not just in the Gulf. It's certainly not anything in the air, as Sacramento offers no progressive radio stations on the public's local airwaves.
Sue is media activist, director of Public Interest Pictures' Broadcast Blues, and a 22 year veteran of broadcast journalism. Her numerous awards include Emmy, AP, RTNDA, and PRNDI for work at CBS, PBS, FOX, and NPR. She blogs at Sue Wilson Reports.
• For a related-ish story, see Brad Friedman's short video "Rise of the Tea Bags", documenting kick-off day for last year's Tea Party Express national bus tour.