Eric Lach

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily,, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at

Articles by Eric

The mysterious poll of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal making the rounds today was commissioned by the Franklin Center For Government and Public Integrity, a conservative not for profit based in North Dakota and Virginia that was founded by a former Republican operative.

The Franklin Center also has ties to the some of the groups that organized a pro-Walker rally last weekend in Madison, including the Tea Party training group American Majority.

"BREAKING: Poll Shows 71% of Wisconsinites Think Walker's Budget Changes are 'Fair'," said the release from the Franklin Center. Local and national news outlets cited it, including MSNBC (watch below). But no one, it seems, asked where the poll came from.

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At a time when some Republicans are calling to defund public broadcasting, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has added a link on its homepage to an appearance Fred Rogers made before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications on May 1, 1969, when President Nixon was proposing to cut federal funding for public broadcasting from $20 million to $10 million. In the video, Rogers offers a defense for his show over the other kinds of programs made for children at the time.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's office has confirmed that it fell for a prank call from a liberal blogger who was apparently posing as David Koch. A blogger at posted audio of a call he claimed was with Walker earlier on Wednesday. At time of writing, appears to be down.

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While most of the attention over the last few weeks has been on the parts of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill that would strip most state workers of their collective bargaining rights, some have started to sound the alarm about another provision in the bill, one allowing the state to sell the power plants it owns.

A blogger at Daily Kos calls it "The Koch Brothers' End Game in Wisconsin." A blogger at, who appears to have been the first to call attention to the provision, calls it "a highlight reel of all of the high-flying slam dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism." The local NBC affiliate in Milwaukee says the "budget bill could payoff big for one of Governor Walker's biggest campaign contributors."

So is there really a hidden bonanza for the Koch brothers and other energy companies tucked into this bill? People with knowledge of Wisconsin's energy issues contacted by TPM say not so much.

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Wisconsin State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D), who's been getting attention for an impassioned speech he delivered last week in defense of those opposing the state's anti-union budget bill, is now getting attention for a sexual misconduct citation he received earlier this month. In an e-mail to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Hintz says he's willing to take responsibility for his actions, but is also concerned that his "personal situation is distracting from the much more important issue facing the state."

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Several prominent former lawmakers, government officials and military leaders have added their names to the growing list of political heavyweights backing an Iranian opposition group currently considered a terrorist organization by the State Department. The group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK, has a history of support in Washington. But a recent series of events organized by a group called Executive Action, LLC, has brought in some surprisingly marquee names. At an event in Washington D.C. on Saturday, several of those speakers argued that the MEK is critical to any chance of regime change in Iran.

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