It was only a small item in The Lincoln Journal-Star. It concerned an idea hatched by a Nebraska state senator named Paul Schumacher, who represents a district in what Nebraskans call the Unicameral in and around the city of Columbus, the county seat of Platte County. Somewhere north of 32,000 people live in Platte County, and about 95 percent of them are white. Anyway, if you follow it closely, Schumacher’s notion winds upward through the levels of our politics. Ultimately, it leads to a perilous place, and our arrival there as a self-governing republic is perilously imminent.
Historically media-shy, and famous for their efforts to discourage and discredit journalism critical of their business and political operations, the Kochs are nowexpanding their media holdings, while the family’s nonprofits ramp up donations to mainstream media institutions such as ASNE and the Poynter Institute, and underwrite programs for NPR and PBS.
Author Nancy MacLean has unearthed a stealth ideologue of the American right. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, tells the story of one James McGill Buchanan, a Southern political scientist and father of “public choice economics.” MacLean details how this little-known figure has had a massive impact on the ideology of the far right. None other than Charles Koch looked to Buchanan’s theories for inspiration. They are libertarian — but with a twist: bluntly, it “entails restrictions on the freedom of the great majority in order to protect property rights and the prerogatives of the most well off.” MacLean shows how this idea can be traced down through the last 60 years of right-wing politics, starting with Brown v. The Board of Education and continuing with the Koch brothers’ empire. And she demonstrates that those followers and those in thrall to the Koch billions are pumping up their fight under the new administration.
n Part 2 of our interview with Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept covering the intersection of money and politics, he describes how the Koch brothers have poured dark money into groups that are demanding the repeal of Obamacare despite public opposition to Trumpcare, and his recent article, Prominent Democratic Fundraisers Realign to Lobby for Trump’s Agenda.
The Koch network has tiptoed toward confrontation with Trump in the opening months of his presidency. More ideologically pure than the deal-making White House, they have been critical of his travel bans and have been uneasy with a support for protectionism, but have spent some of their sums to boost Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and have applauded his attempts to scale back federal regulations.
Saying their patience is at an end, conservative activist groups backed by the billionaire Koch brothers and other powerful interests on the right are mobilizing to pressure Republicans to fulfill their promise to swiftly repeal the Affordable Care Act. Their message is blunt and unforgiving, with the goal of reawakening some of the most extensive conservative grass-roots networks in the country. It is a reminder that even as Republicans control both the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade, the party’s activist wing remains restless and will not go along passively for the sake of party unity.
A notorious funder of climate sceptics in the US has spent at least 550,000 ( 390,908) lobbying the EU on environmental protections and energy issues over the past three years. An obscure entry on the EU s voluntary transparency register shows that up to 750,000 ( 533,049) may have been spent by Koch Industries, the largest private energy company in the US, on trying to influence EU policy.
Republican elected leaders found they no longer had the power to negotiate or make a deal on the party s behalf. They also did not seem to realize that this monster is extremely wealthy and very, very powerful. And it is taking control: The RNC is now openly arguing - that the Kochs political operation is trying to control the Republican Party s master voter file, and to gain influence over - some even say control of - the GOP.
For Republicans, the road to warming the hearts and winning the votes of Latinos may begin at a Las Vegas flea market. On a recent morning, inside the Eastern Indoor Swapmeet Las Vegas, a group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers helped 250 Latinos - some of them illegal immigrants - pass the Nevada driver s test.
Florida Attorney Steve Medina has been working on a case, pro bono, to expose the environmental corruption which has been taking place in Tallahassee and Putnam County, Florida. Tons of toxic waste is being dumped into St. Johns River, daily, by the Koch Brothers company, Georgia-Pacific. Aspects of the deal allowing Georgia Pacific to massively assault the environment, were misleading, sometimes illegal, and unbeknownst to the local citizens. Florida Governor Rick Scott and former Governor (and Republican presidential hopeful), Jeb Bush, are also involved.
Americans for Prosperity, the free-market advocacy group established by the Koch brothers, mounts battles around the country on issues big and small via its nationwide network of chapters. Right now in North Carolina, AFP is vigorously opposing the revival of a state tax credit for renovating historic properties. The credit, which can be claimed by a company or a person, expired at the end of 2014, and the state s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, is pushing to renew it. AFP is working hard to thwart him. But the group s lobbying on this issue might be a tad awkward for one of its main benefactors: David Koch, who co-founded AFP and currently serves as chairman of the AFP Foundation. He used a near-identical tax credit when he renovated his historic Palm Beach villa and saved money at local taxpayers expense.
A fight over education in Nashville might come your way next: It's a proxy for dangerous right-wing education ideas. "We know we need to do something about students who are not achieving in our schools." That anxious appeal - along with its many variations - has become the refrain now firmly embedded in speeches and opinion columns about American public education.
Americans for Prosperity, the most prominent arm of the Koch brothers' organization, put Republican lawmakers on notice Thursday, setting out a conservative agenda for Congress. AFP leaders say it will be pushed by the group's grass-roots supporters in 34 states. The agenda covers three areas: taxes, including repeal of the estate or death tax; energy, headlined by a call to build the Keystone XL pipeline; and health care, which includes repealing the Affordable Care Act. Phillips noted that Washington has debated all of the issues for years.
The thousands of students and hundreds of scholars supported by folks like Charles Koch have had their lives enriched, and with that has come a greater appreciation of the remarkable powers of markets in promoting human welfare. We should be thanking these philanthropists for their largess, rather than harass them. And gutless administrations should be condemned for permitting these attacks to occur in an unanswered fashion. People have the right to disagree with the findings of Koch funded scholars and students, but no right to try to silence them.
Anyone even remotely familiar with the Koch brothers is aware the billionaire oil magnates are pro-anything that translates into more personal profits for themselves, and anti-anything that does not explicitly advance their business interests and increase their wealth. Inherent in increasing their wealth is promoting policies and agendas that force Americans to buy more gasoline which is why there is a dearth of options to driving a car on this sad country s pitiful roads, and why America s mass transit systems lag the rest of the civilized world. Whether it is paying Republican governors, state legislators, or congressional representatives the Kochs are behind every last effort to kill alternatives to driving. They have successfully blocked several states high speed rail projects, and obstructed community progress on bike lanes, light rail, bus rapid transit, or urban communities' "walkability" factor; any mode of transportation that keeps Americans from driving cars and purchasing gas.
The Pope already drew the wrath of both evangelical and Catholic Republicans in Congress for criticizing the greed and income inequality championed by the GOP, but now he has the undivided attention of the Koch brothers, Exxon, and their dirty energy cohorts. The cause c l bre for the Koch-funded evangelical movement is the Pope s recent announcement that it is beyond high time for the world, and all Catholics to join the fight to reduce the existential threat to human beings from anthropogenic climate change.
The continuing demonizing of the Koch brothers is one of the more appalling lies abetted by the MSM. Far more open-minded and less single-issue than any of their Democrat big money counterparts, Charles and David Koch spread their money around to a variety of causes and politicians that would surprise anyone who only knows them from the media characterizations. While prominent progressives are encouraging "protesters" to disrupt holiday shopping, travel and traffic in the name of criminal justice reform, Charles Koch is taking out his checkbook to affect real change
Koch, the influential vice president of Koch Industries, which owns a number of chemical and energy companies, backs multiple super PACs and the company s political action committee with his brother, Charles Koch. While David Koch personally contributed $6.2 million toward the 2014 midterm elections, the Koch brothers super PAC, Americans for Prosperity, spent $125 million on the election, according to Politico.
Billionaires David and Charles Koch, who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars helping Republicans, are suing to stop the grotesque backlash they d face from being forced to disclose donors to their nonprofit group. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the target of their lawsuit, says she isn t trying to expose contributors to the Kochs Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The state is required by law to collect the information and also to keep it secret, according to her spokesman.
A new leak of confidential documents expands the list of big companies seeking secret tax deals in Luxembourg, exposing tax-saving maneuvers by American entertainment icon The Walt Disney Co., politically controversial Koch Industries Inc. and 33 other companies. Disney and Koch Industries, a U.S.-based energy and chemical conglomerate, both created tangles of interlocking corporations in Luxembourg that may have helped them slash the taxes they pay in the U.S. and Europe, according to the documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
It is beyond refute that the libertarian Koch brothers spend hundreds-of-millions of dollars to abolish government to eliminate taxation and regulatory agencies they claim interferes with their crusade for power and wealth. However, to accomplish their goal of controlling the government, they have had to climb in bed with fundamentalist Christians intent on using the government to control and subvert women s rights and force adherence to biblical values on all Americans. The Kochs have claimed, on several occasions, that their interest in social and cultural issues, particularly religious attacks on women and gays is non-existent, but through their Secret Bank (Freedom Partners) they are heavily-funding Christian women s groups whose stated mission is to eliminate women s reproductive health choices and push biblical values on all citizens; not exactly a libertarian agenda.
The Koch brothers and their allies are pumping tens of millions of dollars into a data company that s developing detailed, state-of-the-art profiles of 250 million Americans, giving the brothers political operation all the earmarks of a national party.
On page three of your Tampa Bay Times this morning is a quarter-page ad paid for by Americans for Prosperity, calling on Republican Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Vern Buchanan to oppose wind subsidies. The ad says that Extending the wind energy handout will cost $13 billion over the next decade, with one photo of a wind farm and another of dollars being printed. It then advocates that readers call the two GOP representatives to oppose such wind subsidies.
Well that took absolutely no time at all. A coalition of conservative groups lead by the Koch-affiliated American Energy Alliance (and including the Koch-affiliated Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-affiliated Competitive Enterprise Institute, among others) are showing up in force against renewable energy, urging congressional Republicans to allow a key wind energy tax credit to expire. Wind power's Achilles heel, for the time being, is that it's not yet sustainable on its own - without tax credits, it collapses. According to the American Wind Energy Association, capacity and construction drop a full 84 percent when the wind production tax credit (PTC) isn't available.
Conservative mega-donors had a good night Tuesday. Two days after Republicans seized control of both congressional chambers, big spenders backing the new majority party are celebrating after seeing much higher returns on their investments than those who supported Democrats. Among the 20 outside groups that tossed the most cash into the 2014 midterm elections, those bankrolled by Karl Rove, the NRA and the Koch brothers all enjoyed more than an 85 percent investment return.
It is no secret the Koch brothers, along with other wealthy tycoons, have flooded Scott Walker with money in exchange for favors which have stopped progress and set Wisconsin backward. Walker rejected a paid-in-full railway system and also pushed some windmill companies out of business because of stronger regulations.
The tape shared by The Undercurrent with The Nation illustrates how gubernatorial candidates appealed for the blessing not just of the Kochs but of the network of wealthy donors that can provide support both for specific campaigns and for "independent" projects such as a primary-season ad blitz highlighting Walker s endorsement of Arizona s Ducey. As Ducey told the Koch brothers summit on June 16, I can t emphasize enough the power of organizations like this. Why does the Koch power matter so much? That s easy. The policies that governors like Walker have outlined and implemented are not popular. Despite an $18 million investment by the RGA and its allies in Walker s Wisconsin experiment, Cox acknowledged at the Koch summit that the governor has no easy route to re-election. "This is a race we re going to have to be engaged in right on until the end," he said of this year s race in Wisconsin, where recent polls have had Walker in a tied race or actually trailing.
The Left demonizes David Koch and his brother Charles for their free-market views, their political donations, and the fact that they run a substantial energy company. Harry Reid has made a new career of it, calling them "un-American." But on the platform that morning were liberal Democrats Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney. Ms. Maloney was particularly gracious when she said, "There is hope for the world when Koch and I can agree on something. On this we agree 100 percent." - Now, contrast that with the arrogant, intolerant, petulant, radical-left environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Last week, at the People's Climate March in New York, he accused the Kochs of polluting our atmosphere.
Koch brothers are using disaproval of obamacare and faith based messaging to win over latinos - Opposition to the President s health care reform may be LIBRE s signature issue, but it isn t their only one. John Mendez, an Evangelical minister who serves as LIBRE s Director of Faith Initiatives told ThinkProgress that it s just one piece of their free market message. His job, he explained, is to put that message "in a theological context."
The Koch Brothers can be - and are - featured as the villains on any topic. If you follow the money, however, what is disappointing about the Koch Brothers' kind is that there isn't more of it. Despite the endless and unseemly harangues of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Koch Brothers aren't donors in the same league with their left-wing counterparts.
The Koch Brothers are among the largest polluters on the planet. Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch's pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers. The volume of Koch Industries' toxic output is staggering. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America's air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries
A group tied to the Koch brothers is releasing a tough new ad that more directly urges Oregon voters to oust Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. Previous TV commercials from Freedom Partners -- a group tied to the conservative political network formed by industrialists Charles and David Koch -- have been pitched as issue ads that end by urging voters to call Merkley and tell him to do something.
Three top Republican Senate candidates heaped praise on the political network built by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch during a secretive conference held by the brothers this past summer, according to audio of the event. Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton directly credited donors present at the June 16 retreat in Dana Point, California, for propelling them forward. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner told attendees that his race would likely be decided by the presence of "third party" money - an obvious pitch for generosity from the well-heeled crowd.
On August 25, the Associated Press published a "primer on the Koch brothers and their role in politics," headlined "Koch 101," along with a lengthy overview of the history of the Koch family. A primer on the influence of Charles and David Koch is sorely needed: Their political organizations are reportedly expected to spend nearly $300 million during this year's election cycle, yet most Americans still haven't heard of the highly influential brothers.
NextGen Climate released an advertising campaign Thursday aimed at linking New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown to billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch and the oil industry. - "Out-of-state oilmen like the Koch brothers are spending millions to elect out-of-state politician Scott Brown to our Senate seat," the voiceover says in the TV ad. "Brown voted to protect tax giveaways for big oil, which is polluting our air and water."
The 2014 judicial elections could see even more campaign cash, thanks to unprecedented plans by national partisan groups to spend millions to influence this year s judicial races. The Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee, or RSLC, is now the first national party organization focused on electing judges. The RSLC was the biggest spender in the May 5 North Carolina Supreme Court primary election, and four of the seven seats on the court are up for grabs in November. The RSLC tried unsuccessfully to unseat three Tennessee Justices on August 7. The group s opposition campaign was aided by its strategic partner group, the State Government Leadership Foundation, or SGLF, and the Koch brothers-affiliated Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, both of which are organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Looking to make inroads with the rising number of Hispanic voters, conservative activists are offering English classes, health checkups and courses to help Spanish-speakers earn high school diplomas. Picking up part of the tab: Charles and David Koch. The billionaire industrialists are working to patch a gaping hole in the GOP coalition that could spell a generation of irrelevance if Republicans cannot build some credibility with Hispanic voters, who typically shun the GOP.
The high level of security for the Koch Summit leads one to wonder - why such secrecy if the Koch's initiatives really are in the best interest of the public at large? Wouldn't everyday Americans heartily embrace new proposals to improve the economy and their government? Maybe protecting the business interests of billionaires doesn't quite square with an American public that is still under siege by high unemployment, stagnant wages and ongoing foreclosures. This conclave of billionaires is determined to roll back Obamacare and carbon restrictions and to render the remainder of the Obama presidency ineffectual. In an America where money equals speech, Koch is king.
The political network backed by the Koch brothers, already spending tens of millions of dollars this year to boost Republicans chances of retaking the Senate, is expanding its national playbook as part of a long-term strategy designed to strengthen conservatives heading into the 2016 presidential campaign. The effort, part of an overall budget that organizers expect to total nearly $300 million this year, includes broadening outreach to veterans, viewed as an energized constituency in the wake of the recent Veterans Affairs scandal, and messages tailored for Latinos and young people, long considered core Democratic constituencies.
The energy initiative is being created under the umbrella of the largest Koch network nonprofit in apparent response to a number of developments: the commitment by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer to steer $100 million into ads in several states to make climate change a priority issue in the elections; numerous setbacks at the state level where Koch network backed advocacy groups have been fighting against renewable energy standards; and the new EPA regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid s relentless attacks on the billionaire Koch brothers are having an unforeseen impact: spurring other wealthy Republican donors to give more money to groups that keep their supporters names secret. Several prominent pro-Republican advocacy groups say they are benefiting from a burst of cash as some donors - fearful of harsh public attacks such as those aimed at the Kochs - turn away from political committees that are required by federal law to reveal their contributors.
The founder of the family dynasty, Fred Koch, born in 1900, grew up middle class in a small town just east of the Texas Panhandle and rose quickly. A few years after graduating from M.I.T., he helped found an engineering firm in the oil industry that did well enough to make him rich by the time he was in his early 30s. It would be hard to think of a rich oilman in the Southwest who wasn't right-wing during Fred Koch's midcentury heyday, but Koch seems to have been especially so. A period spent doing business in the Soviet Union in 1930 left a deep impression on him. In 1938 he wrote to a friend that Germany, Japan and Italy were "the only sound countries in the world." In 1958 he became one of the founders of the John Birch Society. In 1960 he published a pamphlet called "A Business Man Looks at Communism," in which he wrote: "The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America."
The Koch brothers main political arm intends to spend more than $125 million this year on an aggressive ground, air and data operation benefiting conservatives, according to a memo distributed to major donors and sources familiar with the group. The projected budget for Americans for Prosperity would be unprecedented for a private political group in a midterm, and would likely rival even the spending of the Republican and Democratic parties congressional campaign arms.
Next year, the Kochs will have a Congress loaded with crackpots ready to serve their agenda. There will be show hearings, bills will be introduced, meaningless votes will be taken. In the end, health care and clean energy will march on. The Kochs, to close with another film reference, will be like Harold Lloyd in one of the great scenes from the silent movie era - hanging from the hands of a giant clock. It may cost them half a billion dollars to learn that they can t stop time.
The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states.
The vast sums of money used by the Koch brothers and their ilk originated from average Americans fueling their vehicles and powering their homes. Billions of dollars are sucked out of our economy by those who want us to keep using carbon-based energy. The use of oil, coal and natural gas has massive external costs that are not paid by the end user. This is the reason government regulators are trying to level the playing field by providing reasonable incentives for solar energy.
As more and more states are beginning to utilize solar energy and adapt to other clean green energy solutions, conservative lobby groups and oil tycoons have aggressively started pushing back against alternative energy. The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and a number of powerful companies in the nation have started running campaign ads in Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina that paint renewable energy as a greedy bad guy, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"You know, the Roberts court really did screw us over with Citizens United," she said to Mike Doonesbury, speaking about the U.S. Supreme Court and a decision that allows corporations and unions to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns. "Last election cycle, a pair of nasty billionaires spent three times what the top 10 unions spent combined."
In the 2012 election, Charles and David Koch spent at least $412 million to swing elections across the country, an amount greater than the ten largest unions combined. Now Bloomberg reports that the Koch brothers combined net worth has exceeded $100 billion, with no sign that their advertising campaign against the Affordable Care Act is ever going to stop.
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gained more than forecast. The surge elevated their net worth to more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Koch s ascent comes as Freedom Partners, one of their fundraising networks, last week aired its first batch of television ads targeted at this year s U.S. Senate races, including commercials knocking Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa for supporting President Barack Obama s health-care law.
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, Reid said, "helped the company pay health insurance costs for its retirees who are not covered by Medicare." Reid asked sarcastically: "So it's OK for Koch Industries to save money through Obamacare" even as Koch-related groups seek the law's repeal.
There are few politicians more cavalier with the truth and more loathsome than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He delighted in telling a bald-faced untruth about Mitt Romney, namely that he did not pay taxes for 10 years. He now says the Koch brothers didn t pay corporate taxes. He calls the brothers, who provide jobs and legally participate in the American political system, "un-American." His self-enrichment in Nevada is legendary, and he reportedly has been under investigation in a corruption probe.
While Jefferson rejected the aristocracy of money, the Koch brothers have taken the lead in organizing it. As a leaked confidential document revealed, they have aggressively courted other billionaires in order to create an organized network of right-wing political funders. Now that's collectivism. The Koch Collective has flooded the political system with cash at all levels. The Kochs themselves have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into extremist "think tanks" like the Ayn Rand Institute. Jefferson would have been repelled by Rand's vision of self-serving bermenschen and her contempt for charitable activities.
Schumer and his little pals are scared that the Koch brothers logical, fact-based, liberty-loving message will resonate with voters, so they re trying to poison the well. They can t point to their successes, having none, so they re appealing to the dumbest of the dumb: their base. "Get the Koch brothers! Attack! Spread the word!"
Sean Noble, the so-called 'dark money man' who has distributed tens of millions of dollars in anonymous donations to conservative campaigns, discusses his new fund-raising group and his connection to the Koch Brothers, the billionaire funders of conservative causes.
By drawing public attention to layoffs by subsidiaries of Koch Industries across the country - a chemical plant in North Carolina, an oil refinery in Alaska, a lumber operation in Arkansas - Democrats are seeking to make villains of the reclusive billionaires, whose political organizations have spent more than $30 million on ads so far to help Republicans win control of the Senate.
Mr. Soros doesn t fit the mold of the Koch brothers. He funds entities that will tax him at a higher rate and will regulate his industry, which gives him a greater advantage. When industries are regulated for fairness, the truly gifted are at an advantage. When industry is unregulated, any thieving, unscrupulous financial thug can make money, as we witnessed in the recent financial crash
You might expect the biggest foreign lease owner in Canada's oil sands, or tar sands, to be one of the international oil giants, like Exxon Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell. But that isn't the case. The biggest non-Canadian lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.
Democrats have been staggered by a $20 million advertising blitz produced by Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group organized and financed by the Koch brothers, billionaire industrialists. The ads take aim at House and Senate candidates for re-election who have supported the health law, and blame them for the hyped-up problems with the law s rollout that now seem to be the sole plank in this year s Republican platform.
The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents.
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as "free-market thinktanks", includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
The Koch Brothers, an ultra-secret and super-rich duo that shamelessly funnels money to the climate-denier movement and campaigns to ram through the Keystone XL pipeline, are the lucky recipients of the Center for Biological Diversity's 2013 Rubber Dodo Award, given annually to those who have done the most to drive endangered species extinct.
Generation Opportunity is a Koch brothers-funded group that wants young people to opt out of Obamacare because it's a "bad deal." We've noted before that GenOpp is still "working on" the math to back up this claim. Still, the group has been rolling along with its "Opt Out" campaign since September, offering up creepy Uncle Sam ads and now, apparently, booze.
Petroleum coke is a high-carbon, high-sulfur byproduct of Canadian tar sands that are shipped from Alberta to the U.S. to be refined and is rapidly becoming a cause for concern in Chicago. "It's growing by leaps and bounds," Southeast Environmental Task Force member Tom Shepherd, told Midwest Energy News. "It's coming at a breathtaking rate." The pet coke is owned by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch whose operations drew similar outrage from residents and elected officials in Detroit earlier this year.
A new study released today concludes that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries stand to make as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is granted a presidential permit from U.S. President Barack Obama.
An environmental activist group wants Boston's public television and radio affiliate to bump billionaire conservative donor David Koch from its board of trustees over his position on climate change. Forecast the Facts argues that Koch's "anti-science track record" should disqualify him from any role at the company that produces the award-winning science series "Nova" and other notable public affairs programming.
Teabaggers have lusted to shut down the federal government since 2011 unless taxes and domestic spending were abolished, but they lacked Republican support until the Koch brothers and their band of seditionists decided the government was fair game to eliminate the healthcare law. The fascist Koch brothers and their Americans for Prosperity belief tank funding the effort to abolish the ACA recently spent $5.5 million to denigrate the idea of affordable healthcare through a propaganda and misinformation campaign that would make Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels proud.
This weekend, The New York Times revealed how the Koch Brothers and Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese engineered this here shutdown we re dealing with right now, and how they d been planning it ever since Obama was reelected. I wasn t especially shocked by it, myself. Hell, half of the Tea Party people in the House actually campaigned on it. Which is why I have been annoyed as hell with the whole "Oh, well, it s really both parties at fault here!" line of reasoning that some people have been trying to take.
The fiscal crisis in Washington is not simply a threat to economic and government stability, as serious as that is. It is a premeditated scheme to carve out a new constitutional structure that gives the Koch Brothers and other right-wing billionaires the power to void the democratic process, writes Robert Parry.
IRS filing shows funding and connections of Koch front groups - Five of those groups -- Americans for Prosperity, 60 Plus Association, American Future Fund, Concerned Women for America and American Commitment -- laid out just shy of $70 million in outside spending (mostly for TV ads) benefiting Republican candidates in the 2012 elections.
An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide. The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.
Charles Koch confirmed that he and his brother David are exploring the possibility of buying newspapers in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. There have been rumors swirling for weeks that the conservative billionaires, who run Koch Industries, are interested in acquiring the Tribune's big regional titles, which include the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel. The prospect of such a sale has raised alarm among some readers and Tribune employees, who are concerned that the new owners would use the papers to advance their political causes.
In the coverage of this story, now a scandal, there are a couple of important facts that some of the reporting has missed. First is the fact that the tea party is a creation of enterprising political and public relations professionals, constructed to accomplish a political purpose. A study published in the Tobacco Control Journal actually traced the origins of the tea party to "free-market" groups founded by tobacco corporations and the oil industry billionaires David and Charles Koch.
Today, communities across the country are rallying outside of newspapers owned by the Tribune Company to support journalistic integrity and an unbiased news media. These communities are calling on the Tribune Company to not sell its newspapers to Koch Industries, a company owned and controlled by David and Charles Koch.
The Koch Brothers seem to be in the middle of a strategy shift. Previously the billionaire oil barons who made their money the old fashioned way (they inherited it) used various think tanks like the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation to launder their deregulation and tax cut agenda. Now the Kochs, after advancing astroturfing groups like FreedomWorks to browbeat the press, are trying to get into the media business outright. Various properties have caught their eye for purchase including the Tribune Company and now they are seeing partnership opportunities with popular blogs. Enter Buzzfeed and their "immigration summit" event which was sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute.
Even before the Koch Bros have put in an official bid to buy the Tribune newspapers, people around the country are up in arms over the prospect of them owning eight important regional news outlets. About half the staff at the Los Angeles Times have pledged to quit their jobs if the paper is taken over by the Koch Bros, and many are moving to block the sale. There are protest rallies planned for LA and Chicago at Tribune headquarters.
Word spread this week that the Koch brothers were temporarily slowing their funding of the extremist Tea Party as they complete an audit of their failed 2012 electoral efforts. This shouldn't be viewed as surrender. Anyone willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to win the White House and Congress doesn't give up after they lose one round (especially when they are worth billions). The Koch brothers are committed to gutting environmental protections and devouring government agencies, and they will live to fight another day.
Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry's role in driving climate disruption.
This will not be a big surprise, but the order of magnitude involved may be a bit shocking. Over the last two days a number of findings have been released related to the funding of anti-climate change science activities, by Big Oil but mainly the Koch Brothers. I wrote up an overview, which, in turn points to the major news stories, so when you go to work Monday Morning you'll know all about it!
Forbes has a cover story puff piece out on the Koch brothers, but it is informative in a number of ways. We learn for example how the Koch brothers became billionaires. Using their father's asset base, they bought more assets, sometimes using great debt, that then soared in value as a result of Federal Reserve money printing:
Billionaire David Koch’s prime political organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), having failed in its $125 million quest to oust President Barack Obama, is now aiming at a slightly less sophisticated political target: victims of Hurricane Sandy.Hurricane Sandy was the second most costly in American history, leaving 100 lives lost, over $50 billion in devastation and tens of thousands of damaged or destroyed homes. Legislative efforts to help those who survived Hurricane Sandy’s wrath will reach a major stumbling block.
As the U.S. is accused of blocking progress here at COP18 talks in Doha, a new report says the Koch brothers may be the biggest force behind the climate stalemate. The Koch brothers run oil refineries and control thousands of miles of pipeline, giving them a massive personal stake in the fossil fuel industry. But researchers say they ve also funneled tens of millions of dollars into climate denial science, lobbying and other efforts to derail policy that could lessen the impact of global warming.
Gov. Snyder's right-to-work initiative has the coordinated support of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative non-profit organization that funded Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to strip that state's public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights
The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country. The Electricity Freedom Act, adopted by the council's board of directors in October, would repeal state standards requiring utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable power
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative organization backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, took aim at Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Monday, accusing him of working against his state s interests with his apparent change of heart on Obamacare. In a statement, AFP said that Scott s recent signal that he was willing to consider implementing key provisions of President Barack Obama s health care reform law was a step in the wrong direction.
While Grover Norquist and his no-tax pledge may be losing support among congressional Republicans, a newer, more insidious group is getting greater attention. Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group relying on cash from the billionaire Koch brothers, announced a different pledge on Thursday. It s called the "No Climate Tax" pledge and it has been signed by House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and other GOP leaders.