Monday, April 11, 2011

Koch Brothers Want the Whole World In Their Back Pocket

Money talks and the Koch brothers are spending big bucks to buy the Congress of the United States. By demanding huge budget cuts, the new Republicans in the House will take most of the power away from regulatory agencies - no funding, no means for oversight. This focus on budget cuts has always seemed to me to be part of a larger plan to take over this great land of ours. Have this Congress ever talked about job creation or the recession?
On March 18, Paul Krugman wrote "The Forgotten Millions" in The New York Times "More than three years after we entered the worst economic slump since the 1930s, a strange and disturbing thing has happened to our political discourse: Washington has lost interest in the jobs bills have been introduced in Congress, no job creation plans have been advanced by the White House and all he policy focus seems to be on spending cuts."
The radical right has set its priorities and the deficit is a cover. Cut funds for programs and agencies that work for the everyday American, that protect us all from the powerful and greedy. Then they'll own the country, if they don't already.

Adele H. Stan writes that "Charles and David Koch's reach into virtually every aspect of political, economic and physical life on the planet is probably greater than you thought possible.
"She cites the Kochs' recent direct contribution to political candidates: The Kochs donate directly to 62 of the 87 members of the House GOP freshman class...and to 12 of the new members of the U.S. Senate.
"Those 62 Koch-backed freshman are essentially driving the agenda of the House Republicans, because together they form a large enough bloc to prevent House SPeaker John Boehner from amassing a majority on any piece of legislation, should they choose to, despite the 2010 Republican victories that handed control of the House to the GOP. "
So who is running Congress to its own advantage? The Koch brothers. I think I'll just copy and paste the majority of Stan's article:

If you read the whole of the CAP Action report, you'll see how the Koch influence on the nation's politics is compounded and leveraged through a combination of the brothers' direct contributions to candidates, their investment in astroturf groups such as Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks (which do political organizing), and their funding of right-wing think tanks, which send policy position papers daily to the in-boxes of senators, representatives and their aides. Carrk identified some 85 right-leaning think tanks that received a collective $85 million from the Kochs over the course of the last 15 years. These include the Cato Institute, of which David Koch was a founder, and other well-known outfits, such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

But that's not all:

Charles and David Koch and their company, Koch Industries, do not limit their political donations to right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups. They also donate millions directly to candidates. Since 1990, the Koch network has donated $11 million to federal candidates, $9.8 million, or 89 percent, of which went to Republicans.

In Congress, the donations are well-targeted. Take, for example, the House Commerce and Energy Committee, whose imprint on legislation has a direct effect on Koch Industries' core businesses. (Koch's Flint Hill Resources, LLC, according to the report, "has a combined crude oil processing capacity of more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day.") From the report:

The Kochs have contributed significantly to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In fact, they are the single-largest oil and gas donor to members of the committee, contributing $279,500 to 22 of the committee’s 31 Republicans and $32,000 to five Democrats. Tim Phillips, the head of Americans for Prosperity, even co-authored an op-ed with chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), detailing how Congress could stop the EPA from ensuring a cleaner environment.

At the state level, the Koch influence is every bit as corrosive as it is at the national level, Carrk tells us.

The Koch network donated $1.2 million to help elect conservative Republican governors last year, including Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio’s John Kasich, both of whom are trying to take away collective bargaining rights. During the fight in Wisconsin, Americans for Prosperity ran an ad and orchestrated protests to support Gov. Walker’s union busting and orchestrated pro-Walker demonstrations. Americans for Prosperity also started a Web site urging people to “Stand with Governor Kasich.”

And that's not even counting the money the brothers donate to candidates for state legislatures, or to support ballot measures designed to enrich them and their heirs. Carrk reports:

Data from the National Institute for Money in State Politics show that from 2003 to 2010, the Koch brothers, as well as their companies, employees, and affiliates, have donated $5.2 million to state candidates and ballot measures in 34 states. $3.4 million of those donations, or 65 percent, went to Republican candidates. Another $1 million, or 20 percent, went to one ballot initiative: the effort to overturn California’s clean energy law, AB 32.
Adele Stan concludes with this:

If you're one of those people who like to be scared out of your wits, you'll find the CAP Action report better than Wes Craven's latest offering. Just consider this:

The significant victories the billionaire Koch brothers chalked up for their ideological and business interests in the 2010 elections is only a precursor of what is to come. The Koch brothers have already pledged to raise $88 million through their considerable network for policy and political projects for the 2012 election cycle.

The report can be downloaded here (PDF), for free. You can also read The New Yorker's profile titled "Covert Operations,The Billionaire Brothers Who Are Waging A War on Obama." I'd say they are waging war on our way of life. They are waging war on America, spending money so eventually, sooner rather than later, America becomes their own back yard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good information, MMH. Very scary.

I've never lived in New York, and I love the New Yorker. I subscribed while living overseas; I felt it keeps us up to date with a lot of things happening that never really hit the news.

Somehow I had missed this article. Thank you for mentioning it, and this issue.