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Browsing Posts tagged Koch Brothers

from Education Votes
Koch Brothers vs. the GOP: A fight for control
by Brian Washington
New reports suggest that things are getting ugly between the Republican Party and the Koch Brothers, the billionaire siblings who serve as two of the biggest threats to quality public education.
It appears key members of the GOP, who have often sought the Koch Brothers’ support, now see the infamous duo as a threat to the party’s political power.
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the two groups have had some heated exchanges–going back and forth over whether GOP candidates will use the party’s voter information file or a new system created by the Kochs’ political operation.
Since then, relations between the two sides have soured, turning into what one Republican operative described as “all-out war.” Interviews with more than three dozen people, including top decision-makers in both camps, have revealed that the Kochs’ i360 platform for managing voter contacts — which is viewed by many as a superior, easier-to-use interface than what’s on offer from the RNC — is becoming increasingly popular among Republican campaigns.
The RNC is now openly arguing, however, 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.
“I think it’s very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why and how,” said Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff.
Click here to read more about the tug-of-war between the Kochs and the GOP in the Washington Post.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains how the Koch Brothers are in a league by themselves in regard to political spending.

Mother Jones current issue is carrying Koch vs Koch: The Brutal Battle That Tore Apart America’s Most Powerful Family.

Politicians, as one of Charles’ advisers once put it, are stage actors working off a script produced by the nation’s intellectual class. Some of the intellectual seeds planted by the Kochs and their comrades would germinate into one of the past decade’s most influential political movements: Though the intensely private brothers downplay any connection, they helped to provide the key financing and organizational support that allowed the tea party to blossom into a formidable force—one that paralyzed Congress and ignited a civil war within the GOP. After backing a constellation of conservatives, from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to South Carolina’s Jim DeMint, Charles and David mounted their most audacious political effort to date in the 2012 presidential campaign, when their fundraising network unleashed an estimated $400 million via a web of conservative advocacy groups.

Just as their father, a founding member of the John Birch Society, had once decried the country’s descent toward communism during the Kennedy era, the brothers saw America veering toward socialism under President Obama. Charles, entering his late 70s, had not only failed to see American society transformed into his libertarian ideal; with this new administration, things seemed to be moving in the exact opposite direction. Now he and David, along with other allies, would wage what he described as the “mother of all wars” to defeat Obama and hand Republicans ironclad congressional majorities.

Yet for all the attention the Kochs—including the “other brothers,” Frederick and Bill—have received, America knows little about who they really are. Charles and David have gained a reputation as cartoonish robber barons, powerful political puppeteers who with one hand choreographed the moves of Republican politicians and with the other commanded the tea party army. And like all caricatures, this one bears only a faint resemblance to reality.

As with America’s other great dynasties, the Kochs’ legacy (corporate, philanthropic, political, cultural) is far more expansive than most people realize, and it will be felt long into the future. Already, the four brothers have become some of the most influential, celebrated, and despised members of their generation. Understanding what shaped them, what drove them, and what set them upon one another requires traveling back to a time when the battles involved little more than a pair of boxing gloves.

Yahoo News is carrying this interview with the directors of the new film “Citizen Koch.”  You may remember this film from an earlier post on this blog pointing out that PBS had refused to air this film due to the influence of Koch Brother donations.

While the Kochs have been players in conservative politics for decades, Deal and Lessin show how their reach was greatly expanded with the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which unleashed an unrestricted flow of corporate dollars to political campaigns.

Riding the wave of the Court’s ruling, Deal and Lessin said, the Koch brothers began reaching into their coffers to fund the budding tea party.

“They did a lot of funding early on in seeding these tea party movements,” Tia Lessin said of the Koch brothers. “A lot of people, I think, have been duped, and they don’t realize that the big money of the Kochs is behind a lot of these small patriot gatherings around the country.”

Thom Hartmann came across the 1980 Libertarian Party platform endorsed by their Vice-Presidential candidate, David Koch.  Yes, that Koch Brother.

In this seven minute video you will learn the Koch Brothers plan to repeal all taxes, eliminate public schools, OSHA, Food Safety and Consumer Protection laws, and of course put Social Security and Medicare in the dustbin of history.  What a country KOCHisstan would be!  Enjoy and be sure to share with your conservative uncle.

KochObamacarelies

The current edition of FORTUNE magazine features The New Koch, Koch Industries may be known as an oil company and source of wealth for the wealthiest libertarians in the country.  This vast private business empire run by billionaire brothers Charles and David are expanding into vital industries like food, water, and personal technology.  Who knows, they may get into the voting machine business.  Nervous yet?

Would you feel better knowing these are some of the folks bending Tim “tickets” Jones ear to push Right-to-Work for less?

Each brother has a net worth estimated at $36 billion or more, and as their fortunes have grown, they have been aggressive about using their money to influence the political conversation in the U.S. The Kochs are staunch libertarians — David ran for Vice President on the Libertarian Party ticket back in 1980 — with a distaste for big government and, some would argue, regulation that might infringe on the profitability of their businesses. Money from the Koch brothers helped fund groups that spawned the Tea Party movement. One of the prime vehicles for their efforts is the Koch-sponsored political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, which has taken on an array of political fights — from repealing Obamacare to fighting the power of public sector unions in Wisconsin. According to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity, AFP spent $122 million in 2012 alone. But that is hardly the extent of the Kochs’ political spending. They have given tens of millions to help support a network of other conservative organizations. As a result, the brothers have become outsize figures in America’s partisan political narrative — all-purpose bogeymen to those on the left.

All the attention on the Koch brothers’ politics, however, obscures the story of how their sprawling conglomerate has become one of the most important companies in America. If Koch Industries were eligible, its $115 billion in revenues would be enough for it to rank No. 17 on the Fortune 500, with sales larger than those of Google, Goldman Sachs, and Kraft Foods combined.

Of course, the Supreme Court has decided that money is free speech.  That should leave you feeling pretty good about now, because in the eye’s of the Supreme Court you and the Koch Brothers are equal participants in the political process.  I’m skeptical but just for fun go ahead and call Speaker of the Missouri House Tim Jones or Paul Curtman and let them know how you feel about Right-to-Work for less.  Let’s see who they are listening to.  Speaker Jones can be reached at the Capitol 573-751-0562 or by E-Mail: Tim.Jones@house.mo.gov

To sign a letter to Mr. Jones click this link.

http://pnmo.actionkit.com/sign/rtw_2014/?source=PMCMO

 

Earlier this week we featured a post including Steven Colbert’s bit on PBS not airing the documentary Citizen Koch due to their fear of retaliation by the billionaire brothers.

That fear does not reside here.

Please enjoy this Friday night by viewing the official trailer for Citizen Koch.

Progress Missouri has a nice audio recording of Republican Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Tim “tickets” Jones at a Americans for Prosperity event.  Americans for Prosperity is one of many front groups for the billionaire Koch Brothers.

Sounds like “tickets” has  been working with Michigan lawmakers on ways to develop a clever PR spin to sell Right-to-Work for less to unsuspecting Missourians.  ”Tickets” may want to look at the dramatic drop in the polls for both Governor Snyder and the Michigan legislature after they managed to sneak RTW through a lame duck session. This blog has numerous posts that expose the lies offered by the corporate spin-meisters on this issue.  Let’s face it, if you tried to join the Chamber of Commerce or move into the Koch brothers gated community without paying dues or association fees you will receive no services except possibly a visit from their lawyer to present notice you are being sued.  Right-to-Work for less simply says a worker can receive union representation and benefits without paying for them.  To Tim “tickets” Jones and the Koch’s milking their nation, state, and communities without paying for them may be a way of doing business but most folks are responsible enough to pay for what they receive.

I wonder if “tickets” has been working with other legislators on ways to raise the wages of Missourians with the same vigor he carries corporate water?  The legislation he proposes will answer that.  Stay tuned.

No, the oil baron brothers aren’t looking to adopt but with some tools you could help affect this election.  You don’t have to fund a think tank, buy a new bus with a fancy paint job, or contribute millions to politicians like the Koch’s.  Just sharing easy to watch video’s with friends, family, and neighbors can make a huge difference.

That’s what the new website supervoters.org is all about.  Check out the featured video about Mitt Romney’s Worst Week in Washington.  To share this one with people you know just establish an account (15 seconds) and get ready to share any of the video’s on the site with anyone through Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. 

So have some fun watching and sharing these video’s and help counter the billionaires like the Koch Brothers.  Be sure to include that conservative uncle when you share!

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