Four leading Republican presidential prospects are expected to appear this weekend in the California desert before an exclusive gathering of rich conservatives convened by the Koch brothers’ political operation, several sources tell POLITICO.
Today, Charles Koch co-authored a Politico piece titled “The Overcriminalization of America.” For the Koch brothers, it’s just the latest move in their most recent political pet project, having spent the last few months touting criminal justice reform. With around 2.4 million people incarcerated in the United States, including a disproportionate number of minorities, that seems like a noble mission, right?
It would be, if only their motivations weren’t so dishonorable. The Koch brothers’ “come to Jesus” moment didn’t arise over the problems they saw with the criminal justice system; it came after Koch Industries and employees came under scrutiny from law enforcement in the course of their work. They didn’t like the scrutiny, and they’ve been donating hundreds of thousands of dollars every year since 2004 to reform the criminal justice system. Supporting groups like this was simply a business decision for them, not a moral one.
The Koch brothers claim they aren’t trying to make this a political issue and that this is all about libertarian principles, but we know all too well that the they expect results from their political spending. They spent big in at least 10 different Senate races in 2014, dropping $150 million on the elections. And now they can count senators from Kentucky, Iowa, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Colorado as their new (bought and paid for) friends. So what do the Koch brothers expect from their newly minted senators? As Bloomberg reported, “[The Kochs] want their senators to be soldiers.”
Before the 2014 elections, they backed then-North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and he delivered for the Kochs by cutting taxes for the wealthy. They also backed Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin and he delivered by attacking collective bargaining rights to the point where public workers saw pay cuts and lost their ability to negotiation over health coverage, safety, or sick leave. Long story short: they use their money – and the web of conservative organizations they have either set up or funded, a.k.a. the “Kochtopus” – to affect change that helps their bottom line. So what do you think they expect from this spending on criminal justice reform?
Question of the day: How many Koch-Cronies can you fit into one U.S. Senate office?
Answer: At least two (for now).
NFIB stands for the National Federation of Independent Businesses and claims to represent America’s small businesses, but in reality, it’s about anything but small businesses. Regular readers of Real Koch Facts know that NFIB is Just another Koch-backed group working to push its anti-working family agenda like pushing for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Here’s how it works: The Kochs fund a group that claims to support small businesses. The group endorses Koch candidates. The candidates then claim they’re endorsed by the small business community, and if they win election, they push Koch-friendly legislation through and hurt working families. It’s a vicious cycle, and just one of the many tentacles of the “Kochtopus.”
Goeas worked for NFIB for the past 9 years, where she led the group’s political activities including endorsing candidates for public office, promoting NFIB’s policy goals, and expanding the group’s grassroots efforts. Before joining NFIB, she worked for the most recent “President Bush” (though Jeb is *actively exploring* trying to take that crown) as the chief of staff at the Small Business Administration. She previously worked in the Senate for former Republican Senator Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas.
With Koch candidates winning in Kentucky, Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, Kansas, West Virginia, and Arkansas, it will be a race to see who can cram more Koch Cronies into their offices and push the most extreme agenda in the Senate. It’s no secret that Joni’s Koch connections run deep, and by hiring Lisa Goeas, Ernst is taking an early lead in the race to cater to the Koch brothers who got her elected.
Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation