Motivated By Profit? Koch-Backed CATO Institute Calls For FEMA Privatization

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, the Koch-founded CATO Institute injected themselves into the debate over disaster response and preparedness. In a blog post criticizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, CATO Institute Director Chris Edwards calls for the complete privatization of disaster response and preparation organizations including FEMA. While Edwards is correct that George W. Bush’s FEMA made many egregious mistakes in its response to Hurricane Katrina, the total privatization of disaster relief would have, frankly, disastrous results.

Edwards writes that “the private sector also played a large and effective role during Katrina,” but he fails to relay the many companies, including several Koch subsidiaries, that took advantage of the situation.

Bridge Project’s new report, “Ten Years Later: A Look Back On The Koch Brothers & Hurricane Katrina,” looks at Koch Industries’ role in Katrina. The Kochs’ […]

Looks Like The Kochs Are Giving Up On Latino Outreach

Hard to not see this one coming.

Going into the Koch brothers’ “Defending American Dream Summit” last weekend, we pointed out Charles and David’s immigration conundrum — here they were, hosting all kinds of anti-immigrant, anti-birthright citizenship GOP presidential candidates, while simultaneously professing to care about the Latino community.

But Charles and David’s LIBRE Initiative is nothing more than a sham outreach front group and propaganda machine, so we predicted Charles and David would stay silent while their invited guests rolled out the inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric.

And, to risk sounding self-congratulatory: We were right.

Here’s how Bloomberg Politics reported on the event’s immigration dialogue:

When it was time to file into the bleachers to see presidential candidates speak, talk of outreach faded away. The crowd went wild for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose plan for guarding the Mexican frontier includes 90,000 repurposed IRS employees, and for Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, who promised to […]

Breaking: Area Koch’s Feelings Hurt Over Factually Accurate Condemnation

Understandably loath to be called out for their subversive advocacy that tips the scales for their profit margins at the expense of the welfare of the American public, the Koch brothers yesterday took a swing at President Obama.

In a Monday speech on energy, President Obama called out fossil fuel interest lobbying efforts and the Kochs’ big-dollar spending, in particular. Here’s what he said, according to Politico:

[Y]ou start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy business from succeeding — that’s a problem.

Ever the sensitive types — and guided by one of the best PR teams money can buy — the Kochs went public with their “outrage,” responding quickly and forcefully to Obama’s denouncement.

“Flabbergasted,” was how Charles Koch described his own reaction to the […]

RFS: Good For Iowa, Bad For The Kochs, Who Will The GOP Side With?

One of the best examples of the Koch brothers’ self-interest is their longstanding, heavily-funded opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard. While the RFS is good for Iowa’s economy and the environment, the Kochs oppose it because it threatens their own oil profits.

Today, as Hillary Clinton announces her support for strengthening the RFS, will Republicans do what’s right for Iowa and support the RFS or will they listen to the Kochs in hopes they get a piece of the $900 million the brothers are planning to spend on this election?

Earlier this year, Bridge Project’s report, “The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State,” outlined just how far the Kochs have gone to end the RFS — despite overwhelming support from Iowans. 

From the report


Koch Lobbyists Opposed Iowa Bill To […]

AFP’s BFD: Self Exposure On Killing Medicaid Expansion

The Kochs have spent an untold amount across the country to deny Americans access to health care through Medicaid expansion. It’s one of their highest “achievements” and now, they’re getting the notoriety they deserve — well, sort of…

The Tampa Bay Times is recognizing the Kochs’ political long arm, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), for their outstanding advertising, though it’s probably not the sort of praise AFP wants. According to the tongue-in-cheek editorial, AFP Florida has been running ads that educate voters on which lawmakers voted against expanding Medicaid.

From the editorial entitled, “Thanks go to Americans for Prosperity”:

[AFP] is running a new TV and digital ad featuring the names and faces of Republican legislators from Tampa Bay who blocked the state from accepting billions in federal Medicaid expansion money to subsidize health coverage for low-income Floridians. That’s very helpful, because voters should be reminded over and over exactly who voted to deny medical care […]

Koch Realpolitik Means Political Power Over Principle

Coming off this weekend’s Americans For Prosperity conference, we know more than ever that the Koch brothers’ machinations are all about power — it all comes down to the control and influence that enables them to profit at the expense of ordinary Americans. Here’s how The Associated Press put it:

The head of the Koch brothers’ flagship political organization says a Republican winning the presidency is becoming a higher priority for more of its members, suggesting a rift between pragmatists and ideologues.

“I do think there is a sense of urgency about the future […] that you owe it to your principles to win for those principles,” AFP President Tim Phillips said, according to The Associated Press.

And he’s right: Charles and David, and their donor network, will back whomever they think is the most electable — not who most aligns with their “principles.”

Why? Because they have no real principles. Their […]

Just Another Stop On The Koch Road Show For Koch Favorite Ted Cruz

After Jeb Bush’s tepid performance at the Koch’s American for Prosperity summit yesterday, Koch road show regular Ted Cruz is sure to get David Koch and other Koch network donors on their feet today with his fiery endorsement of the Koch agenda and his passionate commitment to moving it forward.

One of the Kochs’ chosen five, Cruz is a favorite at Koch events —  for years he’s taken center stage at AFP, Concerned Veterans for America, Freedom Partners, and other Koch network donor confabs.

And in the Senate, Cruz is one of the loudest advocates and defenders of the Koch agenda — putting special interests and billionaires like the Kochs ahead of middle class and working families.

So, in comparison to Jeb’s smattering of “polite applause,” will Ted Cruz’s deep allegiance to the Kochs and his audition today win him a piece of the $900 million the Kochs said they will spend on this election?

In conjunction with this weekend’s […]

Marco Rubio: The Final Koch Puppet On The Koch Stage In Columbus

Expecting for Marco Rubio to make news as the last candidate at the Koch/AFP summit? Think again. Rubio is no novice to delivering his carefully crafted argument to his favorite constituency: Charles and David Koch.

As one of the five on the Kochs’ shortlist, Rubio has had many opportunities to show his deep allegiance to the Kochs “libertarian” causes in hopes they’ll spend part of the $900 million they said they’ll spend in 2016 on his campaign.

Recently, Rubio’s taken every potential opportunity he can to suck up to the Kochs, but just like every other candidate this weekend, his Koch ties run long and deep. Additionally, Rubio’s been a strong supporter of the Koch agenda — opposing the Ex-Im Bank, fighting against net neutrality, blocking a raise to the minimum wage, and supporting tax cuts for rich special interests like the Kochs.

In his relentless attempt to win over the Kochs, Rubio has completely disregarded that what’s good for the […]

Jeb Bush Is No Stranger In Koch Country

Jeb Bush and the Koch brothers’ roots run deep.

Though he may claim the contrary, Jeb’s attendance and role as a keynote speaker at today’s Koch-sponsored Defending the American Dream Summit is no coincidence. His relationship with the Kochs is far past budding — it’s been blossoming for years.

Jeb Bush’s association with Koch-linked groups goes back decades, and even predates his first gubernatorial election — continuing through his tenure as governor and to this day. Jeb’s even hired Koch network staffers to work on his presidential campaign.

So, protest as he might that he’s a stranger in Koch Country, rest assured: Jeb’s a native son.

In conjunction with this weekend’s Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream conference in Columbus, Bridge Project today also released a new report, “O-H-I-O Koch! Koch! Koch!: How The Kochs Have Polluted Ohio With Their Business & Politics,” detailing the extensive damage done by the Kochs’ subversive Ohio operations. Read more 

The Kochs’ Immigration Conundrum

It’s been months in the works, but the last two weeks have seen more or less the entire GOP field go all in to join Donald Trump’s team of anti-immigrant policy extremists. Even Jeb Bush — long, though it appears erroneously, seen as the “reasonable voice” and the “adult in the room” on immigration — couldn’t stay away, refusing to back down from the offensive “anchor baby” rhetoric he used to describe American citizens born in the United States to immigrant parents.

This is a problem for the Kochs, who today and are hosting much of the GOP field at their “Defending the American Dream Summit” — one of the premiere events for GOP candidates to cozy up to Koch network donors.

It’s a problem because it exposes them. And it exposes the LIBRE Initiative, Charles and David’s Latino outreach front group, as the propaganda machine that it is.

It’s impossible […]

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