The Kochs Don’t Want You To Vote

May 24, 2016

“I am not recommending that everyone always vote. There may be principled reasons not to vote. Many people who vote maybe shouldn’t.” That’s Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Koch-funded Cato Institute, in a Cato blog post yesterday.

Interesting sentiment — that bit suggesting individuals shouldn’t vote — particularly as Cannon links to this op-ed proposing legally entrenched voter suppression in the form of a “citizen civics test.”

But it’s an outlook reflective of the Cato Institute’s Koch ties.

Charles and David Koch are staunch opponents of voting rights and they’ve even spearheaded voter disenfranchisement efforts, including by using policy institutes they fund to advocate the Voting Rights Act’s repeal. One of the think tanks, the Mercatus Center, wrote a 2010 paper warning of the “dangers” of high voter turnout, for example. And more recently, Koch-backed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory successfully implemented a voter ID law in […]

Kochs’ Vets Front Group Hails Koch-Funded Candidate in Faux Townhall Forum Tonight

May 20, 2016

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), the Koch-funded veterans group, is staging another one of its “Veterans and Military Town Halls”tonight, with Koch-puppet Rep. Ron DeSantis, as a part of its “national campaign” to push the Koch brothers’ self-serving agenda.

“This propped-up veterans group by the Kochs isn’t fooling anyone. Never would a legitimate veterans’ group advocate for the privatization of the VA system or call for current military retirement plans to be handed over to Wall Street,” said Eddie Vale, the Vice President of American Bridge 21st Century. “CVA only cares about representing the interests of its patrons: Charles and David Koch.”

Here’s more information about the Kochs’ shady veterans’ group, Concerned Veterans for America:

Rep. Ron DeSantis Has A 100% Current And 96% Lifetime Score From AFP

Rep. Ron DeSantis Had A 96% Lifetime Score From Americans For Prosperity (AFP). [Americans for Prosperity, […]

Will The Kochs Disavow Their $8.1M Senator, Tom Cotton?

May 19, 2016

In a display of dumbfounding ignorance, Koch-funded Senator Tom Cotton today boldly declared:

“If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”

Cotton was speaking out against a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that aims to curb mass incarceration. Legislation, it should be noted, that the Kochs claim they support.

Will Charles and David Koch — Tom Cotton’s sponsors to the tune of $8.1 million during the 2014 cycle — denounce their favorite (or second-favorite?) freshman Senator?

Probably not.

It’s no secret that Charles and David Kochs’ advocacy of criminal justice reform is disingenuous and self-serving. It’s all a PR sham and that’s why the Kochs almost certainly won’t publicly criticize their $8.1 million investment from Arkansas.

Background:

The Kochs And Tom Cotton
The Koch Network Spent Over $8.1 Million In Tom Cotton’s Senatorial Race In 2014

The Koch Network Was The Top Spender In Support Of Tom Cotton’s Campaign, Spending $8.1 Million On Ads.  According to the Washington Post, “Arkansas: Democrats and Republicans spent […]

Koch-Backed TX AG Wants To Stop Climate Change Investigation Because The Kochs

May 17, 2016

When he’s not busy being charged with federal securities fraud or state securities fraud, Texas AG Ken Paxton likes to spend his time shilling for the Koch brothers. This week, he joined in the Kochs never ending fight against climate change activism. According to Reuters, “Paxton asked a state judge on Monday to block U.S. Virgin Islands officials from subpoenaing 40 years of internal climate change documents from Exxon Mobil Corp, saying the probe is ‘a fishing expedition of the worst kind.’”

Big oil and the Kochs go hand in hand and there’s no doubt that the brothers would look kindly on Paxton’s decision. For years they’ve attempted to skew the public’s conception by pushing anti-climate change propaganda. Preventing the U.S. Virgin Islands from revealing the truth, perhaps that Exxon and even the Kochs have “misled investors and the public about the risks of climate change” is the best interest […]

Kochs Sow Chaos In States to Protect Their Puppet Senators

May 17, 2016

In states across the country, the Koch brothers invest heavily in lobbying to assert their influence on policy agenda and electing their cadre of Koch-aligned politicians. Along with that, they fund a network of front groups who do their bidding–all to serve their bottom line: their corporate profits.

The foundation they’ve laid in each state has propped up puppet politicians in Congress. Despite any talk of the brothers pulling back their holdin US politics–the Kochs will continue to protect the senators they’ve helped to put in place. Already, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, and Joe Heck have all benefited from millions of dollars in attack ads against their opponents. And they’re previewing how they’re going to help the former Club for Growth president, Pat Toomey too.

The damage the Kochs have done in states already help them […]

Kochs’ Vets Group Politicizes Climate Change, Wants to Prohibit NDAA Funds

May 16, 2016

The Koch brothers’ veterans front group, Concerned Veterans for America, has teamed up with Koch-funded American Energy Alliance to lobby Congress to eliminate defense funding that prepares the U.S. military for the impacts of global warming and climate change. The groups are supporting Rep. John Fleming’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would prohibit defense funds to be used to implement President Obama’s Executive Orders 13653 and 13693, which would allow the Department of Defense to prepare for the policy implementation.

“Deadset against the reality of climate change, including its impacts on human migration and the geopolitical stability in the Middle East, only a Koch front group that says it represents veterans would want to deny funding to the U.S. military to prepare for it,” said Eddie Vale, Vice President of American Bridge 21st Century. “This spells disaster everywhere when […]

With Brand Tarnished, Koch Brothers Politically Retreat Further Into the Shadows

May 16, 2016

Always driven by corporate profits and their bottom line, Charles and David Koch may retreat from the 2016 elections, showing their thin skin as public scrutiny grows over the Kochs’ political activities and threatens their corporate and personal brand. Remember when people said attacking the Kochs’ business and personal interests was futile?

“Concerned about the damage being done to their corporate brand, increasingly bothered by their public vilification, and convinced after Republicans’ 2014 Senate takeover that even significant victories were having a negligible impact on federal policymaking, the Kochs began signaling to their closest allies that they were reevaluating their approach to politics. They had always believed that building the intellectual foundation for libertarian ideas in think tanks and universities — and supporting important public-policy initiatives at the state and local levels — paid greater long-term dividends than spending on elections. And more and more, they worried that campaigns could actually […]

LIBRE Opposes Rule To Boost Latino Wages

May 12, 2016

The Koch brothers’ LIBRE Initiative‘s stated goal is, “to equip the Hispanic community with the tools it needs to be prosperous.” In a shockingly hypocritical and ironic move, LIBRE is opposing new overtime rules that would disproportionately benefit Latino workers.

The newly introduced protections would affect 2.1 million Latinos currently exempted form overtime protections. Latinos only compose 11.6% of salaried workers, but would represent 15.5% of newly protected workers. Furthermore, a staggering 48% of Latino women currently lacking overtime protections would now be included.

In condemning the new rule, LIBRE Initiative President Daniel Garza trotted out the tired cliche about Washington, “arbitrarily choosing winners and losers in the economy.” The true motivation for LIBRE’s opposition is overtly transparent: Being required to pay salaried earners a fair amount for overtime work would damage the Kochs’ bottom line. What’s good for the Kochs’ is good for LIBRE. What’s good […]

Kochs Could Be Charged With Civil Rights Violation In New EPA Petition

May 10, 2016

For years, an Arkansas branch of the Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia-Pacific has literally been poisoning the community of Crossett, AR. Now, two environmental advocacy groups are taking action.

The Ouachita Riverkeeper and Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), are filing a petition with the EPA against GP and the Kochs for releasing millions of gallons of water in Coffee Creek and the Crossett water supply, which violates the Clean Water Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the Louisiana Record:

In its own announcement about the petition, LEAN said Georgia-Pacific’s paper mill in Crossett, Arkansas must no longer be allowed to daily release millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Coffee Creek.

The daily discharge into Coffee Creek flows through a predominantly African-American Community in West Crossett, where residents claim their health and quality of life are adversely effected, the LEAN announcement said. 

While Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries 

North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT HB2 Law Is Koch Funded

May 9, 2016

With Governor Pat McCrory and the state of North Carolina set to sue the Obama administration over its opposition to the state’s anti-LGBT HB2 law — and the White House now suing North Carolina — a reminder that Charles and David Koch have supported the bill’s backers to the tune of nearly half-a-million dollars.

That’s right, the Kochs are prolific financial supporters of Governor McCrory and a number of the North Carolina state legislators behind the law that leaves LGBT individual vulnerable to discrimination, jeopardizes “more than $567.5 million in private-sector economic activity,” and could cause North Carolina to lose up to $4.5 billion in federal education funding.

Here’s how the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity has invested in North Carolinian elected officials:

Close to $285,000 on Republican North Carolina legislators in 2010, with “much of [the money]” going to an HB2 co-sponsor as well as to other Republicans who supported the bill.

$130,000 […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation