Koch Brothers To The Rescue On Income Inequality

Our prayers have been answered! Like a pair of white knights, the Koch brothers are joining the Republican pack and paying lip service to mounting income inequality in the U.S. Millions of middle class and working class Americans are breathing a collective sigh of relief now that the industrialist duo – commonly known for destroying jobs and polluting communities in service of their bottom line – have turned their attention to income inequality.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to note what Americans for Prosperity’s president, Tim Phillips, sees as their goal: “A lot of it is extolling the virtues of a system that’s lifted more people out of poverty than anything else in the history of mankind.”

That’s right. AFP’s main objective is simply a public relations campaign about the virtues of capitalism, which is likely why they avoided supporting American workers by having their t-shirts made in Nicaragua.

Phillips also points out that […]

What The Kochs Consider “Common Sense” Means More Health Risks For Americans

Increased risk of asthma attack, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and, yes, premature death: These are some of the adverse health effects that the EPA cites in their call for mercury emissions regulations. But the Kochs continually disregard health risks to protect their profits.

In 2012, according to the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, Koch Companies Public Sector – the lobbying arm of the brothers’ corporate empire – spent three out of four quarters lobbying on a resolution for the Senate to formally disapprove of the EPA’s MATS standards. So it comes as no surprise that the Koch-allied think tank, the Cato Institute, spiked the proverbial football after the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA’s MATS emission regulations in State of Michigan vs. EPA today.

In their press release Cato says the Supreme Court’s decision is a “clear victory for common sense.” How convenient that “common sense” rules in favor of their billionaire benefactors as well as the amicus brief that Cato submitted on Michigan’s behalf.

Kochs Still Preventing 600,000 From Getting Medicaid in North Carolina

The Kochs took a hit with the announcement of an Obamacare win in the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision, but don’t expect that to stop them from doing their damnedest to prevent more people from getting covered. In response to the decision, the Kochs’ political strong arm, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has already released a new ad against Obamacare. AFP and the Kochs are also campaigning hard to prevent the expansion of Medicaid around the country. The latest ACA news has brought back that fight into focus, with North Carolina as one of the key decision states.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory already rejected the expansion back in 2013, but now the state has a second chance to help cover its nearly 600,000 uninsured residents. The latest calls for change have been met by AFP-North Carolina with dismissal. In a December post on their website, AFP-North Carolina Director Donald Bryson said that “refusing Medicaid […]

Hold your horses — Kochs and GOP will continue to fight ACA

More than six million Americans are breathing a sigh of relief today knowing they’ll be able to keep their affordable health insurance, but the scene at Koch headquarters is undoubtedly whipping into a frenzy. They’re gearing up for the next fight to prevent Medicaid expansion in the states and getting ready to bark orders at GOP politicians like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush eager to follow their lead.

For people who prioritize return on investment, today’s ruling dealt a huge blow to the Kochs, who spent millions to bring King v. Burwell to the Supreme Court and to stop Medicaid expansion.  Now more than ever, they will work with conservative state governments and GOP candidates to push their extreme agenda.

With this latest defeat, the Kochs and their Republican allies are setting their sights on next year’s court decisions and, of course, the White House.

LIBRE Director Admits Building Voter Lists For Republicans

LIBRE Executive Director Daniel Garza finally admitted what we’ve known all along: They aren’t working for Latinos’ interests but for Republicans’ and the Kochs’.

Washington Post reports that Garza “said Republicans cannot afford to have the Democrats win 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, as Obama did in 2012. ‘We intend to double down our efforts’ in this ‘constituency at a cross roads,’ Garza said. Republicans ‘don’t need to win a majority, just inch it up.’”

The Koch-backed initiative has done its best to frame itself as an advocacy organization for Latinos, but Garza’s comments make it clear: LIBRE is focused on winning political power for the GOP and thus, the group’s billionaire benefactors.

In May, Bridge Project took a deep dive into LIBRE’s political maneuvering to uncover their shady efforts to win Latino votes. Read the report here.

“Recycling Old, Tired, And Discredited Ideas”

When it comes to Pope Francis, the Kochs aren’t even bothering at civility anymore. Their offensive against the Catholic leader continued today in a Daily Caller op-ed by the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, Patrick Michaels. Absolutely rejecting reason and science, he compares the pope’s call for action against climate change to “disproven doomsday predictions.” Michaels’ piece drips with contempt for the pope’s encyclical and climate science in general, showing the true extent of the Koch network’s hubris.

Michaels also disavows solar and wind energy, writing,

Make no mistake: limiting access to energy will keep people poor and life short. Solar energy and windmills are never going to power a major modern city, and therefore they will never run a modern nation. With the exception of geographically-limited hydropower or sometimes unpopular nuclear fusion, the only way to avoid a life of poverty, infirmity, and vulnerability to climate […]

Kochs Still On Team #Walker2016

The Koch network is tipping its hand in favor of Scott Walker’s presidential bid once again. Art Pope, the North Carolina conservative who has been referred to as the “third Koch brother,” indicated at a fundraiser for the Wisconsin governor that he is likely to back Walker over the rest of the GOP field.

According to the Washington Post,

Before that lunch, the governor met privately with about 30 high-capacity donors, including North Carolina retail magnate Art Pope, a major conservative benefactor with strong ties to the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

“He’s not the most charismatic speaker, but I don’t think people are looking for the most charismatic,” said Pope, who has not yet picked a 2016 favorite but said he is seriously considering Walker. “They are looking for the best candidate who would do the best job governing, not the best stump speech.”

In April, David Koch let it slip that he […]

Kochs’ “Rising Star” Kansas Still Facing Massive Budget Crisis

The Koch-affiliated Franklin Center is calling Kansas, or “Kochtopia,” a “rising star” in its story on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual “State of the States” report. While the Kochs’ home state may be a feather in the caps of the billionaire brothers, in reality, Kansas is flailing under the pressure of a massive budget crisis.

One of the Kochs’ favorite shills, Governor Sam Brownback, has followed their party line since the start of his tenure. The Koch-inspired policies Brownback has implemented have left the state with a $400 million hole in its budget, completely wrecking the state’s public schools, infrastructure, and economy. 

So who is praising the massive failure? The same people who pushed for the policies that created the mess. 

Both ALEC and the Franklin Center receive funding through the Koch network. In fact in 2011, the Franklin Center received 95 percent of its revenue from DonorsTrust, the “dark […]

Of Course The Kochs Love The NC Senate’s Devastating Budget Proposal

North Carolina’s state Senate recently released a devastating budget proposal that — if passed — will mean dire cuts to education. And the Kochs love it. Earlier this week, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) North Carolina praised the proposal, with its the state director calling it “a responsible plan” and saying the budget reflected “priorities that Americans for Prosperity supports.” So what exactly does the brothers’ political arm consider “priorities?”

According to WRAL, some of the most egregious changes include eliminating more than 8,500 teaching assistant positions, increasing community college tuition, and getting rid of 520 pre-k spots. And because this is the state of broken promises (see: Pat McCrory), there are plenty of shirked campaign commitments mixed in as well, particularly when it comes to the education lottery. 

The Senate also refused to address the state’s low ranking in both per-student funding and teacher salary.

As WRAL reported earlier this year,

The National Education Association […]

As part of our commitment to revealing the Koch brothers’ shady political tactics, today, Bridge Project released a new report entitled, “Kochs Vs. The Pope.” Even before Pope Francis issued his encyclical, the pope’s calls for action against man-made climate change spurred attacks from the Koch brothers and their Republican loyalists, including presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum. The Kochs and their political cronies will continue to attack the pope in hopes of — what else — protecting their profits.

Check out the attacks launched against the Catholic leader that Real Koch Facts has exposed below:

The Kochs vs. the Pope: Climate Change Edition

The pope is picking sides in the climate change debate, and the Koch brothers are terrified about what it means for what they worship most: their bottom line. Recently, the pope has become a beacon of hope for climate change activists. As the New York Times reports, […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation