Koch Groups Celebrate SCOTUS Blockage Of Coal Regulation, Gloss Over Significant Koch Role

February 11, 2016

It’s no surprise that the Koch brothers — prolific polluters and opponents of clean energy — are celebrating Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision to temporarily block an EPA regulation that “requires states to make major cuts to greenhouse gas pollution created by electric power plants.”  Here’s how Koch front groups reacted to the news:

Americans for Prosperity‘s CEO applauded the decision in a statement: “We’re thrilled that the Court has acted in the best interest of the American people and state regulators.”
A Freedom Partners senior policy advisor wrote that the decision would “protect Americans from the EPA’s crushing energy regulations,” and that it “confirms that governors across the country were right to resist putting forth a plan that would pave the way for higher energy costs.
Koch-backed American Commitment President Phil Kerpen breathlessly tweeted: “This is HUGE. Means Obama CANNOT force states to cap emissions and make electricity prices necessarily skyrocket until court rules.” In a second tweet, Kerpen […]

Yes, The Kochs And Their Ant-Veterans Veterans Group Still Want To Privatize Veterans’ Healthcare

February 10, 2016

No amount of spin can change the fact that Charles and David Koch, through Concerned Veterans for America, their “pro-veterans” front-group that works against veterans’ interests, want to privatize veterans’ health care. They can claim otherwise, but there’s plenty of proof to back up their not-so-secret privatization intentions.

First of all, CNN just last week confirmed previous claims that CVA is not only Koch-controlled, but also actively promoting VA privatization.

Concerned Veterans hasn’t exactly been secretive about about their intentions. The group has expressly endorsed what it described as “a premium-support private insurance option” for veterans health care. And news outlets such as Stars and Stripes have characterized the CVA proposal as “a radical plan unveiled Thursday to largely privatize VA health care.”

Outside groups have similarly described CVA-backed proposals as VA “privatization.”According to USA Today, “The American Legion made clear in a statement…it would not back the [CVA supported] plan, saying it […]

Kochs Make Moves In Their Campaign To Exploit America’s Public Land

February 9, 2016

After congregating in the desert with their most elite donors and favorite politicians, the Koch brothers are making moves in their campaign to privatize and profit off America’s public lands.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, last week, Federalism In Action brought on a founder of the American Lands Council, Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, to lead their “Free The Lands” campaign. Federalism In Action (FIA) is funded by the Kochs through their many dark money channels. FIA was created by the State Policy Network and State Budget Solutions, a member of the Koch-funded legislative group ALEC which received more than 1.7 million from the Donor Capital Fund.

This latest move by FIA makes it clear that the Kochs’ are once again turning their attention to their malicious public lands agenda, and Ivory is the perfect spokesman. In 2012, he sponsored a bill in the Utah House that demanded […]

Marco Rubio Has Some Not-So-Secret Admirers In Koch World

February 8, 2016

Koch World is going crazy shilling for — and defending — Marco Rubio. Here are a few recent examples:

Executive Director at the LIBRE Initiative defends the Rubio Talking Point 3000. 

President at Americans For Prosperity attacks Christie for criticizing Rubio.

​Head of Corporate Communications at Koch Industries criticizes Bush and Christie for attacking Rubio.

A Concerned Veterans For America VP defends Rubio’s “record.”

 

By the look of it, senior staff at Koch front groups and business entities are running a full-blown pro-Rubio rapid response operation, pushing back on other candidates attacks and scrambling come up with something — anything — that the junior senator from Florida can claim as an “accomplishment.”

Here’s another indication that the Kochs are really feeling Rubio: Representatives from the pro-Rubio super PAC, Conservative Solutions PAC, last weekend held “private meetings” with Koch network donors at Charles and David’s winter […]

Kochs Use Indiana University To Advance Their Political Agenda

February 5, 2016

The Kochs’ money doesn’t just buy them elections — it buys them political influence over universities. For years, the brothers have been “donating” to colleges across the United States in an effort to advance their agenda. At Indiana University, the Kochs gave a $210,000 research grant to the school of public and environmental affairs.

However, as the students at IU have discovered, Koch money comes with strings attached. In a column for the Indiana Daily Student, graduate student Tristan Fitzpatrick expressed his concerns about the brothers’ influence over the school teaching about climate change:

The Union of Concerned Scientists, which advocates against misinformation of climate change, reported that foundations linked with the Koch brothers have donated millions of dollars to special interests that argue climate change is not caused by humans and is not a pressing political issue.

A group that routinely supplies false information about climate change, Americans for Prosperity, is one […]

About The Kochs’ Vets Group That Fights Against Vets

February 5, 2016

Last night, there was a lot of attention on the Koch brothers’ front group that targets veterans — Concerned Veterans for America. Here’s what you need to know about the Kochs’ so-called veterans advocacy group that fights against vets:

 

Despite claiming to work for veterans, CVA pushes the Koch agenda first and foremost — that means standing in opposition to nearly every other veterans organization and advocating for extreme right-wing policies that hurt our nation’s heroes. 

From pushing a plan to privatize the VA health care system, to proposing a transition from the current military retirement system to a private 401(k)-like plan, CVA follows the radical conservatism of the Koch brothers, working to advance the Kochs’ self-interest at the expense of veterans.

CVA has been deeply involved in the GOP primary, holding events with several candidates and driving policy positions. According to MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow, “This one group has been the driving force of all of […]

AFP Celebrates Pushing The Kochs’ Self-Enriching Agenda At The Colorado State Capitol

February 4, 2016

The Koch brothers’ primary political front group, Americans for Prosperity, declared today “AFP-Colorado Legislative Day at the Colorado State Capitol,” promoting what it called it’s “6 for ’16 Public Policy Agenda representing the interests of taxpayers and promoting success for working families across the state.” A look at AFP’s agenda, though, makes it obvious that their agenda isn’t at all about working families in Colorado— It’s designed to use Colorado as a pawn to realize the Koch brothers’ national agenda to bolster their bottom line without regard for what’s best for working people and middle class families.

The Kochs’ disregard for Colorado’s best interests in favor of their own is clearest right at the top of their agenda with the declaration that their #1 priority is ensuring that Colorado budgets continue to be held hostage by the unworkable TABOR policy. Since AFP launched in 2004, the Kochs have been pushing […]

“Torrid Courtship”: A Story Of Budding Koch-Christie Loving In The Garden State

February 4, 2016

Jane Mayer’s new book Dark Money brought us some pretty mind-blowing revelations about Charles and David Koch and their family history — like that their father, Fred Koch, helped build a Hitler-approved oil refinery in Nazi Germany that was later bombed by the Allies and rebuilt using concentration camp slave labor.

Here’s another more recent, but nonetheless fascinating, blast from the Kochs’ past: Back in 2011, Charles and David Koch aggressively courted New Jersey governor Chris Christie to run for president as an “empathetic,” Koch-friendly alternative to Mitt Romney.

Chris Christie has gone on the record to throw some love the Kochs’ way, defending the brothers and the influence of their and others’ dark money spending and negative ads back in 2014. But Mayer’s new book reveals that the Koch-Christie affinity and admiration was mutual — and that it goes back even further.

In 2011, with polls showing Mitt Romney struggling with a perceived lack […]

Koch Criminal Justice Reform Push As Self Interest-Driven As Ever

February 3, 2016

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, Koch Industries General Counsel Mark Holden continued to insist that Charles and David Koch’s push for criminal justice reform is not about protecting themselves and their bottom line:

These attacks and whatever else, my feelings don’t get hurt anymore. Here’s my point of view: It doesn’t bother me that they say that. It’s just not true.

Here’s why the Kochs’ motivations are being questioned. A Koch-backed comprehensive criminal justice reform bill currently in the Senate has a related House bill that has, among other things, an added provision that would effectively make it more difficult to prosecute white collar crimes. More specifically, the legislation applies mens rea —  an intent requirement putting the burden on “prosecutors to prove that certain suspects intended to break the law” — to white collar prosecutions. In other words: prosecutions where executives at big-time polluters — like, say, Koch Industries […]

Charles Koch Gives His Super PAC $3 Million, Still Doesn’t Think He Has Enough Influence

February 1, 2016

It’s hard to be a Koch brother — at least, according to Charles Koch.

Recently, Charles has been publicly unsatisfied with the billionaires’ political influence, despite their enormous political empire. In the last six months of 2015, Freedom Partners, the Koch brothers’ super PAC, raised over $11 million, of which $3 million came directly from Charles Koch.

For years, the Kochs have manipulated rules and laws to favor their bottomline. They’ve virtually taken over the Republican Party.  But then there’s Donald Trump — the man who can’t be bought.

The Kochs are used to getting what they want, and they’ve hit a snag in the 2016 Republican nomination process. But even as Charles whines, his political machine is gearing up to take down Trump.

According to NBC News,

The Koch network is unlikely to endorse a Republican presidential candidate in the primary, but what is less clear is if the […]

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