The Kochs’ “Absolute, Overwhelmingly Awesome” Plan To Privatize The VA

June 29, 2016

The Koch Brothers’ Concerned Veterans for America has been less than forthcoming about their intention to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs–at times denying any such desire. Yesterday, high-level CVA staff again called the for privatization of the VA–and contrary to the experience of tens of millions of veterans and family members who depend on the VA–claimed that the department’s health services have never been effective or useful.

In an interview with “Stand for Truth Radio”, Concerned Veterans For America Arizona State Director Matt Dobson claimed that the VA system, “hasn’t worked and has never worked.” CVA’s solution? Privatization, of course. Dobson explained that a system in which veterans could access private care–while carrying part of the cost-burden for themselves–was, “The best we [CVA] could come up with.”

While Dobson was advocating for the best CVA could come up with, state-level CVA groups from North CarolinaSouth Carolina, and Virginia disseminated 

Coordinated Koch Attack On Common Sense Gun Safety

June 29, 2016

The Koch brothers are right-wing ideologues who put the profits of gun manufacturers ahead of common sense gun safety. Last week they deployed their network to belittle Democratic action to demand a vote on legislation widely supported by the American public.

As Democratic lawmakers engage in a Day of Action today to raise awareness of gun violence and demand legislative action, they’re sure to be greeted with push back from the Koch brothers’ political network.

Koch groups gave the NRA $6.6 million in 2012 and nearly $4.9 million in 2014 and the NRA worked with the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity “to train and mobilize gun owners.” The Kochs’ relationship with the gun-lobby is detailed in Bridge Project’s new report, Marketing Death—How the Gun Industry Uses the NRA to Boost Profits and Undermine Public Safety.

The Koch network aggressively criticized last week’s Democratic sit-in with a uniform, erroneous message that Democratic lawmakers were attempting to destroy due process […]

Freedom Partners Spends $1.2 Million On False Attack In Nevada

June 28, 2016

The Kochs are making big plays in senate races despite once claiming they were getting out of politics altogether. In Nevada, the Koch-funded Freedom Partners PAC announced a $1.2 million ad buy against Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. This is the second million-dollar ad buy the Kochs have cut against Cortez Masto in just a few months. The Kochs hope to replace one of their best known critics Senator Harry Reid with puppet Congressman Joe Heck. 

Heck has received many a helping hand from the Kochs: Between 2011 and 2014, Koch Industries gave $30,000 to the Republican. During his re-election campaign in 2014, Americans for Prosperity made a $200,000 ad buy for Heck, “praising” his opposition to the ACA. Since announcing his run for Senate, Heck has received $2,500 from the Kochs. 

The latest Freedom Partners ad on Cortez Masto falsely accuses her of driving ride-sharing app Uber “out of town,” claiming […]

As Economy Free Falls, Koch Network Cheers On Brexit

June 24, 2016

Donald Trump isn’t the only American cheering on Brexit.

The Dow plunged at market open this morning and the pound’s value is its lowest since 1985, but the Koch network is joining Trump is celebrating the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

CEO of the Kochs’ political longarm, Americans for Prosperity, Luke Hilgemann took to Twitter to show his support: “Ahhh, nothing like the sweet, sweet smell of freedom wafting over from across the pond this morning! #Leave #Brexit.” AFP Senior Policy Fellow Peggy Venable and AFP Policy Director Akash Chougule also retweeted messages of solidarity with the vote that suggested Democrats need to “take note” of the UK’s decision.

Fellows of the Koch-backed Cato-Institute quickly proclaimed their excitement over the vote. In an op-ed for Forbes, Doug Bandow wrote,

Americans also should take note of Brexit.

Perhaps a similar campaign could be launched in the U.S. A movement against turning […]

Koch Groups Defend Climate Change-Denial Propaganda, Get Subpoenaed

June 23, 2016

In 2014, Koch Industries was “the top spender for oil and gas lobbying,” mounting a $13.7 million-effort to protect Charles and David Koch’s business interests.

Now, several Koch groups are being subpoenaed as part of an investigation into “whether Exxon committed consumer and securities fraud stemming from the company’s challenging of the catastrophic climate change narrative.”

Americans For Prosperity, the Beacon Hill Institute, the Mercatus Center, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are rightfully being included in the investigation, because the truth is that Koch groups, especially ALEC, do, in fact, promote anti-science climate change denial: all told, the Kochs have “spent over $88 million” to run a misinformation campaign against the science of climate change and relevant policies, according to Greenpeace.

In fact,Koch groups are currently running a high-profile PR campaign on behalf of Exxon. Koch funded organizations last month pooled resources to drop $21 million on a […]

Rubio’s Re-Election Would Be A Win For The Kochs

June 23, 2016

The Koch network’s admiration of Marco Rubio is well documented. During the GOP presidential primary, the career politician was a top pick for Koch puppet-in-chief. With a presidential bid out of reach (for now), the Kochs’ best bet is to get one of their favorites re-elected to the Senate.

A spokeman for the Koch network, James Davis, also told The Hill that they would support his re-election:

“Sen. Rubio has been a strong leader in the Senate on a number of issues, including fighting against the [Export-Import] Bank and opposing wasteful spending increases.”

Yesterday, executive director of the LIBRE Intiative Daniel Garza was quick to tweet his excitement after Rubio announced his flip-flop. “The race for Senate in Florida just heated up. Welcome @marcorubio. Latinos to play major role in deciding this one.”

For months, Koch network leaders have been publicly praying for Rubio’s return to the Senate. American Commitment President Phil Kerpen tweeted in […]

Koch Network Agrees With Trump On Arming Nightclub Patrons

June 20, 2016

Yesterday, Donald Trump suggested that the Orlando massacre could have been stopped if more people at Pulse that night had been armed. Trump’s call to arm nightclub patrons was immediately met with uproar, but there were several right-wingers making the same argument just a few days earlier.

Several Koch network leaders argued that “gays should arm themselves” last week. Koch-funded Cato Institute Senior Fellow Tom Palmer wrote in the New York Daily News:

Let’s get one thing very clear. Gun control advocates disarmed the victims at that night club. Florida law states unequivocally that even a concealed carry permit “does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose.”

That made those people sitting ducks. Legally designated gun-free zones are […]

Latest Koch Win Is A Loss For Campaign Finance Transparency

June 16, 2016

Back in April, we highlighted that the Kochs were pushing a bill to limit IRS disclosure requirements for contributions to “dark money” groups. That is, a bill that would let the Kochs get away with not disclosing their donors to the IRS.

Koch-favorite Speaker Paul Ryan yesterday made sure the bill was brought to a vote on the House floor. And thanks to the Koch’s congressional stooges, the legislation passed 240-180.

Charles and David have got to be pleased. Their bought-and-paid-for Republicans in the House just came through in a big way. The brothers laughably claim that they support the legislation on principle — as a matter of “free speech” — but that isn’t the full story. The Kochs want to keep buying elections and are looking for an easier way to keep their spending under the radar.

Limited disclosure rules mean less transparency, and that Koch network donors will likely be more willing to siphon millions into the […]

#BetterWay is really just the #KochWay

June 15, 2016

Paul Ryan rolled out the economic portion of his so-called #BetterWay agenda yesterday afternoon. In what should come as a surprise to no one, the #BetterWay is nearly identical to policies long advocated by the Koch brothers. After paying brief lip-service to small businesses, Ryan and company launched into an anti-regulatory tirade aimed at the Kochs’ favorite targets.

As House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the mic, he quickly attacked one of the Kochs’ most hated pieces of legislation, Dodd-Frank. The Kochs’ worked tirelessly to favorably shape Dodd-Frank as it was drafted, and have been working to undermine the legislation since its adoption. Their motivation is perfectly transparent: Koch Industries is an active player in derivatives and risk management markets, the same markets Dodd-Frank seeks to bring to heel.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise turned his ire on the Department of Labor’s overtime regulations, claiming that they’re “directly responsible for […]

Kochs Knock Off Republican Incumbent In North Carolina

June 8, 2016

Make no mistake, despite their lukewarm feelings about a Trump candidacy, the Koch brothers are still deeply involved in this year’s election cycle. The Kochs claimed their first victory last night, defeating Renee Ellmers, a three-term United States Representative from North Carolina’s 2nd District.

Ellmers drew the ire of the Koch-network by supporting the Export-Import Bank, a longtime target of the Kochs.  In retaliation, the Kochs deployed Americans for Prosperity and Concerned Veterans for America to knock-off Ellmers.

The Kochs used North Carolina’s 2nd district race as a warning to Republicans. Charles Koch warned that if you back, “welfare for the wealthy that we’ll oppose you,” Republican or not. The Kochs laid down a marker out of fear that, “the Republicans will just take us for granted and do what they want rather than what will create a better society.

Despite having previously appeared at an Americans for Prosperity […]

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