Kochs’ Concerned Veterans for America Push For Privatization Over Objections Of Veteran Service Organizations

April 12, 2016

The Kochs’ veterans’ “advocacy” group, Concerned Veterans for America, got a seat on the Commission on Care–formed by the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice, And Accountability Act to improve veteran care–despite objections from Veteran Service Organizations. These misgivings were well placed as CVA is now under fire for its role in drafting a  document outside the normal deliberative process of the commission calling for the privatization of VHA services.

The faction of seven commission members dubbed their proposal “The Strawman Document.” Echoing the Kochs’ previous pushes to dismantle the Veteran’s Health Administration, the paper recommends the privatization of veterans’ health services and a “BRAC-like process” of closures for existing VHA infrastructure.

While Concerned Veterans for America and medical industry executives–executives representing businesses that stand to benefit financially from privatization–splintered from the group to meet without the input of other advisers and recommend closure, representatives from groups that actually represent the interests of veterans strongly condemned The Strawman Document’s proposals […]

Kochs Join “Ban the Box” To Protect Themselves

April 12, 2016

Criminal justice reform has been a big PR stunt for the Koch brothers from the get go, to help them improve their brand. It makes perfect sense for them to join the White House’s “ban the box” initiative–it’s an important policy to help people with convictions have a fair chance to work.

But let’s not overlook the Koch’s ulterior motive: Koch Industries needs to “check the box” because they were caught and fined for trying to hide their criminal convictions on dozens of federal filings.

Over the years, Koch Industries has been charged with multiple felonies, more than $90 million in fines and out-of-court settlements for its environmental violations, workers’ comp lawsuits from serious injuries, including deaths of their employees.

Backing good policy, yes, gets the Kochs good headlines…but it doesn’t cover up how they’ve played the system to protect their profits and cover their hides.

Check out this report about the Koch brothers’ […]

Kochs Call In The Cavalry To Kill Renewable Energy Tax Relief

April 11, 2016

The Koch network has set its sights on opposing any extension of renewable energy tax credits in the FAA re-authorization bill. It’s not surprising to anyone, given affordable clean energy competes with Koch Industries’ key holdings in oil, shale development, and hydraulic fracturing technologies. But what is surprising is how the Kochs have called in the cavalry to stop this amendment.

Americans For Prosperity has been especially active in their opposition, “strongly leaning” toward issuing a “Key Vote Alert” in an attempt to coerce subservient House Republicans into voting against the must-pass FAA legislation. AFP has also taken to social media to flippantly dismiss incentives for clean energy.

​In addition to AFP, other Koch groups with no discernible interest in energy policy, such as Concerned Veterans for America, 60 Plus Association, and The LIBRE Initiative, all signed onto the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s letter calling on the […]

Never Gonna Give You Up: The Kochs Are Never Gonna Desert The GOP Presidential Nominee

April 11, 2016

The Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity is promoting the illusion that its given up on the presidential race, opting to focus its efforts and spending on down-ballot elections. The Guardian reports on a new “letter to big donors” from AFP’s CEO, Luke Hilgemann, in which he calls on the brothers’ donor network to reject the “cult” of the presidency and fight the temptation to “[put] all their eggs in the basket of one person as the way to solve underlying cultural and economic challenges facing our nation.” Indeed, Bridge Project’s already reported on the Kochs’ work to preserve legislative influence and mitigate the disaster for down-ballot candidates that would be a Donald Trump nomination.

The AFP donor letter then goes on to cite a number of the group’s recent “tremendous policy victories” at the state level: “slapping down proposed tax hikes in Indiana and South Carolina, expanding worker freedoms in Missouri and […]

VIDEO: For Reals? Kochs “Do” Believe Global Warming is Man-Made?

April 8, 2016

Yesterday, Koch Industries’ Director of Environmental Health & Safety Sheryl Corrigan said “…Charles [Koch] has said ‘The climate is changing’…and he has also said, and we believe that, ‘humans have a part in that.’”

We’ve heard Koch executives, Charles Koch himself, slip up before, only to then walk it back because admitting the truth hurts their bottom line.

Corrigan has used politics as the excuse for Koch’s inaction: “What used to be a robust discourse on how to further stewardship efforts for air, land and water quality has now been reduced to a single topic: climate.”

We’ll see how long it takes for the Kochs to walk this back.

It’s all in the first minute here:

Kochs Oppose Rule Protecting The Same Retirement Investors They Claim To Assist

April 8, 2016

This week the Department of Labor codified an assumption shared by all working Americans: that financial professionals providing advice on retirement savings and investments should have your best interests in mind. This new fiduciary rule will require advisers to recommend the best investment options for their clients rather than merely “suitable” options.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute–a group with ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns, climate change denial, and mountain top removal–put forward strong opposition to the new rule. In a surprise to no one, the Kochs’ political network joined CEI in calling on congressional leaders to kill the proposed rules.

The Koch brothers have attempted to put a starkly different public relations spin on their positions regarding financial planning. The LIBRE Institute has hosted highly-publicized financial planning and tax seminars across the country.

Opposition to new fiduciary protections is a perfect illustration of David and Charles Koch’s dangerous duplicity. Their public relations arm, through LIBRE, asks, “Do you want […]

Under-The-Radar Koch Electoral Wins On An Otherwise Average Tuesday

April 6, 2016

“You’d think we could have more influence,” lamented Charles Koch in early January. But even last night, an otherwise ordinary Tuesday in April, the Koch brothers had two not-insignificant political wins.

In Wisconsin, incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley — appointed by Koch stooge Scott Walker, it should be noted — with likely Koch assistance defeated an “infinitely more qualified” challenger. Bradley benefited from significant ad spending by Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, a dark money group with extensive Koch ties. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the Koch-tied group spent an estimated total of $1,847,140 on ads over the course of the race. The Sunlight Foundation reports that the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform ads “attacked [Bradley’s opponent] Kloppenburg for protecting ‘criminals,’ including in one ad about a child sexual assault victim that the group pulled after the girl’s family complained.” As far as Koch links, the Sunlight Foundation notes that the registrant […]

Koch Brothers Spend Big On Vulnerable Rob Portman

April 4, 2016

Fighting to keep their personal puppet Rob Portman in the U.S. Senate, Koch-cash is going on air to try to take out Portman’s opponent. Freedom Partners Action Fund, the primary vehicle for Koch-cash, is spending $2 million on an ad campaign attacking Portman’s challenger, Ted Strickland. 

Portman’s special interest backers are going to keep spending heavy to keep their corporate taxes low and their priorities on the top of Portman’s to do list. This blast of cash is just the latest expenditure in a long relationship between Portman and the Kochs, a relationship so strong that the Kochs have opened their personal checkbooks in support: 


Portman Received A Total Of $43,000 From KOCHPAC Between 2002 And 2016. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Rob Portman and his leadership PACs, America’s Majority Trust and Promoting Our Republican Team PAC, received a total of $43,000 from KOCHPAC between 2002 and 2016. This information […]

Kochs Launch Ad Campaign Propping Up Vulnerable Ron Johnson

April 4, 2016

Further cementing their relationship, the Koch brothers are launching new air cover for Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson. Johnson has long been a reliable puppet for Americans for Prosperity and the Kochs–he even credited AFP with being responsible for his decision to run for Senate. 

While the ad touts Johnson’s “Vision for Wisconsin,” it’s clear that the Kochs aren’t concerned with what’s right for Wisconsin, only their bottom line and maintaining a reliable voice in the Senate. The Kochs so value Sen. Johnson that the whole family gave the maximum personal contributions to his campaign.  


New York Times Political Correspondent Nicholas Confessore: Sen. Ron Johnson Credited Americans For Prosperity With His Decision To Run For Senate. According to a blog post by New York Times Political Correspondent Nicholas Confessore, “The reception, where Mr. Koch was honored with an award, marked the growing influence of the Tea Party-linked group within a Republican Party […]

Kochs Suffer Major Loss In Evenwel

April 4, 2016

The Supreme Court today delivered a unanimous decision rejecting a Koch-backed attempt to undermine equal representation. The Kochs’ assault on voting rights is well-documented; Evenwel vs. Abbott was another transparent “attempted Republican power grab” which sought to strip congressional representation from already underrepresented, vulnerable communities.

Justice Ginsberg’s opinion in Evenwel–joined by Justices Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan–dismissed the appellants’ case as having “no mooring in the Equal Protection Clause,” adding that,“… history, precedent, and practice suffice to reveal the infirmity of appellants’ claims.”

Never missing an opportunity to stack the deck in their favor, the Kochs and their network of subservient groups prepared a litany of amicus briefs supporting Evenwel.

The Cato Institute – the Kochs’ flagship think tank – further cemented its shift away from its purported mission of furthering “American principles of liberty and limited government” by petitioning the court to undermine federalism and ignore “history, precedent, and practice” […]

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