Kochs, Crusaders Against “Corporate Welfare,” Cash-In On Tax Breaks In Louisiana

September 13, 2016

In their crusade against “corporate welfare,” the refrain that “government shouldn’t pick winners and losers” commonly emanates from David and Charles Kochs’ political organizations. But this apparent opposition to government involvement disperses when the Kochs stand to gain.

Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, has been exempted from local property taxes for their Consumer Operations Center in East Baton Rouge parish for the past five years. During that time, the exemption netted the Kochs $1.9 million in savings–a hefty chunk of “corporate welfare.”

The property tax breaks may have seemed like a reasonable trade-off given the Kochs’ promise to create jobs at the center. But instead of creating jobs, the Kochs laid off 74 workers. Not such a bargain for the taxpayers. Luckily for the taxpayers of Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards has signed an executive order tying allocation of Industrial Tax Exemption Program dollars to job creation, […]

Koch-Linked Coalition Openly Advocates Mens Rea Changes That Help Kochs

September 9, 2016

This week, a coalition of 8 groups — 6, with Koch ties: Americans for Tax Reform, Faith & Freedom Coalition, FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, Justice Fellowship, and R Street Institute — sent a joint letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republican leadership, voicing support for the Sentencing Reform Act (H.R. 3713), the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act (H.R. 759), and the Criminal Code Improvement Act (H.R. 4002), a trio of criminal justice bills (each of which will be scored by FreedomWorks and the Faith and Freedom Coalition) that — surprise! — stand to benefit Charles and David Koch personally.

Beyond the PR sham component of their criminal justice reform campaign, the Koch brothers have a great deal else to gain in terms of legal changes that would bend the rules in their favor. Take mens rea “reform,” for example. The Kochs want mens rea, an intent requirement, to be applied to white collar crime prosecutions, […]

Koch Network Pours Money Into Florida To Save Golden Boy Marco Rubio

September 7, 2016

Marco Rubio is the Koch network’s golden boy – the lackadaisical Florida Senator and failed presidential candidate was a top choice in the crowded Republican presidential primary, and some even resorted to public begging to convince him to run for reelection in Florida.

And now, just weeks before voters head to the polls, the Koch network is pouring huge amounts of money into Florida to save Rubio. This week alone, two Koch groups – the LIBRE Initiative and Americans For Prosperity – have launched ads for Rubio. In their first buy of the cycle, LIBRE is spending $700,000 on behalf of Rubio. Americans For Prosperity also launched a digital ad attacking Rubio’s opponent.

All in all, the Koch network has pledged to spend a whopping seven figures on behalf of Rubio to boost his reelection bid. After all, Rubio has bragged about his 100% lifetime rating for serving Koch interests, but he 

Kochs’ Latino Front Group Begins Express Advocacy for Rubio

September 7, 2016

The Koch brothers’ Latino front group, the LIBRE Initiative, is finally taking the plunge and calling for the direct election of Marco Rubio — an open act of partisan political advocacy that they’ve previously only done more subtly (i.e., without saying the magic “vote for” words). The Kochs must be nervous about their major investment (more than $5.4 million) in Rubio, who looks to be caught in the race of his life.

This is technically the first time LIBRE has spent money to help elect a candidate, though far from the first time the Koch brothers have used their billionaire donor network to help Republicans eager to do their bidding.

American Bridge Vice President Eddie Vale issued the following statement on the Kochs’ latest Rubio intervention:

“Investing millions into Marco Rubio’s political career, Charles and David Koch have painstakingly made a loyal foot soldier out of Rubio, who has, in turn, earned a […]

This Week In Real Koch Facts: The Kochs’ War On Labor Day

September 2, 2016

This weekend marks the 134th observation of Labor Day. As millions of Americans celebrate the day holding barbeques and watching college football, the Koch brothers may as well be grumbling alone in their mansions. The Kochs’ war on labor and Labor Day has gone on for years. They’ve done everything in their power to break up unions and push for legislation that hurts workers and helps billionaires and corporations like Koch Industries.

Just a few weeks ago, Koch backed groups announced “Employee Freedom Week”, an attack on working families poorly disguised as “an unparalleled focus on the freedoms union employees have to opt out of union membership.”

The truth is that the Kochs couldn’t care less about worker freedoms. “Freedom” week was really about making sure employers at big companies have more control over their employees. The Kochs’ selfish agenda will end fair wages and fait treatment of workers.

It’s […]

New Bridge Project Florida Report Highlights Kochs’ Rubio Love

September 2, 2016

With the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit in Orlando this weekend, Bridge Project is today releasing an updated Florida research report exposing the Koch brothers’ subversive political activities in the Sunshine State. 

As ever, the Koch brothers will be promoting their selfish agenda and flaunting the loyal politicians they’ve bought-off to promote it.

Front and center on Saturday will be a Koch favorite: Marco Rubio, who the Kochs have admired for years. Charles and David Koch have painstakingly made a loyal foot soldier out of Rubio, who has earned a 100% lifetime rating from AFP — and the billionaires be doing everything they can to make sure they get their Florida man back in the Senate this fall.

American Bridge Vice President Eddie Vale issued the following statement on the release of Bridge Project’s latest report:

“Marco Rubio avoided Trump’s Republican Convention like the plague, but he is beyond eager […]

Kochs Are Pulling The Strings In The Campaign Against The Would-Be First Latina Senator

August 30, 2016

The Koch political machine is ramping up in Nevada against the would-be first ever Latina senator.

According to the New York Times, Koch front groups, Freedom Partners, the LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and Americans for Prosperity are coordinating attacks against Catherine Cortez Masto’s campaign for senate:

Freedom Partners Action Fund, which relies on considerable Koch funding, reports that it has spent more than $4.5 million against Ms. Cortez Masto. Concerned Veterans for America, another part of the Koch network, earlier ran more than $700,000 in ads on behalf of Mr. Heck, a military veteran.

As for the ground game, Americans for Prosperity has three offices in the state, plans on opening a fourth and intends to marshal hundreds of volunteers to go door-to-door to reach out to voters identified as being open to opposing Ms. Cortez Masto.

One of the groups working for the Kochs’ priorities is their Latino “outreach” […]

The Kochs Aren’t (But Also Are) Mailing It In For Toomey

August 30, 2016

Koch favorite Senator Pat Toomey‘s enduring willingness to do the Kochs’ bidding and prioritize the brothers’ interests at the expense of Pennsylvanians is paying off. 

It’s a heartwarming quid pro quo: Senator Toomey votes with the Americans for Prosperity-Koch agenda 96% of the time, so the Koch-backed group is more than willing to launch a major 600,000-piece mailer campaign attacking his Democratic opponent.

The catch: the mailer is full of shoddy research from organizations funded either by the Kochs or by other energy companies.

But the lies are no surprise. Despite the Kochs’ claims that they abhor negative campaigning, baseless and cynical political attacks are the brothers’ bread and butter.

Charles and David Koch have already dropped millions in TV advertising on behalf of Toomey, and you can be sure that the money will continue to flow as election day nears.

The billionaire brothers — who by their own admission […]

Eleven Years Later, A Look Back At Koch Industries’ Katrina Connections

August 29, 2016

Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast–bringing category three winds, a foot of rain, and nearly 30-foot storm surges–leading to the costliest natural disaster in American history. Koch Industries was accused of contributing to the environmental degradation which amplified the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina; and Koch Industries took advantage of the aftermath of the devastation to benefit their bottom line.

Koch Industries operates with a philosophy of putting its business interest ahead of local communities, and that philosophy affected the people impacted by Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, Koch Industries was accused of decades of negligence resulting in destroyed wetlands from pipeline dredging, which allegedly compounded the effects of Hurricane Katrina on Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before the hurricane made landfall, the Kochs saw opportunity to profit from a vulnerable population in need of scarce resources, calling it “the right market to restart operations” at their newly-acquired Georgia-Pacific facilities in […]

Koch Network Program Sets Sights On Social Safety Net

August 23, 2016

Koch network groups are joining forces to go after the social safety net. Freedom Partners, Americans For Prosperity, the LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and Generation Opportunity, are teaming up to go after the social safety net with a new “Stop, Cut & Fix” initiative, innocuously billed as “A simple plan to reduce spending and provide certainty.”

But it turns out “Stop, Cut & Fix” is code for “stop America’s working families from accessing vital programs, cut their earned benefits, and fix, well, nothing.”

Charles and David Koch have been trying to kill Medicaid and other social safety net programs for years. They’ve been unsuccessful to-date, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking “no” for an answer. On the contrary, the “Stop, Cut & Fix” launch shows Charles and David are as geared-up as ever to go after essential programs upon which millions of Americans rely.

Stop, Cut & Fix states its primary objective as […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation