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 […]

The Koch Brothers (Still) Want To Privatize The VA

June 3, 2016

The Koch brothers try to hide the truth, but they want to privatize the VA. For the latest evidence, look no further than a recent blog post from director of health policy studies at the Koch-funded Cato Institute. In series of recent tweets and an op-ed for Forbes, Cato’s health policy studies director Michael Cannon forcefully endorses the total privatization of the VA,arguing that even voucherization is insufficient.

Meanwhile, the Kochs’ veterans front group that works against veterans, Concerned Veterans for America, is still trying to keep its VA privatization agenda under wraps. Why? Because real veterans groups are staunchly opposed to privatization, and for CVA to come out in support of it would mean conceding that its a politically-purposed sham front group for the Koch agenda. CVA claims that accusations that it wants to privatize veterans health care are unfounded, but the truth’s out there: the Koch group’s pro-privatization agenda has been […]

Koch Network Fights To Protect Predatory Lenders

June 3, 2016

With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unveiling new proposed regulation on predatory short-term borrowing, so called “payday loans”, the Koch brothers’ network is predictably fighting back against consumers.

The CFPB’s proposed reforms would cap the highest interest rates between 28 percent and 36 percent–down from the astronomical 390% interest rates payday loans presently balloon to. Additionally, the new regulations would stop lenders from using auto titles as collateral. The CFPB’s guidelines preserve the availability of short-term loans while cracking down on the most abusive practices.

Despite ample evidence of the predatory nature of these institutions and the desperate need for reforms, the Koch network planted themselves firmly on the side of the payday lenders. When Google announced last month that they would stop running ads for payday lenders, Mercatus Center Visiting Scholar Thomas Miller And Assistant Director Of Outreach For Financial Policy Chad Reese fallaciously argued that the customers would be […]

Koch-Linked Groups Wage Astroturf War On The Science Of Climate Change

June 2, 2016

Yesterday, Koch front group Americans for Prosperity announced that it has signed on to a letter and “joined a coalition of 47 other groups in supporting the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s fight for free speech.”

In context, CEI’s “fight for free speech” means fight for perpetuating anti-science climate change denial. Little surprise there.

And then there’s the issue of the “coalition of 47 other groups.” That sounds impressive, but as it turns out, essentially every single one of the 47 groups is Koch-affiliated. 43 of the 47 groups that signed on the letter defending climate change denial are Koch linked — and 28 of the organizations are either Koch front groups or the beneficiaries of regular Koch funding.

We know Charles and David love feigning grassroots support for their selfish agenda, but this is just ridiculous.

Koch Front Groups

60 Plus Association
Americans for Prosperity
American Commitment
Independent Women’s Forum
Independent Women’s Voice

Regular Koch Funding Recipients

American Legislative Exchange Council
Americans […]

Koch Backed LIBRE Drinks The Trump Kool-Aid

June 1, 2016

The executive director of the Koch-backed LIBRE Initiative Dan Garza has officially drank the Party of Trump Kool-Aid. In an interview with Telemundo (translated by American Bridge), Garza told Jose Diaz-Balart he was confident the anti-immigration demagogue could consolidate the Republican party:

I think Donald Trump has exceeded all expectations. He has beaten sixteen other candidates. At the same time, he has proved to be a master at handling the media. So, for me, I think that it’ll be a bit difficult, but he will be able to consolidate the party and unite the different factions to advance his candidacy and achieve what I think will be a victory. It is very possible, very probable that he will do so.

This is the latest sign that LIBRE is cozying up to a Trump candidacy. Garza had said that the front group would focus on Senate races rather than helping the presumptive GOP nominee win over the […]

The Kochs Don’t Want You To Vote

May 24, 2016

“I am not recommending that everyone always vote. There may be principled reasons not to vote. Many people who vote maybe shouldn’t.” That’s Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Koch-funded Cato Institute, in a Cato blog post yesterday.

Interesting sentiment — that bit suggesting individuals shouldn’t vote — particularly as Cannon links to this op-ed proposing legally entrenched voter suppression in the form of a “citizen civics test.”

But it’s an outlook reflective of the Cato Institute’s Koch ties.

Charles and David Koch are staunch opponents of voting rights and they’ve even spearheaded voter disenfranchisement efforts, including by using policy institutes they fund to advocate the Voting Rights Act’s repeal. One of the think tanks, the Mercatus Center, wrote a 2010 paper warning of the “dangers” of high voter turnout, for example. And more recently, Koch-backed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory successfully implemented a voter ID law in […]

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