Kochs Fight To Keep Their Dark Money Dark

April 28, 2016

Congressional Republicans are pushing legislation to decrease the already limited disclosure of donations to dark money groups. The Koch brothers, continuing their crusade against accountability and transparency, are supporting the effort through their political arm, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.

The Ways & Means Committee is expected to consider legislation drafted by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)  that would eliminate the requirement for dark money groups to provide non-public disclosures of their donors to the IRS when they file tax forms. These “Schedule B reports” are not publicly released, but allow the IRS to prevent the infusion of money from foreign governments, corporations, or individuals into political activities.

In addition to Freedom Partner’s actions, a number of other Koch entitites have called for adoption of Rep. Roskam’s legislation. Phil Kerpen of the Kochs’ group American Commitment has authored a letter urging Ways & Means to scrap the Schedule B requirements. Brent […]

NEW REPORT: “The Kochs Spend Tons of Cheddar Badgering America’s Dairyland”

April 27, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dawn Le, 202-549-6798, dle@americanbridge.org

The Kochs Have Spent At Least $44 Million to Hijack Wisconsin
Bridge Project Releases “The Kochs Spend Tons of Cheddar Badgering America’s Dairyland” about the Koch Brothers’ Corporate Lobbying and Political Front Groups in Their Effort to Maximize Profits

Milwaukee, WI—For the 2016 election cycle, Charles and David Koch have announced they are on track to spend nearly $900 million to elect politicians that would push their self-serving agenda. In Wisconsin, the Koch brothers have spent more than $44 million since 2010, helping to foster the rise of Gov. Scott Walker, Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson, and to fund political astroturf groups to carry their water.

“What the Kochs are doing in Wisconsin is emblematic of what they’re doing across the country, all their political efforts and PR shams boil down to self-interest and higher profit shares,” said Eddie Vale, the […]

Echoes of Koch: Pat McCrory and NC Disenfranchisement

April 26, 2016

In a clumsy rhetorical defense of North Carolina’s inherently discriminatory voter identification law, Governor Pat McCrory reasoned that since you need photo identification to buy Sudafed, you may as well have one to vote. 

McCrory’s cynical opposition to voter enfranchisement is unsurprisingly shared by the Koch brothers. A Cato Institute senior fellow accused then-attorney general Eric Holder of “playing his racial games” after Holder filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voting laws.

McCrory solidified his bond to the Koch network when he appointed Koch ally and former Americans for Prosperity board member Art Pope as his state budget director. During his tenure as budget director, Pope’s influence extended well beyond budgetary issues; he has been credited for “changing the balance in the state” and was instrumental in instituting barriers to voting in North Carolina.

Pat McCrory’s flippant dismissal of disenfranchisement and voter suppresion in North Carolina will surely […]

Will The Kochs Prove They’re Serious About Criminal Justice Reform?

April 26, 2016

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are lambasting Virginia’s recent restoration of voting rights for 200,000 convicted felons who’ve paid their debt to society. And that means that Charles and David Koch have an opportunity to prove they’re more than talk on criminal justice reform.

Of course, we know the Kochs’ push for criminal justice reform is just a PR sham and an opportunistic effort to protect themselves and their business interests. Remember: Koch Industries has itself been convicted of multiple felonies over the years.

Still, if the Kochs want to keep up the charade, they’ll speak out against Trump and Cruz. Charles and David have in the past indicated support for the restoration of convicted felons’ voting rights. “We’re big fans of people voting. We think it’s important,” Koch Industries General Counsel Mark Holden told the Huffington Post on the issue of felon re-enfranchisement.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are not so enthusiastic about re-enfranchising voters. […]

“Abused” Charles Koch Plays Victim

April 25, 2016

Charles Koch, in an interview with This Week, was asked what the “return on investment” has been for the Kochs’ significant financial investment in politics. Charles responded that he and his brother have received “a lot of abuse.” Charles conveniently ignored the long list of actual abuses emanating from the Koch network:

The residents of Crossett, Arkansas are facing an ecological and public health disaster due to the Kochs’ negligent business practices.
Puerto Ricans face a loss of health services and closing schools while the Kochs scheme to protect their financial interests in the commonwealth.
Veterans’ access to medical care is threatened as the Kochs’ “Concerned Veterans for America” use their seat on the Commission on Care–a group tasked with reforming the VA–to aggressively push their self-serving privatization agenda..
Minority and young voters face a constant assault on voting rights from Koch-financed groups.
Millions of Americans’ financial stability is at stake as the Kochs push states to […]

“Seniors” Front Group Blatantly Peddling the Koch Brothers’ Agenda

April 20, 2016

According to 60 Plus Association‘s 2016 Q1 Lobbying Disclosure Report, there are a lot of strange things this “seniors” group is lobbying for:

Support of off-shore drilling legislation
Support for Domestic Energy Exploration
Support access to oil and natural gas reserves in all areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf
Support for energy independence
Support for Keystone Pipeline
Support CURB Lifeline Act of 2016
Oppose extending expiring renewable energy provisions related to FAA reauthorization
Support for Puerto Rico bondholders who have invested in Puerto Rico bonds
Opposition to resurrecting the Export Import Bank

Seniors are worried about their health care, social security, and retirement–not whether oil and gas billionaires are getting a fair break.

But that’s not what 60 Plus Association is focused on. Could it have anything to do with the tens of million of dollars the Koch brothers have given to this front group to distort issues, run attack ads, and mislead senior voters?

Very likely.

Notorious For Distorting The Issues And […]

IRONY: Kochs Don’t Believe in Free Expression, But Will Underwrite It For Good PR

April 19, 2016

Charles Koch is hoping tonight reporters will forget how he and his brother have attempted to intimidate and censor reporters–especially those who disagree with them or call them out for their corporate and environmental misdeeds–by being a Platinum sponsor to the Newseum’s Free Expression Awards Gala.

The Awards event “recognize[s] those who exhibit passion for and dedication to free expression, including those who have taken personal or professional risks in sharing information with the public, are censored or punished by authorities or groups for their work, or show courage by pushing boundaries in artistic and media expression.”

The irony of it all.

The Kochs & The Press

The Free Expression Award Recognized Those Who Were Dedicated To Free Speech Despite The Risks Of Punishment Or Censorship

The Free Expression Awards Recognized Individuals Who Exhibited A Dedication To Free Speech Including Those Who Took Risks To Share Information With The Public, Were “Censored Or Punished By […]

Sam Brownback Facing Down A Red-State Revolt

April 19, 2016

Upon entering office in 2011, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback declared Kansas would host a “real live experiment” to demonstrate that the road to prosperity is paved with repealed regulations and never-ending tax cuts. Unfortunately for Brownback, his conservative dream–indistinguishable from that of the Koch brothers and their network of interest groups–has quickly evolved into a budgetary nightmare. As the economic forecast worsens, Kansas GOP lawmakers are abandoning the governor and reminding voters that, “It’s his policy that put us there.”

Governor Brownback’s audacious, ill-advised “experiment” wouldn’t have been possible without the influence of David and Charles Koch. The Kochs and their network of conservative interest groups were the largest contributors to Brownback’s 2010 campaign. Influencing Brownback’s policy directly, one of Americans for Prosperity’s foremost consultants became the state’s budget director–helping to draft the budgets that have driven Kansas to the brink of fiscal ruin.

The Kochs got everything they could ever want […]

Koch Business Practices Artificially Boost Energy Prices, Hurting Consumers

April 18, 2016

Last week, Koch Industries came out in support of a proposal under consideration by the Public Utility Commission of Texas that would artificially inflate the cost of electricity during times of greater demand. While claiming that the change is needed to increase grid reliability, the true motivation for the proposal is clear: power prices are at 14-year lows, keeping electricity generators from pocketing stronger profits. 

The Houston Chronicle’s “Fuel Fix” blog notes that, “Texas already has healthy power reserves, so the additional market would pass on more costs to consumers.” Furthermore, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas noted that the change is both unnecessary and would increase costs for consumers. The proposal seeks to haunt Texans with the specter of an extremely unlikely grid-collapse as a distraction from the true motive of the proposition–to inflate costs and drive profits. 

The Kochs have a long history of employing business practices that artificially […]

A Koch-Owned Paper Plant In Arkansas Is Poisoning People

April 13, 2016

Newsweek reports how Koch-owned Georgia Pacific paper plant in Crossett, Arkansas is under investigation for polluting the surrounding area’s water and air, and local residents now blame it for the high rates of cancer and health problems in the town.

In a recent WSJ interview with Koch Industries’ Environment, Health, and Safety Director Sheryl Corrigan when asked about the company’s EPA violations, her response:


MS. CORRIGAN: We are not perfect. But I will tell you that when we do have issues, or when we do have incidents, we try to do our best to meet the expectations of the folks that we serve as customers and in our communities. And we try to learn from them.

Not in Crossett. The company ran a door-to-door campaign to try to bribe families to release the company from any responsibility of people’s property damage, injury, or health.

Yet, the Kochs continue to push […]

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