Nazis, the Ryan budget, blackmail & more: 5 big pieces of news in new Koch book preview

January 12, 2016

The NY Times got an early copy of Jane Mayer’s new book on the Kochs, Dark Money, and even in the short preview there’s some big news — the Kochs’ ties to the Nazis, blackmail within the brothers, bankrolling an effort to make the Ryan budget “more palatable,” and more. Check out five big pieces of news below, read the full NY Times piece here, and stay tuned for more from the new book next week.

1. Charles and David Koch’s father, Fred Koch’s, early business success has roots in Nazi Germany (and Stalin’s Soviet Union, too). Earlier this year, Charles highlighted his commitment to advancing his father’s values and touted that he hangs a portrait of him and letter from him in in his office. Don’t miss the Washington Post’s addition of the “fervent Nazi” governess that cared for the older Koch brothers when they were children. 

 

“It’s A Big Victory”: Kochs Win On Omnibus

December 18, 2015

“It’s a big victory.” That’s Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips’s assessment of the omnibus budget legislation that lifts the oil export ban and delivers a number of other big wins for Charles and David Koch.

The $1.1-trillion budget deal is chock-full of Koch agenda items, dutifully packed in by their bought-and-paid-for Koch candidates and shepherded through by their speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. The biggest win for Charles and David is the bill’s provision to lift the oil export ban — something the two billionaires have spent the last forty years lobbying for. Yes, since 1975. And despite what they’ve claimed over the years, it was not a selfless, ideological campaign. One of their employees admitted just this week that lifting the ban would be good for their business.

Other omnibus gifts for the Kochs include:

An EPA budget freeze. (More pollution, less oversight.)
A provision blocking new political spending disclosure requirements. (This […]

The Adelsons Are In The House, But Tonight Will Be A Koch Show

December 16, 2015

Tonight’s GOP-candidates-sucking-up-to-donors narrative will center on the GOP field’s efforts to woo GOP mega-donor and Venetian hotel owner Sheldon Adelson. It makes sense: It’s Adelson’s home turf and he’ll be right there in the audience. And there’s no question the various candidates — Marco Rubio, in particular — are very much trying to win his favor.

But each and every candidate is equally — probably more so — eager to win Charles and David Koch’s backing — and they’ll be doing their best to show the billionaire brothers that they deserve their network’s $900 million support.

Or every candidate but one, that is. Donald Trump — the guy whose very appeal among voters rests in the fact that “he can’t be bought” — is the one candidate who won’t be up there pandering to Adelson and the Kochs tonight. Trump’s candidacy and absolute dominance is keeping Charles and David up at night, because they know they can’t pressure […]

Will Koch Pollution Force 2016 GOP Convention To Relocate?

November 12, 2015

When the GOP gathers at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena for the 2016 Republican National Convention next July, it’ll encounter extensive Koch contamination — and not just within its own Koch-infested party infrastructure, because Charles and David Koch are similarly responsible for the algal blooms wreaking havoc on the waters of Lake Erie.

Destructive fertilizer runoff has over the years produced economically and environmentally devastating algal blooms on the lake’s surface — and, according to The Plain Dealer, last summer’s was the worst yet.

The algal bloom was found to be slightly larger than the former record-holder from 2011, as well as the 2014 bloom that polluted the drinking water in Toledo and forced the shutdown of the city’s water-treatment system for three days.

This summer’s bloom forced several private beaches to close and damaged tourism and sports fishing, as well. The USEPA estimates that the blooms are responsible for $64 million in losses per […]

Kelly Ayotte, (Pro-Big Oil, Anti-Environment) “Conservationist”

November 6, 2015

On environmental issues, Kelly Ayotte votes with Koch interests 94% of the time. But to hear her tell it, she’s a full-fledged conservationist.

Facing a tough reelection challenge, the Big Oil ally is making herself out to be an environmentalist out of necessity, but that’s a tough play given her close ties with the anti-environmentalist Koch brothers and her history of standing up for polluters.

Here’s some background from New Republic’s Rebecca Leber:

[F]or much of [Ayotte’s] first Senate term, she was hard to distinguish from conservative Republicans who do not think climate change is real, or worth addressing. During her 2010 campaign, she signed an Americans for Prosperity pledge to vote against pro-climate legislation like cap-and-trade, and she received regular positive ratings from the group on her conservative voting record (and low ratings from environmentalists).

Like other Koch candidates, Ayotte’s been well compensated for her loyalty to the two brothers’ […]

RFS: Good For Iowa, Bad For The Kochs, Who Will The GOP Side With?

August 26, 2015

One of the best examples of the Koch brothers’ self-interest is their longstanding, heavily-funded opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard. While the RFS is good for Iowa’s economy and the environment, the Kochs oppose it because it threatens their own oil profits.

Today, as Hillary Clinton announces her support for strengthening the RFS, will Republicans do what’s right for Iowa and support the RFS or will they listen to the Kochs in hopes they get a piece of the $900 million the brothers are planning to spend on this election?

Earlier this year, Bridge Project’s report, “The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State,” outlined just how far the Kochs have gone to end the RFS — despite overwhelming support from Iowans.

From the report:

KOCH HAS LOBBIED AGAINST THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD AND BIODIESEL FUEL STANDARDS TO PROTECT THEIR OIL INTERESTS IN IOWA

Koch Lobbyists Opposed Iowa Bill To […]

What The Kochs Consider “Common Sense” Means More Health Risks For Americans

June 29, 2015

Increased risk of asthma attack, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and, yes, premature death: These are some of the adverse health effects that the EPA cites in their call for mercury emissions regulations. But the Kochs continually disregard health risks to protect their profits.

In 2012, according to the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, Koch Companies Public Sector – the lobbying arm of the brothers’ corporate empire – spent three out of four quarters lobbying on a resolution for the Senate to formally disapprove of the EPA’s MATS standards. So it comes as no surprise that the Koch-allied think tank, the Cato Institute, spiked the proverbial football after the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA’s MATS emission regulations in State of Michigan vs. EPA today.

In their press release Cato says the Supreme Court’s decision is a “clear victory for common sense.” How convenient that “common sense” rules in favor of their billionaire benefactors as well as the amicus brief that Cato submitted on Michigan’s behalf.

REPORT The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State

May 15, 2015

Bridge Project is continuing the “Month’s Supply of Koch” with the release of the latest report:“The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why the Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying in the Hawkeye State.” It’s a comprehensive look at the impact of the Kochs’ operations in Iowa. In their quest to grow their empire, the early primary state has been a central focus for the brothers’ political maneuvering.

The Koch brothers’ priorities couldn’t be more out-of-step with Hawkeye State values. Perhaps the best example of the Kochs’ self-interest is their opposition to the renewable fuel standard and biodiesel fuel standards – a boon to Iowa’s economy – to protect their own oil profits. In fact, since 2006, Koch companies have lobbied on at least 37 bills in Iowa related to ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels — despite overwhelming support of biodiesel by Iowans. The Kochs aren’t just hitting Iowa’s farmers […]

Rand Paul redefines sucking up to Koch brothers

April 16, 2015

Rand Paul pulled one of the biggest suck-ups of all time when he said, “the Kochs have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics,” in his lavish praise of the Koch brothers in TIME. Rand either doesn’t understand the definition of “special interest” or ignored the Koch brothers’ long history of being “takers,” not “makers” as Paul Ryan would say — redefining special interest politics in the process.

As everyone knows, the Kochs might not walk the halls of Congress themselves, but they plan to spend $889 million to buy the 2016 election and employ an army of political operatives to strong-arm the Republican Party. One by one, Republican presidential candidates, governors, senators and House members are signing onto the Kochs’ extreme worldview: Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate America, eliminating the minimum wage, slashing Medicare and dismantling Social Security, and opposition to safe air and water standards, to name a few.

The Koch […]

Chris Christie’s environmental flip flop brought to you by the Koch brothers

March 30, 2015

Chris Christie once bragged that he would be “New Jersey’s No. 1 clean-energy advocate,” according to the Washington Post. But once he had a series of meetings with the Koch brothers and other Republican donors, he changed his mind and went to work on behalf of the Koch’s fossil fuel interests rather than the people of New Jersey.

Christie went back on a pledge he made to his state so he could remain in good graces with the Koch brothers. In 2010, he touted plans to build a wind farm off the Atlantic City coast. Soon after, the Koch brothers came calling and Christie began fighting wind energy proposals. Unfortunately for Christie, ignoring New Jersey has left him in “political free fall” back home – and unpopular on the national stage as his pre-presidential campaign sputters.

The Koch brothers have a long history with Chris Christie. Last year, his Board […]

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