Bridge Project last week released a report exploring the Koch brothers’ role leading up to and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — and exposing the Kochs’ previously examined contributions to the damage and opportunistic advocacy that willfully took advantage of the impacted region’s residents.
A crucial component of the Koch brothers’ involvement was their effort to advance policies to make flood insurance unaffordable to anyone but the most affluent — like them. As the Huffington Post reported:
The Bridge Project also details an unsuccessful Koch-backed legislative effort to oppose a bill that was intended to promote recovery by limiting premiums for flood insurance. The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act sought to place a limit on rate increases for people at higher risk of being affected by hurricanes and other damaging storms.
The Koch-funded conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity and other conservative organizations signed a letter in February 2014 urging GOP lawmakers to oppose government intervention in the flood insurance market by voting against the bill. (The legislation had the support of then-Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), whom AFP supported in his successful 2014 Senate campaign.)
Now, on the tenth anniversary of the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, Charles and David Koch have the audacity to misrepresent the facts — the breathtaking audacity to spin Hurricane Katrina, a tragedy that their actions were accused of intensifying, as a victory for the people of New Orleans, when it’s nothing more than a victory for them and the values they purport to represent.
This is yet another instance where Charles and David Koch have put their own interests ahead of everything else — and everyone else; these are real families whose lives were put at risk, whose livelihoods were destroyed.
But now, Charles and David are so out of touch — or, more accurately, so fixated on creating a faux aura of benevolence — that they’re trying to spin yet another egregious act of subversion as a win for the public good.
In the process, they’re taking a victory lap over the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history — the impact of which they actively worsened and the recovery from which they willfully impeded.