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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

As Economy Free Falls, Koch Network Cheers On Brexit

June 24, 2016

Donald Trump isn’t the only American cheering on Brexit.

The Dow plunged at market open this morning and the pound’s value is its lowest since 1985, but the Koch network is joining Trump is celebrating the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

CEO of the Kochs’ political longarm, Americans for Prosperity, Luke Hilgemann took to Twitter to show his support: “Ahhh, nothing like the sweet, sweet smell of freedom wafting over from across the pond this morning! #Leave #Brexit.” AFP Senior Policy Fellow Peggy Venable and AFP Policy Director Akash Chougule also retweeted messages of solidarity with the vote that suggested Democrats need to “take note” of the UK’s decision.

Fellows of the Koch-backed Cato-Institute quickly proclaimed their excitement over the vote. In an op-ed for Forbes, Doug Bandow wrote,

Americans also should take note of Brexit.

Perhaps a similar campaign could be launched in the U.S. A movement against turning […]

Koch Groups Defend Climate Change-Denial Propaganda, Get Subpoenaed

June 23, 2016

In 2014, Koch Industries was “the top spender for oil and gas lobbying,” mounting a $13.7 million-effort to protect Charles and David Koch’s business interests.

Now, several Koch groups are being subpoenaed as part of an investigation into “whether Exxon committed consumer and securities fraud stemming from the company’s challenging of the catastrophic climate change narrative.”

Americans For Prosperity, the Beacon Hill Institute, the Mercatus Center, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are rightfully being included in the investigation, because the truth is that Koch groups, especially ALEC, do, in fact, promote anti-science climate change denial: all told, the Kochs have “spent over $88 million” to run a misinformation campaign against the science of climate change and relevant policies, according to Greenpeace.

In fact,Koch groups are currently running a high-profile PR campaign on behalf of Exxon. Koch funded organizations last month pooled resources to drop $21 million on a […]

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 […]

Kochs Call In The Cavalry To Kill Renewable Energy Tax Relief

April 11, 2016

The Koch network has set its sights on opposing any extension of renewable energy tax credits in the FAA re-authorization bill. It’s not surprising to anyone, given affordable clean energy competes with Koch Industries’ key holdings in oil, shale development, and hydraulic fracturing technologies. But what is surprising is how the Kochs have called in the cavalry to stop this amendment.

Americans For Prosperity has been especially active in their opposition, “strongly leaning” toward issuing a “Key Vote Alert” in an attempt to coerce subservient House Republicans into voting against the must-pass FAA legislation. AFP has also taken to social media to flippantly dismiss incentives for clean energy.

​In addition to AFP, other Koch groups with no discernible interest in energy policy, such as Concerned Veterans for America, 60 Plus Association, and The LIBRE Initiative, all signed onto the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s letter calling on the […]

Kochs Oppose Rule Protecting The Same Retirement Investors They Claim To Assist

April 8, 2016

This week the Department of Labor codified an assumption shared by all working Americans: that financial professionals providing advice on retirement savings and investments should have your best interests in mind. This new fiduciary rule will require advisers to recommend the best investment options for their clients rather than merely “suitable” options.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute–a group with ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns, climate change denial, and mountain top removal–put forward strong opposition to the new rule. In a surprise to no one, the Kochs’ political network joined CEI in calling on congressional leaders to kill the proposed rules.

The Koch brothers have attempted to put a starkly different public relations spin on their positions regarding financial planning. The LIBRE Institute has hosted highly-publicized financial planning and tax seminars across the country.

Opposition to new fiduciary protections is a perfect illustration of David and Charles Koch’s dangerous duplicity. Their public relations arm, through LIBRE, asks, “Do you want […]

“Libertarian” Koch Groups Mirror GOP Presidential Pack In Anti-Choice Extremism

March 31, 2016

As Republican presidential candidates battle to see who can stake out the most extreme anti-choice position (Spoiler: Donald Trump is the front-runner here with his call to “punish the woman“), the anti-choice, anti-women fervor is unsurprisingly reflected across the Koch network.

The Koch’s alignment with Donald Trump on choice was succinctly articulated today by Cato Institute senior fellow Ilya Shapiro. Not to be outdone by Trump, he took to Twitter to make his views on reproductive rights clear. While disingenuously masquerading as “libertarian” organizations focused on economic issues, anti-choice extremism is rampant throughout the Kochs’ groups

Concerned Women for America provides the most illuminating example of David and Charles opposition to choice. The Kochs have pumped millions of dollars  into this group which seeks to “protect and promote Biblical values” and to “restore the family to its traditional purpose.” Concerned Women for America has accused Planned Parenthood of “promot[ing] deviant […]

The Kochs Just Sent Marco Rubio A Babysitter

February 23, 2016

An inspiration to all participation award recipients everywhere, Marco Rubio — who, remember, has yet to win a single state and won a mere 9 delegates to Donald Trump’s 68 — is teaming up with Charles and David Koch to bring their selfish agenda to the White House.

In the latest sign that the Kochs — like RNC Reince Priebus and the rest of the GOP establishment — are getting seriously nervous about Donald Trump, Politico reports that Marc Short, “the Koch brothers’ top political adviser in Washington and a trusted member of their inner circle for five years,” is jumping aboard Marco Rubio’s expectations-mangling presidential campaign.

Short’s Team Marco migration is a serious indication that Rubio’s surging ahead in the Koch Primary. But that’s hardly a surprise — there have for months been indications that Rubio’s a Koch favorite.

In the last weeks alone, we’ve seen Koch operatives jump to Rubio’s defense on social media, as […]

Marco Rubio Has Some Not-So-Secret Admirers In Koch World

February 8, 2016

Koch World is going crazy shilling for — and defending — Marco Rubio. Here are a few recent examples:

Executive Director at the LIBRE Initiative defends the Rubio Talking Point 3000. 

President at Americans For Prosperity attacks Christie for criticizing Rubio.

​Head of Corporate Communications at Koch Industries criticizes Bush and Christie for attacking Rubio.

A Concerned Veterans For America VP defends Rubio’s “record.”


By the look of it, senior staff at Koch front groups and business entities are running a full-blown pro-Rubio rapid response operation, pushing back on other candidates attacks and scrambling come up with something — anything — that the junior senator from Florida can claim as an “accomplishment.”

Here’s another indication that the Kochs are really feeling Rubio: Representatives from the pro-Rubio super PAC, Conservative Solutions PAC, last weekend held “private meetings” with Koch network donors at Charles and David’s winter […]

MEMO: Kochs Retreat For 2016 With Trump In The Spotlight & Their Dirty Laundry In The Press

January 30, 2016

To: Interested Parties
From: Eddie Vale, VP, American Bridge 21st Century 
Date: January 30, 2016 
Re: Kochs Retreat For 2016 With Trump In The Spotlight & Their Dirty Laundry In The Press

On Monday, Republican caucus-goers across Iowa will gather to take the first official steps in selecting the eventual GOP nominee for President. But first, far from Des Moines, a group of our country’s richest 0.1% will gather at a ritzy luxury resort to plot how they’ll buy the White House and further advance their self-enriching agenda in the Senate, House, and state legislatures across the country.

The Kochs are hungrier than ever to further their control over not just the GOP, but our entire government. This weekend is a rally for drumming up support — and serious cash — for electing the Kochs’ puppet candidates and advancing the Kochs’ agenda that’s good for billionaire families like theirs, but bad for almost every other family in the country. 

Here’s what we’re watching […]

Kochs’ Latino Front Group Defends Koch/Hedge Fund Interests In Puerto Rico

January 7, 2016

This week, the Kochs’ Latino front group, the LIBRE Initiative, became the latest Koch affiliate to step up and defend the Koch network’s interest in blocking fair access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy protections for Puerto Rico. 

In a statement, Daniel Garza, the head of the Kochs’ Latino front group, toed the Koch line on Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico’s financial crisis is largely due to a combination of cronyism, reckless government spending, and harmful federal policies. Any quick fix, including federal bailouts, will not solve the underlying problem. It needs to be addressed at the root, starting with the Puerto Rican government making tough choices – even at the risk of political repercussions.

Various options have been set forth to address the crisis, and Congress must consider this question carefully – including moral hazard and the precedent that may be set. The U.S. territory can rise above its financial crisis, but it will come […]

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 […]

GOP Field Aren’t The Only Ones Betting On Nevada: Koch Rush In The Silver State

December 15, 2015

There’s a lot at stake tonight for the eight Republicans at the main stage debate in Las Vegas, but they aren’t the only ones betting on a good showing in Nevada. The Koch brothers are also upping the ante in the Silver State. The billionaire brothers have long appeared to have money to burn, and what better place to strike it rich (again) than the home of Las Vegas? After all, the Kochs were never going to sit back and let Sheldon Adelson have all the fun — it’s not in their nature.

Earlier this year, Bridge Project released a report on the Kochs’ efforts to gain political control of Nevada entitled, “Koch Rush In The Silver State.” The combined draw of natural resources and favorable tax policies brought Koch Industries to the state. Using their massive wealth, the brothers are doing everything they can to rig Nevada in their favor:

Expanding Their Political […]

Kochs Bringing In Overseas Labor To Run Their Political Takeover

November 23, 2015

The latest evidence that the Koch brothers’ shameless self-interest knows no bounds: Charles and David are struggling to find American supporters of their selfish agenda — so they’re looking overseas. In 2014 alone, Demeter Analytics — the holding company for the Kochs’ voter file data firm, i360 — applied for 7 H-1B visas, which allow employers to hire foreign workers for temporary employment in “specialty occupations.” Yes, the two billionaires are effectively outsourcing their attacks on middle class American families.

i360 is instrumental to the Kochs’ 2016 plans because it aggregates voter information from the range of Koch front groups and contracts out access to Ben Carson and much of the rest of the GOP field. (The one notable exception is Donald Trump, to whom the Kochs have refused access.)

The brothers use Koch network organizations like their sham Latino outreach group, the LIBRE Initiative, to amass voter data at candidate […]

New Freedom Partners Tax Filings Reveal Reach Of The Koch Network

November 17, 2015

With Freedom Partners’ 2014 990 out today, we’re finally getting a glimpse at the $129 million the Koch network spent through shadowy groups to push their self-enriching agenda and elect their puppet candidates in 2014.

Freedom Partners is more than just a coordinator for the secretive mega-donor conferences that candidates of all levels audition at and a pass-through for the usual Koch network groups — Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Veterans for America, Generation Opportunity, the LIBRE Initiative, and others: it’s a way for the Koch network to funnel millions to groups across the far-right that back their agenda and help elect their candidates. 

Check out our five things not to miss in Freedom Partner’s newly released tax filing. As the Kochs’ promise to spend nearly $900 million in 2016, imagine what we’ll learn about what their money bought them in this election, but not until November 2017, of course.

The Koch ATM,” Freedom Partners, says […]

11 Questions For Charles & David Koch

November 2, 2015

Tomorrow, Charles and David Koch will sit down with Morning Joe for their much anticipated, first-ever joint television interview. Without a doubt, the billionaire brothers will use the interview to try to mask how they’re driven by a self-enriching and self-interested agenda. The Kochs use their wealth and influence to control the GOP agenda and back puppet candidates, which is a winning formula for the Kochs’ bottom line but hurts the middle class.

Here are 11 questions Charles and David Koch should answer on Morning Joe:

1. By not endorsing in the GOP presidential primary, each candidate continues to jockey for your support and is “looking to hone their message to appeal” to you. Donald Trump even called the candidates that appeared before you at your California fundraiser “puppets.” Are you the puppet masters of the Republican party?

2. You claim only a portion of the money you’re spending on […]

GOP Presidential Candidates, Vulnerable GOP Senators Follow Kochs On Debt Deal

October 30, 2015

Even Paul Ryan supported the bipartisan debt deal but GOP presidential candidates and Republican senators facing tough reelection battles opposed it left and right.

Why? Because GOP presidential candidates, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and Republican senators, including Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, and Rand Paul, would rather score points with the Kochs than support a bipartisan solution to avoid a default that would harm the full faith and credit of the United States.

Through AFP President Tim Phillips, LIBRE Initiative Executive Director Daniel Garza,Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams, and others, Koch HQ signaled their opposition to the bipartisan debt deal and GOP candidates in tough races were more than eager to fall in line in hopes of winning a piece of the nearly $900 million the Kochs plan to spend on 2016 to buy the White House and ensure those that do their bidding […]

Scrambling To Hide Koch Commitments, GOP Field Boots “Biggest Weakness” Question

October 29, 2015

Wednesday night’s debate opened with a question that — while simple — gave the GOP field some trouble: “What’s your biggest weakness?” Each of the candidates ducked and dodged the question to the best of their respective abilities — some better than others. (To paraphrase Donald Trump, some of them “just don’t have it”: Blah, blah, blah, etc.)

But the reason the candidates struggled is no more complex than the question itself: Rubio, Bush, Cruz, and the rest of the crew couldn’t exactly go up there and tell the truth — they couldn’t admit that they’re boxed in by an inflexible fealty to Charles and David Koch and their selfish agenda. It’s not exactly voter-friendly to admit that, in everything you do, in any legislation you push, the Kochs’ agenda — and their bottom line — will always supersede the interests of the American public.

Three candidates in particular,

No Matter Who Is The GOP Nominee, The Kochs Win

October 29, 2015

The Koch brothers’ invisible primary has allowed them to pull the strings in the GOP presidential fight from from behind the scenes. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina have made it clear they are salivating at the chance for a bite of Koch cash. The Kochs even had the decency to provide talking points for tonight’s debate. All ten candidates on the stage tonight support policies that will boost billionaires like the Kochs and hurt middle class and working families.

Take a look at the candidates’ ties to the Kochs:

Koch Primary

Headline: “Marco Rubio: I Would Love To Win Support From The Koch Brothers In 2016.” [Washington Times, 4/23/15]

The Kochs “Identified Five Candidates Who Have The Right Message And ‘A Good Chance Of Getting Elected’”: Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, And Marco Rubio. According to USA Today, “[Charles] Koch, his brother David and their team have identified five candidates who […]

Rubio Spends Another Saturday Wooing The Kochs With One Of Their Political Front Groups

October 26, 2015

Marco Rubio isn’t voting in the Senate, raising money, or hitting the campaign trail but he is running on all cylinders to woo the Koch brothers and win the Koch primary with another stop today with one of the Kochs’ “constituency” groups.

This morning in South Carolina, Marco Rubio is doing a town hall with Koch front group Concerned Veterans for America.

Despite claiming to work for veterans, CVA pushes the Koch agenda first and foremost — that means standing in opposition with nearly every other veterans organization and advocating for extreme right-wing policies that hurt our nation’s heroes.

Over the summer, Bridge Project teamed up with VoteVets to put out a report on the shady group’s true intentions. (Check out the full report, The Veterans Group That Fights Against Veterans, here.)

Concerned Veterans for American operates under the auspices of promoting policies that are good for veterans and their families — but they’re really only interested in pushing […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation