Kochs’ “Constituency” Groups Admit To Feeding Data Back To The Kochs’ Political Machine

October 21, 2015

National Review gets an inside look at the Kochs’ political operations in Nevada and discovers the real reason their so-called constituency groups exist — to feed voters’ personal information back to the Kochs’ for-profit data collection machine, i360.

Perhaps most important, those signing up to see Jeb Bush (or for the driving classes, tax-preparation help, or health checkups that Libre offers) provide their names and contact information. That flows back into an enormous voter database owned and controlled by another Koch group, i360, which the donor network hopes will replace the Republican National Committee’s data trove. Many say it already has.Data collected from canvassing conducted by other groups in the network — Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Veterans for America, Concerned Women for America — flows back to the same place, and i360 is amassing detailed voter profiles and developing the sort of technological wherewithal that propelled President Obama to victory in both […]

“Frugal” Rubio Spends Big Bucks To Impress Koch Brothers

October 16, 2015

With Scott Walker’s recent departure from the presidential race, Marco Rubio has been leaning in to his role as new Koch favorite. Rubio’s positions on ending the Ex-Im Bank, blocking a minimum wage increase, and pushing a tax plan that would give tax breaks to the top one percent mean that the Florida senator has been in the running for the Kochs’ invisible primary since its start.

In the past month, he’s taken on even more extracurricular Koch activities to impress the brothers. Earlier this week, the candidate held a town hall in Nevada with the Koch front group, the LIBRE Initiative. And next week he’ll do a town hall with another Koch front group, Concerned Veterans for America.

Now, it seems that the so-called “frugal” campaign that Rubio is running has been spending big bucks to get an in with the Kochs. According to Politico, the campaign “spent about $271,000 […]

NPR: Koch Political Network Admits They’re Only Interested In Politics, Helping The Kochs

October 13, 2015

NPR reports that in August, leaders from the Koch network’s so-called constituency groups — the LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, Americans for Prosperity, and GenOp — appeared on a panel together and admitted that they’re working together, not to help the constituencies they claim to represent — Latinos, veterans, millennials, and others, but playing politics, electing Republicans, and advancing the Koch agenda.

In an audio recording of the panel obtained by NPR, CVA CEO Pete Hegseth admits the Koch “network” organizations are working together to push the Koch agenda in communities in swing states across the country:

HEGSETH: What makes this network different – AFP, GenOp, Libre, Concerned Vets for America – is that we’ve been in these communities now for three, four years and we’re going to be in them in 2017 and 2018 and 2019.

OVERBY: Those names that Hegseth rattled off – Concerned Veterans, the Libre Initiative, Generation Opportunity […]

NEW REPORT: Koch Rush In The Silver State

October 2, 2015

It’s not just presidential candidates who are putting in more time in Nevada. As the Silver State’s political capital increases, so does the Koch brothers’ interest in investing. 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.


Today, Bridge Project is releasing a new report entitiled, “Koch Rush In The Silver State,” a deep dive into the Koch brothers’ efforts to gain political control of Nevada. The combined draw of natural resources and favorable tax policies brought Koch Industries to the state. Now, just as they’ve done in states across the country, the Kochs are using their massive wealth to rig Nevada in their favor. 


Through the State Policy Network’s Nevada […]

Marco Rubio Embraces The Koch Brothers’ Puerto Rican Priorities

September 4, 2015

Today, just hours before he headed to Puerto Rico, Marco Rubio sided with the billionaire Koch brothers in opposing the fair treatment of Puerto Rico under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.

For months, the Kochs have been using their network affiliated groups — 60 Plus, American Future Fund, Cato, and others —  to run a full court press lobbying campaign against access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection for Puerto Rico.

On the surface, the Koch network’s deep involvement in Puerto Rico’s financial crisis looks random and strange — but when you follow the money, no surprise, it centers on the Koch network’s bottom line.

In a recent report, “The Kochs’ Wealth Versus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,” Bridge Project exposed the Koch connection: Supporters of Charles and David Koch’s network stand to lose a lot of money should Puerto Rico be allowed to access Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It’s pure self-interest, not libertarian idealism.

A new, updated version of the […]

Guess Those #Millennials Didn’t Like Koch Uncle Sam Ultrasounds

September 2, 2015

#Millennial. #Outreach. #Fail.

They didn’t break the news on Snapchat, but a new report from CNN reveals that Generation Opportunity, the Kochs’ youth outreach front group that tries to push their self-serving agenda to millennials, is a massive failure:

The president of one the top nonprofits bankrolled by Charles and David Koch has left the organization to start another major group in the powerful Republicans’ orbit, CNN has learned….[Generation Opportunity’s Executive Director Evan] Feinberg’s move is the most high-profile loss in what people familiar with Generation Opportunity describe as a string of senior level departures that are roiling the nonprofit group….Feinberg’s departure is one of many from Generation Opportunity: About 55% of the organization has left their jobs since late November, according to a comparison of staff lists on the organization’s website. 

Generation Opportunity tries to be a mouthpiece for the Koch agenda, aiming to put the Kochs’ own profit ahead of the […]

NEW REPORT: The Kochs’ Rocky Mountain High

August 31, 2015

David and Charles Koch are turning states across the country into their own political playgrounds, using their billions to influence policy to suit their business and personal needs, and Colorado, where they own an Aspen mansion, is one of the most prolific examples. Together with their network of dark money groups, the Koch brothers are fighting to impose policies that fit their agenda while hurting middle-class Colorado families.

Today, Bridge Project is releasing a new report titled, “The Kochs’ Rocky Mountain High,” a comprehensive look at the impact of the Kochs’ operations in Colorado.

The Kochs treat Colorado as a personal, political, and business playground, but the games they play challenge the ability of Coloradans to govern their own state, put at risk the livelihoods of the state’s residents, and jeopardize the natural beauty that defines Colorado.

The report delves into:

The Kochs’ private donor retreats in Aspen and Vail, where they discussed the “threat” of unions, climate regulations, […]

Looks Like The Kochs Are Giving Up On Latino Outreach

August 27, 2015

Hard to not see this one coming.

Going into the Koch brothers’ “Defending American Dream Summit” last weekend, we pointed out Charles and David’s immigration conundrum — here they were, hosting all kinds of anti-immigrant, anti-birthright citizenship GOP presidential candidates, while simultaneously professing to care about the Latino community.

But Charles and David’s LIBRE Initiative is nothing more than a sham outreach front group and propaganda machine, so we predicted Charles and David would stay silent while their invited guests rolled out the inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric.

And, to risk sounding self-congratulatory: We were right.

Here’s how Bloomberg Politics reported on the event’s immigration dialogue:

When it was time to file into the bleachers to see presidential candidates speak, talk of outreach faded away. The crowd went wild for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose plan for guarding the Mexican frontier includes 90,000 repurposed IRS employees, and for Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, who promised to […]

AFP’s BFD: Self Exposure On Killing Medicaid Expansion

August 25, 2015

The Kochs have spent an untold amount across the country to deny Americans access to health care through Medicaid expansion. It’s one of their highest “achievements” and now, they’re getting the notoriety they deserve — well, sort of…

The Tampa Bay Times is recognizing the Kochs’ political long arm, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), for their outstanding advertising, though it’s probably not the sort of praise AFP wants. According to the tongue-in-cheek editorial, AFP Florida has been running ads that educate voters on which lawmakers voted against expanding Medicaid.

From the editorial entitled, “Thanks go to Americans for Prosperity”:

[AFP] is running a new TV and digital ad featuring the names and faces of Republican legislators from Tampa Bay who blocked the state from accepting billions in federal Medicaid expansion money to subsidize health coverage for low-income Floridians. That’s very helpful, because voters should be reminded over and over exactly who voted to deny medical care […]

Just Another Stop On The Koch Road Show For Koch Favorite Ted Cruz

August 24, 2015

After Jeb Bush’s tepid performance at the Koch’s American for Prosperity summit yesterday, Koch road show regular Ted Cruz is sure to get David Koch and other Koch network donors on their feet today with his fiery endorsement of the Koch agenda and his passionate commitment to moving it forward.

One of the Kochs’ chosen five, Cruz is a favorite at Koch events —  for years he’s taken center stage at AFP, Concerned Veterans for America, Freedom Partners, and other Koch network donor confabs.

And in the Senate, Cruz is one of the loudest advocates and defenders of the Koch agenda — putting special interests and billionaires like the Kochs ahead of middle class and working families.

So, in comparison to Jeb’s smattering of “polite applause,” will Ted Cruz’s deep allegiance to the Kochs and his audition today win him a piece of the $900 million the Kochs said they will spend on this election?

In conjunction with this weekend’s […]

Marco Rubio: The Final Koch Puppet On The Koch Stage In Columbus

August 24, 2015

Expecting for Marco Rubio to make news as the last candidate at the Koch/AFP summit? Think again. Rubio is no novice to delivering his carefully crafted argument to his favorite constituency: Charles and David Koch.

As one of the five on the Kochs’ shortlist, Rubio has had many opportunities to show his deep allegiance to the Kochs “libertarian” causes in hopes they’ll spend part of the $900 million they said they’ll spend in 2016 on his campaign.

Recently, Rubio’s taken every potential opportunity he can to suck up to the Kochs, but just like every other candidate this weekend, his Koch ties run long and deep. Additionally, Rubio’s been a strong supporter of the Koch agenda — opposing the Ex-Im Bank, fighting against net neutrality, blocking a raise to the minimum wage, and supporting tax cuts for rich special interests like the Kochs.

In his relentless attempt to win over the Kochs, Rubio has completely disregarded that what’s good for the […]

Jeb Bush Is No Stranger In Koch Country

August 21, 2015

Jeb Bush and the Koch brothers’ roots run deep.

Though he may claim the contrary, Jeb’s attendance and role as a keynote speaker at today’s Koch-sponsored Defending the American Dream Summit is no coincidence. His relationship with the Kochs is far past budding — it’s been blossoming for years.

Jeb Bush’s association with Koch-linked groups goes back decades, and even predates his first gubernatorial election — continuing through his tenure as governor and to this day. Jeb’s even hired Koch network staffers to work on his presidential campaign.

So, protest as he might that he’s a stranger in Koch Country, rest assured: Jeb’s a native son.

In conjunction with this weekend’s Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream conference in Columbus, Bridge Project today also released a new report, “O-H-I-O Koch! Koch! Koch!: How The Kochs Have Polluted Ohio With Their Business & Politics,” detailing the extensive damage done by the Kochs’ subversive Ohio operations. Read more 

The Kochs’ Immigration Conundrum

August 21, 2015

It’s been months in the works, but the last two weeks have seen more or less the entire GOP field go all in to join Donald Trump’s team of anti-immigrant policy extremists. Even Jeb Bush — long, though it appears erroneously, seen as the “reasonable voice” and the “adult in the room” on immigration — couldn’t stay away, refusing to back down from the offensive “anchor baby” rhetoric he used to describe American citizens born in the United States to immigrant parents.

This is a problem for the Kochs, who today and are hosting much of the GOP field at their “Defending the American Dream Summit” — one of the premiere events for GOP candidates to cozy up to Koch network donors.

It’s a problem because it exposes them. And it exposes the LIBRE Initiative, Charles and David’s Latino outreach front group, as the propaganda machine that it is.

It’s impossible […]

“End Birthright Citizenship”: GOP, Kochs To Team Up On Latino Outreach

August 19, 2015

Republicans are doing their best these days to channel front-runner Donald Trump, in last-ditch attempts to salvage their respective flailing presidential runs.

This week it’s been all immigration, all the time, with Trump — and subsequently others — calling for an end to “birthright citizenship,” which is, of course, guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

This xenophobic talk is getting Republicans of all stripes riled up, including, interestingly, a senior policy fellow at the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Here’s her grand contribution to the debate, made via Twitter:
Birthright citizenship = “anchor babies”.  Changing that policy would be an immigration game-changer.

How apropos that the GOP field will be taking a trip to Koch Country this Friday and Saturday, after spending the last week fueling up on anti-immigrant rhetoric. We have no doubt they’ll all have much to discuss in terms of strategies for ending birthright citizenship — and repealing the 14th Amendment, […]

Hold your horses — Kochs and GOP will continue to fight ACA

June 25, 2015

More than six million Americans are breathing a sigh of relief today knowing they’ll be able to keep their affordable health insurance, but the scene at Koch headquarters is undoubtedly whipping into a frenzy. They’re gearing up for the next fight to prevent Medicaid expansion in the states and getting ready to bark orders at GOP politicians like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush eager to follow their lead.

For people who prioritize return on investment, today’s ruling dealt a huge blow to the Kochs, who spent millions to bring King v. Burwell to the Supreme Court and to stop Medicaid expansion.  Now more than ever, they will work with conservative state governments and GOP candidates to push their extreme agenda.

With this latest defeat, the Kochs and their Republican allies are setting their sights on next year’s court decisions and, of course, the White House.

Executive Director of Koch Latino Group Holds Dramatic Reading of Bridge Project Report

June 8, 2015

Daniel Garza, the executive director of the Koch-bankrolled LIBRE Initiative, apparently read Bridge Project’s report on his group this weekend. Judging by his Twitter account, the only gripe he could find with the in-depth research on LIBRE’s hypocritical policies against Latinos — while purporting to represent Latinos — was about him.

In particular, Garza has compared himself to Moses, Esther, Daniel, Joseph, King David, Martin Luther King Jr., the Salvation Army, and the Underground Railroad. According to Garza’s dramatic reading of Bridge Project’s report, raising his comparison of himself to biblical leaders amounts to a political attack. Quoting scripture is not extreme — but thinking that you should be in the same breath as Moses is.

Bridge Project’s report revealed LIBRE’s continued advocacy against the interests of the Hispanic community that they supposedly represent.The report uncovers that LIBRE advocates for Koch-backed policies that disproportionately hurt Hispanics including repealing the Affordable […]

Kochs’ Latino Group Calls Clinton’s Protections for Immigrants Extreme

The executive director of the Koch-backed LIBRE Initiative, Daniel Garza, continues to criticize protections for immigrants, claiming that Hillary Clinton’s call for an expansion of protections for undocumented immigrants and their families is “extreme.”

Garza previously called President Obama’s executive actions on DAPA an “overreach.” As part of the “Month’s Supply of Koch,” Bridge Project recently released an in-depth report on the shady political agenda that LIBRE has hidden from Latinos in an effort to win their votes. The report and this latest statement show that while LIBRE may brand itself as a community outreach organization that helps Hispanics, the Koch-backed group actually works against their best interests.

Watch the full clip of Daniel Garza above.

Hey Koch brothers — Did we hit a nerve?

May 27, 2015

The Koch brothers attacked American Bridge by name in a Wall Street Journal op-ed for highlighting the Charles Koch Foundation’s shady tactics by attaching strings to university grants, like libertarian ideological requirements for professors and graduate students. It’s extortion-as-education that rivals the Kochs’ nearly $900 million they’re spending this election to audition conservative candidates for president. On top of the Koch Foundation, Koch-linked organizations Independent Women’s Forum and Mercatus at George Mason University are also picking fights with Bridge.

Looks like our year-long effort to raise awareness about the Kochs’ moneyed special interests hit a nerve. This month alone, Bridge Project has released reports on the Kochs’ efforts in Florida and Iowa as well as their harmful LIBRE Initiative as part of our “Month’s Supply of Koch.”

For years now, the Koch brothers have been providing grants to universities with stipulations attached to manipulate the curriculum and teaching professionals at each institution — […]

GOPers Cave to Koch Stance on Export-Import Bank

May 22, 2015

In the Kochs’ invisible primary, the crop of GOP presidential wannabees are bending over backwards to win the financial backing of the electorate of two. An aide to the Kochs told the Daily Signal that opposition to the Export-Import Bank would be a key factor in determining whether a candidate would garner the billionaire brothers’ support.

Of course, the Kochs are opposed to the program because it gives small businesses an edge over their multi-national corporation, Koch Industries. Now the Kochs have set their sights on killing the bank through several of their organizations, including Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners, and the LIBRE Initiative.

The truth is the Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to protect American companies and give them a competitive edge abroad. For more than 80 years, it’s been a bipartisan program because it promotes American exports. Last year alone it supported 164,000 jobs here at home with no cost to […]

Through their decades in business and politics, Charles and David Koch have honed their methods for rigging the system in their favor, both through their national operations and activities. Their history in Florida is indicative of this overall multifaceted strategy, which includes lobbying and raising funds for politicians, using their advocacy network to sway public policy, and leveraging financial donations to universities to buy professors that promote their worldview. Time and time again, the Koch brothers’ self-interested actions proved to be beneficial to their bottom line at the expense of hardworking Floridians.

One key aspect of the Kochs’ strategy was cultivating relationships with high-profile Florida politicians who were sympathetic to their message. Senator and likely GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio was the only U.S. Senator to receive a 100 percent score from Koch-group Americans for Prosperity in 2013. In that same year, Sen. Rubio was the keynote speaker at […]

Bush Hires Staff with Deep Koch Ties

May 4, 2015

Jeb Bush figured out yet another way to suck up to the Koch brothers: Hire their former staff for his campaign. Conveniently, as the Kochs hold open auditions to find their preferred presidential candidate, Bush is adding Jose Mallea, the former national strategic director for the LIBRE Initiative. LIBRE is the Kochs’ front group for Latino outreach.

The LIBRE Initiative has received at least $10 million from the Koch money machine, Freedom Partners, to push the Koch agenda under the facade of Hispanic outreach. While the LIBRE Initiative claims that they are working to empower the Hispanic community, the reality is that they are promoting Koch policies at the expense of Hispanics. LIBRE opposes policies that disproportionately help Hispanics including the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage increases, and immigration reform. Mallea led LIBRE through the 2014 elections when the group challenged Latino candidates in favor […]

Marco Rubio, Ready for His Koch Close-Up

April 23, 2015

And so it begins… Just two days after Charles and David Koch announced the picks for their shadow primary, Marco Rubio, one of the five chosen ones, is eagerly jumping at the chance to audition.
According to NBC News, Rubio is participating in a conference call today with Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity to discuss the Export-Import Bank, which is the Koch’s latest pet project. 
The Kochs have been working to kill off the Ex-Im Bank through several of their organizations, including AFP, Freedom Partners, and the LIBRE Initiative. No surprise that the billionaires’ crusade to end Ex-Im is highly hypocritical. While they say, “the government should not be picking winners and losers,” the truth is Koch Industries has been one of the winners and received up to $16 million in assistance from the program.

This isn’t the first time the Kochs have showered praise on Rubio for opposing the Ex-Im Bank and it’s […]

78% of Latinos oppose Kochs’ move to block immigration reform

April 8, 2015

A new MSNBC/Telemundo/ Marist poll released today shows that 78 percent of Latinos approve of President Obama’s recent immigration moves.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Koch brothers would take the opposite position and fight the president’s executive order. The Koch-backed LIBRE Initiative — which purports to empower Latinos — has a long history of spurning Latinos with their backwards policies. In fact, earlier this month LIBRE Initiative President, Daniel Garza, testified that the group opposed the administration’s newly established policy. The LIBRE Initiative claims to support comprehensive immigration reform, but they have poured a large chunk of their war chest into campaigning against the very candidates who truly support comprehensive reform. The sad irony of the Koch Brothers’ efforts to mobilize Latino grassroots supporters for the GOP is that if the president’s executive actions are undone, it will result in millions facing deportation and a smaller voting pool.

In another twist, LIBRE spent […]

Promoting the Koch Agenda at the Expense of Hispanics

April 7, 2015

The Koch-funded LIBRE Initiative claims their mission is to advance liberty and freedom in the Hispanic community. The group is actually a shameless ploy to make inroads with a fast growing constituency in advance of the 2016 elections.

Just yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Center for Shared Services, a recruiting arm for Koch-backed organizations, posted openings for LIBRE Initiative jobs in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado, and Virginia – states with that also happen to be heavily contested in the 2016 elections.

According to Conservative Transparency, Freedom Partners, the Koch money machine, donated $3.3 million in 2013. In addition, LIBRE has received large donations from other Koch-related groups.

While LIBRE wants you to think that they are empowering Hispanics, they are actually promoting the Koch agenda at the expense of Hispanics by campaigning for policies that would hurt the community. As UCLA political […]

The Koch front on the Export Import Bank

March 20, 2015

The LIBRE Initiative bills itself as a non-profit group that pushes a message of economic freedom and limited government among the Latino community. But the Koch bankrolled group is just a front for the Koch’s self-interested agenda. The LIBRE Initiative has been pushing to block a minimum wage hike, oppose the expansion of medicaid, and fight against clean energy legislation, and now do away with the Export-Import Bank.

The mission of the Bank is to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales of U.S. exports to international buyers. In FY 2014 the export-import bank funded $10.7 billion in small business exports, making small business exports the top category for Ex-Im Bank last year. The reauthorization of the Bank is set to expire in June — if Congress doesn’t act.

Of course, the Kochs are opposed to the program because it gives small businesses an […]

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