A full-time minimum wage worker in America earns a yearly salary of just $14,500. If all 1.6 million minimum wage workers in the United States worked full-time for 4 years, they would not earn as much money as the Kochs are worth – a staggering $100 billion. Yet despite this shocking disparity, the Kochs’ main political organization Americans for Prosperity has waged a war against giving hardworking Americans a raise by increasing the minimum wage. When a minimum wage increase came up for a vote in the Senate in late April of this year, AFP urged legislators to vote against the proposal – or risk facing campaign backlash from AFP when it comes to election time.
This isn’t the first time the Koch-funded AFP has come out against raising the minimum wage. In 2012, AFP claimed that the minimum wage “has hindered Americans in their quest for prosperity,” and in 2013 AFP claimed that raising the minimum wage “does more harm than good.” Has AFP checked with hardworking Americans trying to make ends meet on $7.25/hour about how much harm an increase would do to them? With AFP leading the charge against raising the minimum wage, it’s no wonder Republicans like North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis have called raising the minimum wage a “dangerous idea” and questioned whether a federal minimum wage should exist.
Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is joining forces with other anti-worker organizations to lobby the Wisconsin state legislature in hopes of ending the state’s prevailing wage. The prevailing wage creates an even playing field for workers on local and state public works and constructions projects. Republican lawmakers are citing a study funded by a trade association called Associated Builder and Contractors (ABC) to argue that the prevailing wage is unnecessarily adding to the cost of such projects.
However, the study seems to be deeply flawed; one economics professor even called it “a mirage.” If AFP and its cronies are successful in ending the prevailing wage it could drive workers away from the state.
State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said, “Repealing prevailing wage would be another huge hit against the middle class and small businesses in Wisconsin. Over the last decade, Wisconsin has been the worst state in the nation for […]
In Colorado, the Kochs’ political longarm is yet again pushing their agenda that is good for the Kochs but bad for everyday Coloradans.
More than happy to sacrifice funding for essential programs like public education and health care if it means a smaller government, the Americans for Prosperity’s Colorado chapter is on the attack against Governor Hickenlooper’s proposed budget that projects increased revenues.
In 1992, Colorado passed the Taypayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) — a program that the Kochs and far right have loved for years. TABOR includes a provision that says that “state and local governments cannot … spend revenue collected under existing tax rates if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth, without voter approval.”
The TABOR law has caused issues for state budgeting in the past. Impacted by the recession and wildfires, voters approved a temporary change in 2005 to the law that suspended the revenue […]
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.
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” […]
The Kochs’ “Employee Freedom Week” is a transparent attack on America’s working families. Charles and David Koch don’t hesitate to put their selfish agenda over the interests of America’s working families. And that’s why they’ve worked hard to combat workers’ efforts to achieve fair wages and guarantees of fair treatment in the workplace. From West Virginia to Missouri and Wisconsin, Koch candidates and front groups have pushed for right-to-work-for-less laws that reduce workers’ ability to ensure they’re treated fairly. And the Kochs had a major role in engineering the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, a brazen attack on public employees.
Across the country — including at the national level — Charles and David’s groups have similarly launched campaigns against minimum wage increases, measures to fight income inequality, rules that would protect families from predatory financial lending, and even opposed paid sick and family leave mandates.
Engineered by Koch-linked and funded groups, so-called “Employee […]
Another Koch-group staffer made a silly mistake: telling the truth about what the Kochs believe. The Koch brothers’ carefully constructed facade of caring about poverty too often crumbles when Koch mouthpieces start talking.
The Kochs’ focus on poverty casts government as the cause of inequality. A Koch Industries video accused government of “picking winners and losers,” a favorite refrain of the billionaire brothers. Income inequality is a purely political talking point for the billionaire brothers. Stand Together–a non-profit arm of the Koch empire–was launched with a focus on poverty. The stated goal of Stand Together is to win over moderate and disengaged voters. (Not to actually do anything about poverty.)
Then someone opens their mouth and betrays the real thinking of the Koch network. In an interview with Freedom Action Network, Americans for Prosperity North Carolina Communications Director Joseph Kyzer dismissed concerns about economic inequality and tax cuts that only benefit […]
Selfish Billionaires Who Fight Policies That Help Working Families Pretend To Care
Charles And David Koch Oppose Fair Wages, Paid Sick And Family Leave, Pay Equity, And Collective Bargaining.
This weekend the Kochs and their donor-network of millionaires and billionaires gathered at the swanky Broadmoor resort to pay lip-service to the problem of income inequality. Hollow rhetoric aside, the Kochs only care about preserving their profits. The industrialist duo have habitually pushed back on any meaningful solutions to narrow income inequality and help working families.
“Charles Koch has spent his entire life creating income inequality by helping to elect the Kochs’ cadre of puppet-politicians to pass legislation that pads the Kochs’ bottom line,” said Eddie Vale, Vice President of American Bridge. “The Koch network spends hundreds of millions of dollars on elections and lobbying for their self-serving agenda. Whether it’s a minimum wage increase, the right to collectively bargain, pay equity, paid sick leave, protection of retirement income, or any issue […]
Today, President Obama will sign PROMESA, a last minute attempt at helping Puerto Rico two days before the territory owes its next debt payment. The legislation is hardly perfect but in the face of default Democrats and Republicans attempted to work together for some solution. Loud opposition to the government assisting Puerto Rico has been a road block to previous legislation.
The Koch brothers have been some of the most active opponents to helping the territory restructure its debt. Several Koch allies, including donor Ken Griffin, have interests in Puerto Rico and hope to profit off the economic downturn. Leading their efforts is their Latino front group, the LIBRE Initiative. LIBRE claims it advocates for issues that benefit Latino communities; however, they lobby first and foremost for the Kochs’ agenda — meaning they regularly fight for policies that negatively affect Latino communities. LIBRE has joined the Kochs to fight against raising […]
It’s not any real surprise that the Kochs’ Freedom Partners announce today they’re spending roughly $2 million in attack ads to help out their “model legislator,” Ron Johnson. Johnson has been a faithful foot soldier for the Koch agenda, with a lifetime score of 90% from Americans for Prosperity.
Climate Change: “The science is far from settled.” [Read: Climate Change Denier]
Veterans’ Health: “Give vets more choice to access private health care.” [Read: Privatize the VA]
Women’s Reproductive Health: 100% with National Right to Life [Read: Zero % with Planned Parenthood]
Minimum Wage: Voted two times to oppose. “It’s more like Russian roulette for the working poor” [Read: no, not ever, never]
It’s only the beginning of Kochs’ money in this Wisconsin race. But how much will they spend to protect and hold on to their “model legislator”?
Sen. Ron Johnson, “Kochs’ Model Legislator”
RON JOHNSON CREDITED AFP WITH HIS DECISION TO RUN FOR SENATE
New York Times Political Correspondent Nicholas Confessore: Sen. […]
For Immediate Release
April 29, 2016
Latino Victory Project and Bridge Project
“¿Cómo se Dice ‘Koch Brothers Front Group’?
ANSWER: LIBRE Initiative”
New Report Reveals How The Kochs Mislead Latinos to Pad Their Bottom LineWashington, DC – Today, Latino Victory Project and Bridge Project released the report “¿Cómo se Dice Koch Brothers Front Group? ANSWER:LIBRE Initiative.” The report gives an overview of the billionaires’ “Latino” organization, and their deceiving tactics to rally Latinos to advance the Koch brothers’ financial interests–at the expense of Latino families and communities.
“We know the Koch brothers are no friends of the Latino community. Our families won’t be fooled by LIBRE Initiative’s tactics,” said Pili Tobar, Communications Director of Latino Victory Project. “They’re giving away free turkeys and offering English classes–and that’s nice–but it’s not going to convince any Latino voters to change their votes for politicians who want to line the […]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
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 […]
As top state conservatives gather in Harrisburg today and tomorrow for the Pennsylvania Conservative Leadership Conference, many of the speakers and attendees are featured in the Bridge Project’s new report, “The Kochstone State: How the Koch Brothers’ Growing Influence Is Hurting Pennsylvanians.” The report lays out how the Kochs fostered and orchestrated the current political environment with their copious campaign donations and funding a network of radical political groups to drive their extreme, self-serving agenda.
From the Kochs’ aggressive in-state lobbying to get taxpayer-paid subsidies for Georgia Pacific, to pressuring state leaders to try to block oil and gas regulations, while they enable and supply fracking companies that contaminate Pennsylvania’s air, drinking water, and farmlands, the Koch machine has disrupted health services, threatened school closures, while casting the most vulnerable Pennsylvania residents into the political maelstrom the Koch brothers created.
“This is what the Koch brothers do to serve their bottom line,” […]
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 […]
Sensing the threat Donald Trump’s candidacy poses to down-ballot Republicans, David and Charles Koch are renewing their focus on buying influence in Senate and House races. The Koch network is planning on directing their $900 million war chest to a spring offensive of ad campaigns targeting Democratic challengers and propping up Republican incumbents.
The Kochs motive for supporting legislative candidates is not based in altruism: they expect results. From Rob Portman’s support of policies that encouraged outsourcing and corporate inversions to Kelly Ayotte’s votes against increasing the minimum wage while voting to preserve tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for big oil companies, The Koch’s politically corrupt quid pro quo requires unwavering support for their agenda in return for financial support.
The Kochs are investing heavily in their legislative insurance plan. No matter who wins the White House this November, the Kochs primary concern is protecting their hand-picked legislators as […]
Slash food stamp funding by $1.2 billion and spend $600 million to implement drug testing for food stamp recipients. That’s what Koch-backed Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt is proposing in his newest bill,according to the Huffington Post.
You’d think Aderholt’s bill would be in direct conflict with the “well-being” initiatives the Koch brothers have been pushing, such as their “turkey giveaways” and “couponing classes” to “help” America’s poor. However, Koch Industries has already donated $2,000 to Aderholt’s 2016 campaign and gave an additional $2,500 in the 2014 cycle when he was running unopposed.
In reality, the Kochs’ political efforts have hurt America’s most vulnerable again and again. For years, the Koch’s political long arm Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has been advocating for throwing people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):
The “Food Stamps” memo argues that SNAP is “ballooning in size and cost” due to “excessive easing of the program’s eligibility criteria,” […]
For years, Senator Kelly Ayotte has done the bidding of the Koch brothers in hopes they’ll provide millions in cover on the airwaves for her tough reelection battle this year. And just a few months ago, it looked like she was going to cash in all of her hard work on behalf of the Kochs: the Koch network boasted that reelecting Ayotte was one of their top priorities in 2016, AFP went up with $1.2 million in ads for her, and David Koch even headlined a fundraiser for her in October — all because the Kochs can’t afford to lose someone who does their bidding in Washington.
Time and time again, Senator Ayotte has eagerly done what’s best for the billionaire brothers ahead of what’s best for New Hampshire — picking up an 82% lifetime score of voting with the Kochs — opposing raising the minimum wage, protecting tens […]
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 […]
Despite the Kochs’ regular criticism of the Obama economy, a policy analyst for the LIBRE Initiative reported that Hispanics are doing significantly better economically today than they have in the past.
According to a blog on the LIBRE site by Payton Alexander,
These days, a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 costs just over 4 hours of work for the median Hispanic earner, which is 22% less than it did 28 years ago. This is good news, and represents a significant decrease in the amount of time that has to be spent at the office or on the job – and more time with friends and family for the holidays — for Hispanic workers across America
While the median worker out of the total population only has to work 3 hours and 45 minutes for the same meal, that gap has been narrowing since 2011, and that is a positive sign.
The counter-intuitive move by the […]
In the bombastic NRSC memo that surfaced yesterday, national Republicans admitted that Donald Trump continues to be popular because “he can’t be bought” by billionaire special interest donors.
National Republicans even encourage their candidates to advance Trump’s traits, but there lies a big problem for the GOP — each and every one of their Senate incumbents and candidates is bought by the billionaire Koch brothers. Trump himself has mocked candidates who seek Koch backing as “puppets” and research shows when voters learn candidates are backed by the Kochs, it’s an immediate turnoff
The Kochs have put millions behind their puppet candidates — and plan to spend even more in 2016 — to ensure that those who do their bidding for them remain in the U.S. Senate. And the Kochs have made it crystal clear — they “expect something in return.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: : Already this cycle, the Koch brothers have spent […]
Carly Fiorina just endorsed the Koch brothers’ plan to privatize the VA.
No amount of tinkering around the edges by politically correct politicians is gonna solve this problem. We need top to bottom reform, and Concerned Veterans for America and the citizens of this nation are going to force top to bottom reform.
What Fiorina’s missing is that the CVA privatization plan is not a pro-veteran policy — veterans don’t like it: A recent bipartisan survey of veterans found that nearly “two-thirds of survey respondents oppose plans to replace VA health care with a voucher system.” And almost 60% of veterans said they’d be less inclined to support a candidate shilling a VA privatization scheme.
But Fiorina’s support for the plan isn’t about veterans. […]
Without a “bold agenda,” warned Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips Tuesday on Fox News, Republicans cannot win the presidency in 2016. And with that, the Kochs sent the GOP a message: You can’t win without us in 2016 — and you’ll have to go all in for the Koch agenda to get our support.
In the interview, the Koch group’s president name-dropped Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson, giving them a not-so-subtle nod that they remain top contenders for the Koch network’s backing in 2016. But Phillips also made it clear that nothing’s a given: Candidates who want a crack at the Kochs’ $900 million have to go big and bold on the Koch agenda.
And we saw big — if not, bold — Koch pandering at Tuesday’s debate. From laughing off minimum wage increases to calling for Wall Street deregulation and massive tax cuts for the wealthy, the field […]
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.
Tonight at the New York Metropolitan Club, billionaire David Koch is hosting a “high dollar,” $10,000-a-plate fundraiser for Senators Kelly Ayotte and Roy Blunt as well as the little known Republican Senate candidate in Connecticut, August Wolf.
Why are the Kochs working hard to raise big money for Ayotte and Blunt? Because the billionaire brothers count them as their biggest allies in the U.S. Senate.
Both Senator Ayotte and Senator Blunt have stood with the Kochs over ordinary Americans including opposing raising the minimum wage, protecting tens of billions of dollars in special tax breaks for big oil companies, voting to roll back Wall Street reform, and more.
For the Kochs, tonight’s fundraiser, along with millions their political front groups continue to spend propping up Republican Senate candidates, is nothing more than an investment — and a promised boost to their bottom line that will more than compensate them for their principal.
While Missouri and New […]
Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation