Business Impact

#Snowzilla Reading: The Devastating Story Of How The Kochs’ Business Practices Hurt Real People

January 23, 2016

Have cabin fever yet? Take a few minutes to read the story of the late Donald Carlson, a 23-year employee at the Koch-owned Pine Bend Refinery in Minnesota. Carlson died from Leukemia at the age of 53 after Koch failed to inform him of abnormal results as a result of Benzene exposure revealed in government-mandated blood tests.

While the Kochs denied Carlson workers compensation and failed to apologize, his wife eventually settled his case with the Kochs and signed confidentiality agreement, which recently expired. In Dark Money, Doreen Carlson told Jane Mayer, “It’s just money for them, and they never have enough.. I hear they’re backing a lot of people politically and I bet it’s all about getting rid of regulations. But those regulations are for safety. It’s not to make your workers rich; it’s so they don’t’ die.” 

The Kochs have a long history of putting what’s best for their bottom line first — […]

WaPo: New Book On The Kochs Based On A “Confidential History” Commissioned By Bill Koch

January 15, 2016

Washington Post review of Jane Mayer’s new book on the Koch brothers includes even more new, bombastic details on the Kochs’ family history and political network:

A major source of Mayer’s book is a “confidential history” commissioned by Bill Koch on “Charles Koch’s effort to shape American politics.”
Fred Koch and Charles Koch were raised by a Nazi governess (don’t miss those details below).
“Mayer’s book is so deeply researched and studded with detail that it seems destined to rattle the Koch executive offices in Wichita.”
“A 1982 sealed deposition from Bill Koch, for example, describes how Charles and David attempted to blackmail their brother Frederick by threatening to reveal to their father his alleged homosexual preferences unless Frederick turned over his shares in the family business.”
“Two former prosecutors and an FBI agent told Mayer they suspected they were targets of Koch Industries’ private espionage efforts while they were investigating the company for alleged misdeeds.”
The […]

“Persuasive, Timely And Necessary” — New Details From Jane Mayer’s Book On The Kochs

January 13, 2016

The Kochs’ fortune has allowed them to control much about their world, unfortunately they can’t hide the complete truth about their history and agenda. Out next week, a new book on the Kochs by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, Dark Money, is already picking up praise in a new review.

The New York Times calls the book “a persuasive, timely and necessary story of the Koch brothers’ empire.“ Here are some of our favorite highlights from the review:

The Kochs’ first and foremost interest is in their own bottom line. They’ve manipulated the Republican Party for their benefit

“To protect their investments in coal and oil pipelines and refineries (somewhat pared down in the last decade), the Koch brothers have, Ms. Mayer points out, funded think tanks committed to raising doubt about climate change. They have also spent tens of millions of dollars to roll back environmental regulations and defund or abolish the federal agencies that […]

POLITICO: The Koch Intelligence Agency

November 18, 2015

Another must read, revealing story from Ken Vogel on the Kochs is out this morning, shining light on the Kochs’ “secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents.”

The Koch network claims to use their “secretive” “intelligence” group as an operation that’s “cloak and dagger – like the CIA” to fight back against groups on the left — groups like American Bridge.

If the Kochs are so desperate that they’re trying to plant spies and maliciously infiltrate groups like American Bridge, our strategy of exposing their motivation in spending hundreds of millions to advance their self-enriching agenda and elect their puppet candidates must be working.

Kochs To Kids: We Don’t Care If You Want To Go Outside And Play

November 13, 2015

Longtime polluters and climate change deniers, the Koch brothers’ list of infractions against our planet grows daily. Over the years, Koch Industries has seen employees charged with felonies and accumulated more than $90 million in fines and settlements from environmental violations. So now, logically, Koch Industries is joining an environmental legal battle against… children. Yes, you read that right.

According to MSNBC,

The unusual case began back in August when a group of “youth plaintiffs” (ages 8 to 19) sued the federal government, arguing that weak action on climate change is a violation of their right to life, liberty and property. They demanded that President Obama act more swiftly to slash the emissions that cause global warming. They sued for themselves but also for “future generations,” a group whose “guardian” is listed as James Hansen, the former chief climate scientist for NASA.

On Thursday, representatives of ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Koch Industries, and hundreds of […]

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 […]

Koch Crony On Pharma Bro’s 4,000% Drug Price Increase: NBD

September 24, 2015

Earlier this week, “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli made news when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised prices on a life-saving drug byroughly 4,000 percent. Shkreli’s decision to raise the cost of Daraprim, a prescription used primarily by HIV patients, from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill, has caused public outcry. At the same time, Koch crony and former Americans for Prosperity Vice President Phil Kerpen argued against prescription price controls in an Idaho Press-Tribune op-ed:

Health insurance premiums are rising because of Obamacare. And there is still one year left of the assorted reinsurance programs designed to mask premium increases, suggesting next year’s jumps will be even more eye-popping.

The damage done by applying price controls to prescription drugs will be catastrophic. 

Kerpen is now president of American Commitment, which received 87 percent of its funding from Koch organizations between 2011 and 2013. Along with AFP, Kerpen also previously worked for Koch […]

Kochs’ Greed Takes 500 American Jobs Overseas

September 15, 2015

The Koch brothers’ greed comes with a high price: 500 Americans will see their jobs at General Electric shipped overseas due to the Kochs’ Export-Import Bank takedown. Without the support of the Ex-Im, GE announced it must resort to outsourcing in order to keep a competitive edge.

According to the Wall Street Journal,

For months, GE has said that the failure to reauthorize the export financing agency, which congressional Republicans have singled out as an example of corporate welfare, would force the company to move jobs overseas or risk losing contracts for turbines, power projects and other industrial equipment.

Executives say that the company is bidding on $11 billion worth of projects, mostly in developing nations, and that bids won’t be entertained if they aren’t sponsored by an export credit agency. GE said, for example, that 80% of the gas turbines have been sold to countries where export credit agency sponsorship […]

Schooling The Kochs On Their Role In Hurricane Katrina’s Devastation

September 2, 2015

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 […]

Kochs: ☀🔌👎,💸👍

September 1, 2015

Today, the Florida Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on the solar power ballot initiative. Leading the charge against the initiative that would give homeowners the right to choose solar power are — you guessed it — the Koch brothers. Koch-backed groups 60 Plus Association, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and Americans for Prosperity have all been working against the expansion of solar and pushing for more regulations in the state.

Today’s hearing is a reminder that despite their claims of wanting less government interference, the billionaire brothers are more than willing to push more regulations if it helps their bottom line. 

Read more of our coverage on the Kochs’ hypocritical opposition to solar power, particularly in Florida.  

In The Shadows: Kochs’ Hypocritical Attacks On Solar Power

Today, the Obama administration is rolling out new solar power executive actions. The National Journal reports that the White House is working with the private sector […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation