New Report: The Long History of the Koch Agenda Hurting Arkansas Agriculture

September 2, 2014

The Farm Bill plays a critical role in Arkansas’s economy, benefiting the livelihood of the state’s farmers by guiding crop planting efforts, aiding in access to crop loans, and bolstering the state’s critical agriculture economy writ large. Whenever the future of this important legislation has been jeopardized by political back-and-forth, Arkansas’s agricultural community has vocalized its support for the Farm Bill – such as in 2013 when Chairman of the Arkansas Rice Federation Dow Brantley said that farmers “desperately need a farm bill written so we know where we stand” when it comes to deciding which crops to plant. That same year, Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach said that the state’s farmers and consumers would “suffer” if Congress did not pass a Farm Bill or extend the previous bill.

Yet despite obvious and vocal support for the Farm Bill, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Koch brothers’ primary political engine, has […]

Kochs Could Be Charged With Civil Rights Violation In New EPA Petition

May 10, 2016

For years, an Arkansas branch of the Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia-Pacific has literally been poisoning the community of Crossett, AR. Now, two environmental advocacy groups are taking action.

The Ouachita Riverkeeper and Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), are filing a petition with the EPA against GP and the Kochs for releasing millions of gallons of water in Coffee Creek and the Crossett water supply, which violates the Clean Water Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the Louisiana Record:

In its own announcement about the petition, LEAN said Georgia-Pacific’s paper mill in Crossett, Arkansas must no longer be allowed to daily release millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Coffee Creek.

The daily discharge into Coffee Creek flows through a predominantly African-American Community in West Crossett, where residents claim their health and quality of life are adversely effected, the LEAN announcement said. 

While Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries 

A Koch-Owned Paper Plant In Arkansas Is Poisoning People

April 13, 2016

Newsweek reports how Koch-owned Georgia Pacific paper plant in Crossett, Arkansas is under investigation for polluting the surrounding area’s water and air, and local residents now blame it for the high rates of cancer and health problems in the town.

In a recent WSJ interview with Koch Industries’ Environment, Health, and Safety Director Sheryl Corrigan when asked about the company’s EPA violations, her response:


MS. CORRIGAN: We are not perfect. But I will tell you that when we do have issues, or when we do have incidents, we try to do our best to meet the expectations of the folks that we serve as customers and in our communities. And we try to learn from them.

Not in Crossett. The company ran a door-to-door campaign to try to bribe families to release the company from any responsibility of people’s property damage, injury, or health.

Yet, the Kochs continue to push […]

Out Of Options, Koch-Backed Club For Growth Bets On Ted Cruz

March 24, 2016

Out of options, the Charles and David Koch-backed Club for Growth just endorsed settled for Ted Cruz. The Kochs have for months been agonizing over the reality that they can’t buy Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s loyalty with campaign contributions. Hoping that someone — anyone — other than Ted Cruz would emerge as a viable challenger, Charles and David have thus far held off from getting involved in the race. Now, it looks like they’re settling — and hoping that they can somehow get Cruz into the White House where he’ll be sure to advance their selfish agenda.

Club for Growth has over the last several years benefited from at least $1.9 million from Koch groups. The organization received $924,000 from the Koch-linked Center to Protect Patient Rights from 2009-2012. And Club for Growth benefited from a massive $1,000,000 contribution from Freedom Partners in 2014, alone. As far as 2015 Koch contributions to Club for Growth? We […]

Would You Believe Tom Cotton’s Spokesman Is Going To Work For The Kochs?

January 8, 2015

There were few 2014 candidates whose love for the Koch brothers was more transparent than Tom Cotton. During his senate campaign, Cotton infamously skipped out on Arkansas’s iconic Pink Tomato Festival to pal around with the Koch brothers and their closest billionaire friends at a secretive Southern California retreat.

At said summit, Cotton heaped praise on the Kochs and their network for boosting him, specifically praising Americans for Prosperity-Arkansas for playing a “critical role” in buoying the Republican Party within the state. Cotton has been in lock-step with AFP throughout his time in Congress — notably he was the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to oppose the Farm Bill, which is crucial to the state’s economy. In return for his strict adherence to the Koch agenda, AFP poured huge amounts of money into dishonest attack ads against Cotton’s opponent.

Well, with […]

Tom really “Cottons” to the Koch brothers

September 11, 2014

This week, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a Koch-backed entity purporting to represent the interests of small business owners, released radio and television ads in support of Arkansas’s Tom Cotton. Though the ads feature earnest-sounding proprietors of Arkansas small businesses, the spots actually represent just another favor in the mutually-beneficial relationship between Tom Cotton and the Koch brothers.

Last year, Tom Cotton’s vote against the Farm Bill turned heads, as he was the only member of the state’s delegation to vote against the bill and especially because the agricultural industry is critically important to Arkansas. Recently, new audio recordings revealed that when considering the Farm Bill, Cotton may have prioritized a constituency of two over his actual constituency. Recordings released earlier this month reveal that Cotton’s no vote on the Farm Bill received thunderous applause from Koch supporters during the Koch network’s secretive donor summit earlier this year. The Kochs’ […]

Even non-attending Koch cronies get shout out at secret donor conference

August 27, 2014

As revealed by new reporting from The Nation and Huffington Post, GOP Senate candidates Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton and Cory Gardner all had their chance to kiss the ring at the Koch brothers’ secretive donor conference earlier this year. Luckily for some of their compatriots, in-person attendance to pander to the high-rolling “seminar” attendees wasn’t a prerequisite for receiving shout-outs from the presidents of Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, two key organizations in the Kochs’ political network.

From East to West, AFP president Tim Phillips and Freedom Partners president Marc Short highlighted the Senate campaigns of Virginia’s Ed Gillespie, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy, Minnesota’s Mike McFadden and Oregon’s Monica Wehby, illustrating that two of the Kochs’ top operatives consider all of these candidates to be exemplary of the anti-working class agenda the billionaires are pushing in this fall’s midterm elections. Put simply, all of these candidates are carrying water for the Kochs, AFP and Freedom Partners, or else Phillips and Short wouldn’t have sung their praises to the Kochs’ network of mysterious donors. Phillips told donors at the event that North Carolina’s Tillis offers “the best opportunity” and that McFadden is “a good candidate,” while Wehby is “running a strong campaign” despite being in “a tough blue state.” In extolling the virtues of Gillespie and Cassidy, Phillips and Short noted that Virginia is a “key state for us” and that energy issues (near and dear to Koch Industries’ heart, of course) represent a “key battleground” in Louisiana.

With the Freedom Partners network committing to spend $500 million in this midterm cycle, including AFP’s pledge to pour over $125 million into the election, these new revelations shed light on which candidates the billionaire Koch brothers view as a sound investment. More on Phillips’ and Short’s’ comments lauding key Senate candidates after the jump:

BREAKING: Newly Released Evidence Shows Kochs Back Candidates Who Share Their Extreme, Self-Serving Agenda

August 27, 2014

What do Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner, and Mitch McConnell all have in common? They all share key aspects of the Kochs’ extreme, self-serving, anti-working families agenda.

New reporting tonight by The Nation and Huffington Post on audio from a secretive Koch donor conference – where Ernst, Gardner, Cotton, and McConnell all spoke – demonstrates these candidates’ gratitude for the Kochs’ support, and the extent to which they share the extreme Koch agenda.

Whether opposing an increase in the minimum wage (or opposing a federal minimum wage entirely), supporting efforts that would voucherize Medicare, opposing legislative attempts to remedy pay discrimination, or opposing (even “philosophically”) policies that would directly assist those they seek to serve (e.g., the Farm Bill in Arkansas and Renewable Fuel Standards in Iowa), Koch-backed candidates are putting their Koch-backed agenda first above all else.

Supporting research after the jump.

The Republican Agenda, As Dictated By The Koch Brothers

June 20, 2014

Super-secretive, well-guarded rooms at a Koch brothers’ billionaires retreat–this is where the Republican agenda is being hatched these days.

Last weekend, the Kochs and their wealthiest friends rented out an entire luxury resort complex in Laguna Beach. Because where else are you supposed to hold your brainstorming session on how to best spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy elections?

But as detailed by The Nation, it wasn’t just dark money donors palling around at the conference. Guess who else made an appearance? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, key Senate candidates, Cory Gardner and Tom Cotton, and influential conservative congressman, Jim Jordan.

There is much ado these days about the jockeying for power between the Tea Party and the Republican establishment. But the reality is, in today’s GOP, the Koch brothers are the ones calling the shots.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation