REPORT The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State

May 15, 2015

Bridge Project is continuing the “Month’s Supply of Koch” with the release of the latest report:“The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why the Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying in the Hawkeye State.” It’s a comprehensive look at the impact of the Kochs’ operations in Iowa. In their quest to grow their empire, the early primary state has been a central focus for the brothers’ political maneuvering.

The Koch brothers’ priorities couldn’t be more out-of-step with Hawkeye State values. Perhaps the best example of the Kochs’ self-interest is their opposition to the renewable fuel standard and biodiesel fuel standards – a boon to Iowa’s economy – to protect their own oil profits. In fact, since 2006, Koch companies have lobbied on at least 37 bills in Iowa related to ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels — despite overwhelming support of biodiesel by Iowans. The Kochs aren’t just hitting Iowa’s farmers […]

Kochs Sow Chaos In States to Protect Their Puppet Senators

May 17, 2016

In states across the country, the Koch brothers invest heavily in lobbying to assert their influence on policy agenda and electing their cadre of Koch-aligned politicians. Along with that, they fund a network of front groups who do their bidding–all to serve their bottom line: their corporate profits.

The foundation they’ve laid in each state has propped up puppet politicians in Congress. Despite any talk of the brothers pulling back their holdin US politics–the Kochs will continue to protect the senators they’ve helped to put in place. Already, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, and Joe Heck have all benefited from millions of dollars in attack ads against their opponents. And they’re previewing how they’re going to help the former Club for Growth president, Pat Toomey too.

The damage the Kochs have done in states already help them […]

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 […]

RFS: Good For Iowa, Bad For The Kochs, Who Will The GOP Side With?

August 26, 2015

One of the best examples of the Koch brothers’ self-interest is their longstanding, heavily-funded opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard. While the RFS is good for Iowa’s economy and the environment, the Kochs oppose it because it threatens their own oil profits.

Today, as Hillary Clinton announces her support for strengthening the RFS, will Republicans do what’s right for Iowa and support the RFS or will they listen to the Kochs in hopes they get a piece of the $900 million the brothers are planning to spend on this election?

Earlier this year, Bridge Project’s report, “The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State,” outlined just how far the Kochs have gone to end the RFS — despite overwhelming support from Iowans.

From the report:


Koch Lobbyists Opposed Iowa Bill To […]

Koch-Crony Joni hires Koch-Crony Lisa Goeas as her chief of staff

December 17, 2014

Question of the day: How many Koch-Cronies can you fit into one U.S. Senate office?

Answer: At least two (for now).

On Tuesday, incoming U.S. senator and Koch-Crony Joni Ernst hired Lisa Goeas, the vice president for political and grassroots operations at Koch-backed NFIB, to be her chief of staff.

NFIB stands for the National Federation of Independent Businesses and claims to represent America’s small businesses, but in reality, it’s about anything but small businesses. Regular readers of Real Koch Facts know that NFIB is Just another Koch-backed group working to push its anti-working family agenda like pushing for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Here’s how it works: The Kochs fund a group that claims to support small businesses. The group endorses Koch candidates. The candidates then claim they’re endorsed by the small business community, and if they win election, they push Koch-friendly legislation through and hurt working […]

Closing Argument: Kochs Fight To Save Candidate Cronies In Critical Election

October 30, 2014

The midterms are around the corner and the Koch brothers and their vast political network have gone to unprecedented lengths to elect extreme Tea Party candidates who support their self-serving agenda. The Kochs have bought and paid for these candidates (both senate and gubernatorial), and are clearly hoping for an Election night wave to secure support for their anti-working families agenda.

Unparalleled Spending

The billionaire brothers began their dirty campaign early this cycle. By January of 2014, the Kochs’ chief political arm, Americans For Prosperity (AFP), had already poured $22 million in dark money into TV ads smearing Democratic senators up for reelection. AFP did not stop there. They have continued to spend so heavily on television ads, which range from misleading to patently false, that AFP has accounted for one out of every sixteen Senate ads this cycle as of August 2014.

But Americans For Prosperity’s spending is just one cog […]

Closing Argument: Koch Crony Joni Ernst Owes Everything To The Kochs

October 30, 2014

Joni Ernst and the Kochs share so many of the same views, it’s sometimes tough to tell them them apart. Ernst has been such a strong ally for the secretive billionaire brothers that they personally maxed out in contributions to Ernst’s campaign. Joni Ernst is a Koch crony through and through, and a vote for her on November 4th is a vote for electing one of the fiercest defenders of the Kochs’ self-serving, anti-middle class agenda to the U.S. Senate.

On issue after issue after issue, it’s hard to find any air between Ernst’s positions and those of her billionaire oil baron benefactors. Renewable Fuel Standard? Ernst is “philosophically” opposed and her “perfect world” does not allow for it; the Kochs’ political arm Americans For Prosperity opposes RFS. Clean Water Act? Joni Erst opposes it and the heavy polluting Kochs do too. The Farm Bill is another – Ernst says she would have voted […]

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) desperately wants you to believe it has the interests of small business owners at heart, as do the eleven GOP Senate candidates the group has endorsed in this fall’s midterm elections. In reality, the group’s biggest patrons are the oil baron Koch brothers and it is firmly in favor of tax cuts that would benefit the wealthy substantially while benefiting the vast majority of small business owners not at all.

NFIB has been issuing endorsements throughout the midterm cycle on behalf of extreme Conservative candidates like Joni Ernst and Terri Lynn Land. The most recent Senate candidate to receive the NFIB’s endorsement is none other than Koch bro Scott Brown, who in 2011 gushed to David Koch that  “your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again.” Not […]

The Koch brothers and their allies have pledged to spend a massive sum of money to influence this year’s midterm elections, at least $500 million, which is why their true, self-serving political motivations merit close scrutiny. After all, their exorbitant political spending is this blog’s entire raison d’être. It turns out it’s also the GOP’s, according to a report from Charlie Cook.

In his discussion of key Senate races this fall, Cook notes that some Republicans’ fundraising and spending efforts are being outpaced by their Democratic counterparts. Yet, political realities don’t necessarily reflect these disparities, precisely because of the Kochs’ exorbitant spending. According to Cook, “GOP strategists have privately said that if it were not for spending by organizations affiliated with the Koch brothers, they might well be in really bad shape.” Out of the mouths of babes!

It’s not just that the Kochs’ largesse is merely backstopping Republicans’ fundraising […]

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:

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation