New Report: The Kochs’ Carolina Takeover

October 20, 2016

American Bridge Project is releasing a new report on the Koch brothers’ influence in the Tar Heel state, called, “The Kochs’ Carolina Takeover.”

From the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law to public education and environmental protections, the Kochs and their political cronies, like “third Koch brother” Art Pope, have worked tirelessly to turn North Carolina into their very own “model state.” Using puppets Governor Pat McCrory and Senator Richard Burr, the Kochs manipulated the system to their bottomline’s benefit at the cost of hard working families.

In the last six years, the Kochs have poured nearly half a million dollars into North Carolina state senate and house races in their efforts to protect Koch Industries’ special interests. The Koch company and its subsidaries have several locations in the state making it part of the frontline to defend their profits — no matter what the costs:

Art Pope and the Kochs helped re-segregate […]

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 […]

North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT HB2 Law Is Koch Funded

May 9, 2016

With Governor Pat McCrory and the state of North Carolina set to sue the Obama administration over its opposition to the state’s anti-LGBT HB2 law — and the White House now suing North Carolina — a reminder that Charles and David Koch have supported the bill’s backers to the tune of nearly half-a-million dollars.

That’s right, the Kochs are prolific financial supporters of Governor McCrory and a number of the North Carolina state legislators behind the law that leaves LGBT individual vulnerable to discrimination, jeopardizes “more than $567.5 million in private-sector economic activity,” and could cause North Carolina to lose up to $4.5 billion in federal education funding.

Here’s how the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity has invested in North Carolinian elected officials:

Close to $285,000 on Republican North Carolina legislators in 2010, with “much of [the money]” going to an HB2 co-sponsor as well as to other Republicans who supported the bill.

$130,000 […]

Echoes of Koch: Pat McCrory and NC Disenfranchisement

April 26, 2016

In a clumsy rhetorical defense of North Carolina’s inherently discriminatory voter identification law, Governor Pat McCrory reasoned that since you need photo identification to buy Sudafed, you may as well have one to vote. 

McCrory’s cynical opposition to voter enfranchisement is unsurprisingly shared by the Koch brothers. A Cato Institute senior fellow accused then-attorney general Eric Holder of “playing his racial games” after Holder filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voting laws.

McCrory solidified his bond to the Koch network when he appointed Koch ally and former Americans for Prosperity board member Art Pope as his state budget director. During his tenure as budget director, Pope’s influence extended well beyond budgetary issues; he has been credited for “changing the balance in the state” and was instrumental in instituting barriers to voting in North Carolina.

Pat McCrory’s flippant dismissal of disenfranchisement and voter suppresion in North Carolina will surely […]

New AFP Ad For McCrory Ignores Slashed Education Funding

October 26, 2015

Earlier this year, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory slashed important education funding in order to cut taxes for North Carolina’s wealthiest residents — another step in making North Carolina the Kochs’ “model state.” Now, the Kochs want North Carolinians to say thank you for the budget changes that have been good for millionaires and billionaires like the Kochs but have had devastating effects on students and families around the state.

Koch front group Americans for Prosperity introduced a six-figure, 30-second ad buy yesterday evening. The ad ignores the education funding issues, saying, “People all across North Carolina are smiling a little more.” The only people smiling are the millionaires and billionaires like the Koch brothers who are benefiting from the tax cuts at the expense of public schools.

Read more about the Kochs in North Carolina and McCrory’s terrible tax policies below:

Of Course The Kochs Love The NC […]

The Kochs’ Renewed Assault On North Carolina Renewables

September 10, 2015

In North Carolina, the Kochs’ war on renewables continues.

Charles and David Koch have a long history of doing whatever they can to prevent the expansion and growth of the renewable energy industry — particularly with respect to solar power. Their war against renewables — as with any of their campaigns — comes down to protecting their profit margins.

The Kochs’ anti-renewable presence in North Carolina is nothing new, either — but now they’re ramping it up big time. And on Wednesday, Raleigh’s State Legislative Building was Koch Central.

WRAL-TV reports that the Koch brothers’ American Energy Alliance sponsored a roundtable event in opposition to renewable energy programs. It was a Koch-sponsored event moderated by a former Koch lobbyist, organized by a Koch “legislative champion” state representative who’s also an ALEC member, and featuring a panelist from the Koch-linked Institute for Political Economy.

A quick refresher on why the Kochs aren’t […]

“Third Koch Brother” Launched Flurry Of Political Spending After Leaving Gov’t Job

August 13, 2015

The Kochs’ favorite North Carolinian is back on the dark money scene. Newly released documents show that “third Koch brother” Art Pope waited just 11 days after resigning as Gov. McCrory’s state budget director to start issuing checks again.

According to the Institue for Southern Studies,

During his time as state budget chief, Pope and Variety Wholesalers halted their political spending. Pope stepped down on Sept. 5, 2014, and speculation began as to whether he would resume his political advocacy. It didn’t take long: Only 11 days later, Variety Stores — the wholly owned subsidiary of Variety Wholesalers, where Pope is chairman and CEO — gave $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), the Washington, D.C.-based super PAC that spends millions to help Republican gubernatorial candidates. Last year the governors group spent big and racked up key victories in states including Florida. 

The same day it donated to the RGA, Sept. […]

Kochs Still Preventing 600,000 From Getting Medicaid in North Carolina

June 26, 2015

The Kochs took a hit with the announcement of an Obamacare win in the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision, but don’t expect that to stop them from doing their damnedest to prevent more people from getting covered. In response to the decision, the Kochs’ political strong arm, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has already released a new ad against Obamacare. AFP and the Kochs are also campaigning hard to prevent the expansion of Medicaid around the country. The latest ACA news has brought back that fight into focus, with North Carolina as one of the key decision states.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory already rejected the expansion back in 2013, but now the state has a second chance to help cover its nearly 600,000 uninsured residents. The latest calls for change have been met by AFP-North Carolina with dismissal. In a December post on their website, AFP-North Carolina Director Donald Bryson said that “refusing Medicaid […]

Of Course The Kochs Love The NC Senate’s Devastating Budget Proposal

June 19, 2015

North Carolina’s state Senate recently released a devastating budget proposal that — if passed — will mean dire cuts to education. And the Kochs love it. Earlier this week, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) North Carolina praised the proposal, with its the state director calling it “a responsible plan” and saying the budget reflected “priorities that Americans for Prosperity supports.” So what exactly does the brothers’ political arm consider “priorities?”

According to WRAL, some of the most egregious changes include eliminating more than 8,500 teaching assistant positions, increasing community college tuition, and getting rid of 520 pre-k spots. And because this is the state of broken promises (see: Pat McCrory), there are plenty of shirked campaign commitments mixed in as well, particularly when it comes to the education lottery. 

The Senate also refused to address the state’s low ranking in both per-student funding and teacher salary.

As WRAL reported earlier this year,

The National Education Association […]

The Kochs’ Continued Attack on Renewables in North Carolina

May 19, 2015

The Koch war on renewables continues in their campaign to halt the threats to their behemoth fossil fuel empire. Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ political arm, is lobbying against North Carolina’s House budget proposal, which includes the extension of tax credits for solar and renewable energy projects. Not ones to discriminate in their opposition to different types of renewable energy, Americans for Prosperity is pushing to kill all targeted renewable tax credits.

AFP won’t stop there. In a letter to the House Finance Committee, AFP’s State Director, Donald Bryson, pushed to abolish all renewable tax credits and lower personal and corporate income tax rates to exempt billionaires like the Kochs from paying their fair share.

Despite the Koch efforts to eliminate these successful programs, it’s all too clear that renewable energy credits pay dividends in private investment. According to recent estimates, between 2007 and 2014, $229.8 million in tax credits has resulted in over $2.6 billion […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation