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.

The Kochs aren’t just trying to buy the presidency and seats in Congress. Sometimes they pour their money into tiny little pet projects. Or, in this case, an anti-pet project…

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio receives about 15% of its funding from local taxpayers. According to Jim Maddy, the CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, that’s true of about half of the zoos in North America because “there’s a clear understanding that zoos are educational, and they’re cultural institutions.”

People like zoos. That’s why, as the Columbus Dispatch says, “past zoo levies have sailed to victory” in Ohio. So why did the proposal for a tiny levy increase to continue funding the Columbus Zoo get voted down in Franklin County?

Maybe because the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity poured over […]

Score another victory for the Kochs in their self-serving campaign to protect oil profits at all costs.

Ohio’s burgeoning renewable energy industry was dealt a major blow yesterday as the Cleveland Dispatch announced that Governor Kasich would sign the AFP-backed bill to freeze energy efficiency incentives.

The standards were working. And that’s why AFP helped kill them–to stave off threats to big oil companies like Koch Industries.

Read more on the Koch’s self-serving war on renewable energy.

The Kochs have found a new frontier for their crusade against renewable energy: Ohio. Throughout their careers, the Koch brothers have fought against standards that would stand to lessen their massive oil profits. Now, their political arm, Americans for Prosperity, is trying to halt renewable energy standards in Ohio.

Bloomberg reports that companies like Honda Motor Co. have said the standards are working, and that, according to a research scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, “the estimated burden of meeting the mandates in 2010, 2011 and 2012 was less than 1 percent of the customer’s bill each year.” Moreover, freezing these standards would bring Ohio’s booming renewable industry to a screeching halt, potentially sending billions in planned projects to other states.

The Kochs’ AFP has already tried the same stunt in their home state of Kansas, where they and their allies spent over $300,000 trying to repeal renewable energy standards to no avail. And AFP-Iowa has railed against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). For the Kochs, these are just a few more small investments in bulking up their own pockets.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation