LIBRE Pushes Koch Anti-Government Extremism On Struggling Puerto Rico

June 30, 2016

Today, President Obama will sign PROMESA, a last minute attempt at helping Puerto Rico two days before the territory owes its next debt payment. The legislation is hardly perfect but in the face of default Democrats and Republicans attempted to work together for some solution. Loud opposition to the government assisting Puerto Rico has been a road block to previous legislation. 

The Koch brothers have been some of the most active opponents to helping the territory restructure its debt. Several Koch allies, including donor Ken Griffinhave interests in Puerto Rico and hope to profit off the economic downturn. Leading their efforts is their Latino front group, the LIBRE Initiative. LIBRE claims it advocates for issues that benefit Latino communities; however, they lobby first and foremost for the Kochs’ agenda — meaning they regularly fight for policies that negatively affect Latino communities. LIBRE has joined the Kochs to fight against raising […]

New Report: “¿Cómo se Dice ‘Koch Brothers Front Group’? ANSWER: LIBRE Initiative” by LVP & Bridge Project

April 29, 2016

For Immediate Release
April 29, 2016

Pili Tobar |
Dawn Le |


Latino Victory Project and Bridge Project
Release Report
“¿Cómo se Dice ‘Koch Brothers Front Group’?
ANSWER: LIBRE Initiative”
New Report Reveals How The Kochs Mislead Latinos to Pad Their Bottom LineWashington, DC – Today, Latino Victory Project and Bridge Project released the report “¿Cómo se Dice Koch Brothers Front Group? ANSWER:LIBRE Initiative.”  The report gives an overview of the billionaires’ “Latino” organization, and their deceiving tactics to rally Latinos to advance the Koch brothers’ financial interests–at the expense of Latino families and communities.


“We know the Koch brothers are no friends of the Latino community. Our families won’t be fooled by LIBRE Initiative’s tactics,” said Pili Tobar, Communications Director of Latino Victory Project. “They’re giving away free turkeys and offering English classes–and that’s nice–but it’s not going to convince any Latino voters to change their votes for politicians who want to line the […]

Paul Ryan Sides With Kochs Over 3.5 Million Puerto Ricans

April 28, 2016

Puerto Ricans thought they could count on Speaker Paul Ryan to help restructure the island’s debt crisis since he committed to a self-imposed March 31, 2016 deadline to produce a plan. But it looks like Ryan was deterred from his mark.

Could it be the recent influx of $600,000 from Charles and Elizabeth Koch to the Speaker’s “Team Ryan” leadership PAC that swayed Ryan’s resolve to help Puerto Ricans avoid an economic collapse, choosing instead to protect the pocketbooks of billionaire bondholders?

As the clock ticks down to the next payment deadline on Monday, May 2, Puerto Rico is likely to default on its $422 million debt payment installment. Paul Ryan appears to be fine letting that happen, which would lead to more school closures and public services cut.

Check out Bridge Project’s recent report, “The Kochs’ Wealth vs The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico” that gives an overview of the Koch network’s role in the […]

Main Street Bondholders’ Puerto Rico Campaign Was Manufactured By The Kochs

February 24, 2016

On Monday, CNN Money profiled Puerto Rico bondholders to “put a face on the crisis.” The nine people featured told stories about losing their hard earned money due to the debt crisis in the territory. Undisclosed in the article is that four out of the five profiles were members of the Main Street Bondholders, a project of the Koch-front group 60 Plus.

According to The New York Times,

The group cast the victims of a bankruptcy as ordinary Puerto Ricans and retirees who owned government-issued bonds. In November, 60 Plus recruited a group of these individuals, calling them ‘Main Street Bondholders,’ for a news conference in San Juan.

Exactly who the group was speaking for was unclear. Puerto Ricans own less than a fifth of the island’s debt, according to government officials. And while 60 Plus claims to represent millions of seniors, most of the group’s revenue comes from a few large, […]

Kochs’ Latino Front Group Defends Koch/Hedge Fund Interests In Puerto Rico

January 7, 2016

This week, the Kochs’ Latino front group, the LIBRE Initiative, became the latest Koch affiliate to step up and defend the Koch network’s interest in blocking fair access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy protections for Puerto Rico. 

In a statement, Daniel Garza, the head of the Kochs’ Latino front group, toed the Koch line on Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico’s financial crisis is largely due to a combination of cronyism, reckless government spending, and harmful federal policies. Any quick fix, including federal bailouts, will not solve the underlying problem. It needs to be addressed at the root, starting with the Puerto Rican government making tough choices – even at the risk of political repercussions.

Various options have been set forth to address the crisis, and Congress must consider this question carefully – including moral hazard and the precedent that may be set. The U.S. territory can rise above its financial crisis, but it will come […]

On Puerto Rico, The GOP’s Livin’ La Vida Koch-A

December 2, 2015

Ricky Martin’s in Orlando today, drawing attention to the GOP agenda that hurts his fellow Puerto Ricans, as well as Latinos in Florida and across the country. That GOP agenda is one and same with Charles and David Koch’s selfish agenda — a reality that’s no more evident this week than in the singer’s home island of Puerto Rico, just over 1,100 miles to the southeast of Martin’s Orlando event.

Tuesday’s initial debt deadline required Puerto Rico to make a payment of $354 million, or face a default — all thanks to heavy lobbying by the billionaire Koch brothers and a Republican Congress eager to do their bidding.

How did we get here? The Kochs have been using several organizations, including Main Street Bondholders, a “concerned retirees” front group — yes, seriously — to get congressional Republicans to block the passage of legislation that would allow Puerto Rico to access Chapter 9 […]

Top Puerto Rico Political Commentator Blasts Rubio For Siding With The Kochs Over Puerto Rico

September 8, 2015

On Friday, just hours before he campaigned in Puerto Rico, Marco Rubio sided with the billionaire Koch brothers in opposing the fair treatment of Puerto Rico under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.

Now, Rubio is facing criticism from one of Puerto Rico’s most influential political commentators, Jay Fonseca. In a Facebook post, Fonseca blasts Rubio (translated by Bridge Project):

“I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself in my island, and that you had fun with the money you received only so you could later tell us that you don’t believe in lending a hand to your Latino brothers who live here. This senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, came to Puerto Rico as part of his bid for the U.S. presidency as the Republican nominee. The most hilarious part is, the guy came to the island without previously announcing his position on helping PR file for Chapter 9 protections under the federal bankruptcy code. And […]

Marco Rubio Embraces The Koch Brothers’ Puerto Rican Priorities

September 4, 2015

Today, just hours before he headed to Puerto Rico, Marco Rubio sided with the billionaire Koch brothers in opposing the fair treatment of Puerto Rico under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.

For months, the Kochs have been using their network affiliated groups — 60 Plus, American Future Fund, Cato, and others —  to run a full court press lobbying campaign against access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection for Puerto Rico.

On the surface, the Koch network’s deep involvement in Puerto Rico’s financial crisis looks random and strange — but when you follow the money, no surprise, it centers on the Koch network’s bottom line.

In a recent report, “The Kochs’ Wealth Versus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,” Bridge Project exposed the Koch connection: Supporters of Charles and David Koch’s network stand to lose a lot of money should Puerto Rico be allowed to access Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It’s pure self-interest, not libertarian idealism.

A new, updated version of the […]

The Koch Brothers’ Puerto Rican Priorities

August 14, 2015

From the start, there was something suspect about the anti-Puerto Rican bailout lobbying campaign being championed by Koch network-affiliated front groups. 

If you follow the money however, it all clears up pretty quickly.

In its report last month, “The Kochs’ Wealth Versus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,” Bridge Project exposed the Koch connection: Supporters of Charles and David Koch’s network stand to lose a lot of money should Puerto Rico be allowed to access Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It’s pure self-interest, not libertarian idealism.

Now, The Bond Buyer reports that lobbying spending on the House of Representatives’ Puerto Rico bankruptcy bill doubled to $490,000 in the second quarter.

And the Koch brothers aren’t sitting this one out — they’re running a full court press. According to The Bond Buyer’s Jack Casey:

[T]he National Taxpayers Union, the Center for Individual Freedom and 60 Plus, a senior’s advocacy group with connections to the Koch brothers, also spent money opposing the bill, but it is hard to know […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation