Three Questions for the Kochs as they “Defend the American Dream”

August 29, 2014

This weekend, capping off an interesting week for the Koch brothers, their chief political arm, Americans For Prosperity is hosting their so-called “Defending the American Dream Summit.” This is their public-facing summit, not to be confused with the highly secretive meeting of billionaires that dominated this week’s political conversation, after new audio surfaced from the event.

Those newly released recordings further exposed the degree to which the billionaire brothers have taken the reins of the Republican Party. One key Senate candidate after the next extolled the Kochs and their increasingly powerful network, expressing gratitude for their support and reaffirming their devotion to the extreme agenda they champion. On top of that, the executive director of the Republican Governors’ Association lauded AFP as their strongest partner.

The more we learn about the Koch brothers’ shadowy operation, the more we see how central they’ve become to the GOP. In fact, Washington Post […]

Koch-Backed TX AG Wants To Stop Climate Change Investigation Because The Kochs

May 17, 2016

When he’s not busy being charged with federal securities fraud or state securities fraud, Texas AG Ken Paxton likes to spend his time shilling for the Koch brothers. This week, he joined in the Kochs never ending fight against climate change activism. According to Reuters, “Paxton asked a state judge on Monday to block U.S. Virgin Islands officials from subpoenaing 40 years of internal climate change documents from Exxon Mobil Corp, saying the probe is ‘a fishing expedition of the worst kind.’”

Big oil and the Kochs go hand in hand and there’s no doubt that the brothers would look kindly on Paxton’s decision. For years they’ve attempted to skew the public’s conception by pushing anti-climate change propaganda. Preventing the U.S. Virgin Islands from revealing the truth, perhaps that Exxon and even the Kochs have “misled investors and the public about the risks of climate change” is the best interest […]

Kochs (Yet Again) Caught Placing A Generic, Misleading Op-ed

March 2, 2016

Not for the first time, the Kochs just got caught placing the same misleading and formulaic op-ed in multiple papers, across multiple states.

A formulaic opinion column, (most commonly titled) “[X state] Should Put Carbon Regulation On Ice,” by American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle has appeared in 10 outlets across 7 states over the last week-and-a-half. The Kochs opted for 35+ states last time this happened, but they’re being understandably cautious after getting caught and called out.

American Energy Alliance’s Koch connection comes in the form of a whopping $5 million that Koch front groups sent the organization between 2010 and 2014. But that’s not all: Thomas Pyle, the group’s president and op-ed’s author, is also a former lobbyist for Koch Industries.

It isn’t surprising that the Kochs are trying to impose their selfish policy agenda at the state level. That’s what they do with ALEC and their policy campaigns executed through Americans For Prosperity and […]

A Boost for the Texas economy? Not at the expense of the Koch brothers

June 8, 2015

Texas lieutenant governor and redder than red Tea Partier Dan Patrick called for it. Texas Republican-establishment favorite and state House Speaker Joe Strauss pushed it. Democratic state Senator Carlos Uresti introduced it. Even environmentalists and pipeline companies were agreeing on it. So what stopped the bipartisan energy policy that would have boosted the Texas economy by increasing the demand for natural gas? None other than Koch Industries.

According to the Texas Tribune, the bills in question “would have incentivized state agencies, counties and cities to convert their oil-guzzling fleets to those that run on natural gas or other alternative fuels” as well as updated the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan to increase its efficiency.

By increasing the demand for natural gas, the policy “would have been a shot in the arm for the economy, and it would have continued to build on the infrastructure,” Uresti told the Texas Tribune. But the […]

Promoting the Koch Agenda at the Expense of Hispanics

April 7, 2015

The Koch-funded LIBRE Initiative claims their mission is to advance liberty and freedom in the Hispanic community. The group is actually a shameless ploy to make inroads with a fast growing constituency in advance of the 2016 elections.

Just yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Center for Shared Services, a recruiting arm for Koch-backed organizations, posted openings for LIBRE Initiative jobs in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado, and Virginia – states with that also happen to be heavily contested in the 2016 elections.

According to Conservative Transparency, Freedom Partners, the Koch money machine, donated $3.3 million in 2013. In addition, LIBRE has received large donations from other Koch-related groups.

While LIBRE wants you to think that they are empowering Hispanics, they are actually promoting the Koch agenda at the expense of Hispanics by campaigning for policies that would hurt the community. As UCLA political […]

We’ve previously reported on the Kochs’ attempts to indoctrinate America’s children with their anti-government, anti-science educational curriculum, and their latest attempt is just as outrageous.

The battle over public school textbooks in Texas has been in the news for months because of several controversial and factually inaccurate details included in the proposed textbooks. Early versions were riddled with errors, and some even went as far as lying to students about the science behind and causes of climate change. And where did this pseudo-science come from?

If you guessed the Koch brothers, you win!

The Koch-funded Heartland Institute, a self-described “nonprofit research organization,” is in reality a conservative advocacy group known to deny the human causes of climate change (just like the Koch brothers!).

In one passage submitted by Heartland, which was written by its non-scientist employees, students:

are told that scientists “do not agree on what is causing the [climate] change;”
are told […]

The past two weeks have seen Rick Perry skip the formal reading of his felony charges to do an event with the Kochs’ AFP in New Hampshire, then explain that he was being indicted for bribery (he’s not, shouldn’t have skipped that arraignment), then return to Dallas for AFP’s “Defending the American Dream Summit.”

At the end of this Tour-de-Koch, the gaffe-prone governor sat down with Ed Morrissey of the conservative blog Hot Air, and further revealed the extent to which Republicans revere the Kochs and court their political support — they even brag about it, apparently.

Perry opens the interview joking about how Rick Scott is always trying to one-up him, saying “Rick Scott always tries to one-up me, so you know, he was the first to call me and say ‘hey, we got Americans for Prosperity, what’d you get?’”

This was in reference to the previous year’s summit, which […]

Americans for Prosperity wants to keep the GOP on Cruz control

August 22, 2014

After he shut down the government last year, and derailed House Republicans’ attempt to pass a bill in response to the Mexico border crisis this summer, it’s evident that Senator Ted Cruz is responsible for pushing the GOP even further to the far right. His extreme-Conservative-or-nothing approach to governing is now driving the Republican agenda on critical issues like health care and immigration reform.

Just ask the Koch brothers’ political arm, Americans for Prosperity, who are so convinced of Cruz’s leadership that they’re hosting him twice this month. Tonight, Senator Cruz will be joining a phone “chat” with AFP’s president Tim Phillips, where “grassroots activists” can learn how they, too, can help grind the work of government to a halt. Later this month, Cruz is the headliner for an AFP summit that promises attendees the opportunity to hear from lawmakers “leading the charge against big government.”

In addition to giving Senator Cruz […]

Rick Perry was due to appear in court in Texas today for the formal reading of his two felony charges after being indicted for an abuse of power. But Perry thought to himself, why waste time at my arraignment in Travis County when I could be flying to New Hampshire to appear at an event with the Koch brothers’ Americans For Prosperity? 

That anyone could think Rick Perry might be able rehabilitate his image to the point of being a viable presidential candidate in 2016 is stupefying. Perry’s 2012 campaign went down in flames, and since then, he’s compared homosexuality to alcoholism and been indicted on multiple felony charges. But clearly Perry is still eying that impossible comeback, because YOLO.

Why else would Perry, the governor of Texas, be flying to New Hampshire to stump with Koch cronies about the state’s business tax rate? The trip highlights Rick Perry’s Tea Party priorities, for sure. But worse, it’s yet another indicator […]

Kochs create “shadow GOP’ to sway Hispanic voters while supporting GOP candidates who oppose immigration reform

August 12, 2014

The Koch brothers have succeeded in taking over the Republican Party, but they’ve found a gaping hole in their plan to take over the country: Republicans’ across-the-board lack of credibility with Hispanic voters. The Kochs know that if they don’t do something, the hundreds of millions of dollars they’ve invested in their candidates could be wasted.

So, as the AP recently reported, they’ve quietly started investing in grassroots efforts to provide Spanish speakers with English classes, health checkups, and courses to help them earn high school diplomas. They’ve invested millions to create the LIBRE Initiative, a grassroots organization that performs outreach across the southwest in places where “conservative organizations don’t typically go.”

But don’t let their generosity fool you – that money comes with strings attached. Their classes on immigration law have a conservative bent, and the food they hand out in communities across the southwest come with bilingual pamphlets in them […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation