This week, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a Koch-backed entity purporting to represent the interests of small business owners, released radio and television ads in support of Arkansas’s Tom Cotton. Though the ads feature earnest-sounding proprietors of Arkansas small businesses, the spots actually represent just another favor in the mutually-beneficial relationship between Tom Cotton and the Koch brothers.
Last year, Tom Cotton’s vote against the Farm Bill turned heads, as he was the only member of the state’s delegation to vote against the bill and especially because the agricultural industry is critically important to Arkansas. Recently, new audio recordings revealed that when considering the Farm Bill, Cotton may have prioritized a constituency of two over his actual constituency. Recordings released earlier this month reveal that Cotton’s no vote on the Farm Bill received thunderous applause from Koch supporters during the Koch network’s secretive donor summit earlier this year. The Kochs’ political arm, Americans for Prosperity, opposed the Farm Bill. Cotton also toed the Koch line on the Paycheck Fairness Act, voting against consideration of the bill, which Koch Industries also lobbied against.
Having proven himself quite willing to put the Kochs’ anti-working class agenda ahead of the Arkansans he represents, Cotton is now reaping the benefits, in the form of NFIB’s support in his race for Senate. While the organization masquerades as an advocate for small businesses, in 2012 the NFIB received more of its funding from Freedom Partners — AKA the Kochs’ “secret bank” — than any other source.
Just like Tom Cotton claims to represent Arkansans, but then votes in favor the Kochs’ extreme agenda, the NFIB talks out of both sides of its mouth, claiming to represent small businesses while also clamoring for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, like the billionaire Koch brothers.