The Koch Brothers Are My Brothers
I simply discovered that the Koch brothers are my brothers.
So if I ever run into Charles (MIT 1957) or David (MIT 1962) at considered one of their common Palm Springs get-togethers for the ultra-conservative wing of the .001 %, I am going to be sure that to present them the key handshake, quietly mutter “Phi Kai Phi” (Beta’s secret slogan, though I can not remember what it means), and sing a number of refrains of one of many fraternity’s drinking songs, “I’m a Grasp Beta.”
I will additionally see if these Beta billionaires can nonetheless recite the official history of the founding of the fraternity whereas holding a lighted match, which I and different Beta pledges had to do throughout hell week. It begins: “At 9 o’clock on the evening of the eighth day of the eighth month of the yr 1839, eight earnest young men, all college students at Miami College, held the first meeting of Beta Theta Pi within the Hall of the outdated Union Chapel at Miami University. The eight founders in the order through which their names seem in the minutes, were….” We then had to recite the complete names of all eight founders, while the match flame was getting nearer and nearer to our fingers.
Beta Theta Pi has a long and illustrious historical past. It one of the oldest and largest fraternities within the country. At its peak it had over 220 chapters in the United States and Canada, but that number has plunged to about eighty one chapters “in good standing” and one other 27 chapters-in-ready referred to as “colonies. Over 190,000 Beta Theta Pi members have been initiated since the fraternity was based and approximately 127,000 of them are nonetheless residing. Wikipedia’s listing of famous Betas is spectacular.
Charles and David Koch, who are every price over $30 billion, are well-known for their zealous right-wing views and donations to conservative causes and politicians. William, who years in the past led an unsuccessful takeover of the family enterprise and is thus worth solely $4 billion, can also be a conservative donor, but would not join forces together with his brothers.
Last 12 months Koch Industries donated $2.2 million to candidates for president, Congress, and Senate, in response to the center for Responsive Politics. However that is just the tip of the iceberg of the Kochs’ warchest. In the 2012 elections, Charles Koch and his wife Elizabeth gave $919,000, and David Koch and wife Julia gave $2.Four million to candidates — none of it to Democrats. Additionally they give massive bucks to Americans for Prosperity, their conservative political petroleum production equipment pdf 2017 motion committee, which makes enormous campaign contributions however which is not required to reveal its donors’ names.
Much to my chagrin, I found that when it comes to politics, the Kochs’ ideology and self-interest trumps their loyalty to their Beta brothers.
Final yr, Beta Senator Bill Nelson (Yale 1965), a Florida Democrat, ran for reelection for a third time period. However Koch Industries gave $33,500 to Nelson’s opponent, Republican Connie Mack. This act of frat-ricide was particularly outrageous as a result of Mack was a member of College of Florida chapter Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a major Beta rival. It was based 17 years after Beta however now is far larger, with 246 lively chapters.
Ok. Perhaps I can understand the Kochs supporting a SAE Republican over a Beta Democrat. But it surely gets even worse. Final 12 months, David Dewhurst (Arizona 1967), Texas’ conservative Lieutenant Governor and an in depth ally of Gov. Rick Perry, was considered a shoo-in to win the GOP nomination for the Senate being vacated by the retiring Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. But Dewhurst lost his get together’s primary to former Solicitor Common Ted Cruz, a favorite of the Tea Social gathering, who went on to vanquish his Democratic opponent. Koch Industries gave Cruz $27,500. Charles Koch and his wife contributed $5,000. The Membership for Growth, a conservative PAC with many overlapping ties to the Koch brothers, gave Cruz over $5 million to help him beat Dewhurst. This Labor Day weekend, Cruz would be the keynote speaker at a convention sponsored by the Koch-funded Individuals for Prosperity.
And this is one other example of the Kochs betraying their Beta brothers. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, who was a Beta at Denison School (1954), served in the Senate for 36 years till he was defeated within the GOP primary final year by Tea Celebration wing-nut Richard Mourdock, who went on to lose to a Democrat. The Koch-funded Freedom Works PAC endorsed Mourdock and Koch Industries contributed $38,500 to his campaign.
My brothers Charles and David Koch are tied petroleum production equipment pdf 2017 for fourth on Forbes’ ranking of the wealthiest Individuals, behind Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison. Right behind the Koch brothers are the Walton siblings, who inherited their fortune from Sam Walton, the founding father of Wal-Mart, who was also a Beta (Missouri 1940).
Their father, Fred C. Koch, based the corporate in 1940 and developed an modern crude oil refining course of. His sons, Charles and David, bought out their brothers Frederick and William in 1983 and diversified their holdings. At the moment Koch Industries is the second-largest non-public company in the United States, with annual revenues of $98 billion in 2011.
Did you ever discover the shut fraternal bonds among the “Sharks” and “Jets” gang members in the musical “West Aspect Story” Maybe that is linked to the truth that composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was a Beta at Williams Faculty (class of 1950).
If the Charles and David Koch ever want together with me to debate Beta lore or politics, I might be blissful to hitch them. Unfortunately, we can’t do it on the Syracuse Beta home, which was shuttered years ago. And apparently the Kochs’ outdated stomping grounds at MIT has come upon onerous occasions. The MIT chapter was disbanded in 2011 but is now a “colony” hoping to make a comeback. This yr the chapter, which is celebrating its a hundred anniversary, had 9 members. Or we might meet for a snack on the Koch Cafe on the MIT campus. My treat.
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