The Koch Brothers’ Reign Of Terror: How Their Nice Wealth Is Shopping for Our Government
It looks as if each e-mail I receive these days from a Democratic Senate candidate or Senator up for re-election this cycle includes a warning that the notorious Koch brothers will do something, no matter the cost, to take over the US Senate – and with it, our country. Their concern is just not with out merit, for if we let the lunatics take over the Senate – as they have already got within the Tea us energy information administration oil prices Occasion-managed House – all will actually be lost. A change of solely six Democratic Senate seats to Republicans would make that gruesome actuality come true, and would encourage the Kochs and their ilk to interact in additional mayhem within the 2016 election in order to elect a Conservative as President.
Millions of dollars are flooding into Senate races across the country from the Kochs and different wealthy right-wingers in order to affect these elections and proceed to carry our nation hostage. On the plus aspect, many of these Democratic campaigns are additionally elevating more money than expected, and a number of other are even beginning to move ahead of their Republican opponents in the polls. One sterling instance is Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is difficult “Senator Gridlock” Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and is now polling at 49% to McConnell’s 46%, in keeping with an e-mail I acquired lately from Emily’s List. Bill Clinton has simply introduced a second trip to Kentucky in two weeks to marketing campaign with Alison, so clearly the Dems see a winner here. This is on monitor to turn out to be the most costly Senate race ever, as Mitch’s billionaire buddies are dumping huge quantities of money into Kentucky to pay us energy information administration oil prices for ads smearing Mrs. Grimes. Even so, she has still managed to lead McConnell in fundraising in two of the final three quarters.
Different key Democratic Senate races are also raking in money, meeting and even surpassing their monthly marketing campaign finance targets. They’re doing it primarily with small donations from 1000’s of grassroots supporters, enabling them to get their message out and combat the Republican and Conservative PAC-funded attacks being waged against them of their states. The key players in lots of of those assaults are the Koch brothers – Charles and David – who’ve now obtained single-title celeb status within the nationwide political panorama. We all know they are multi-billionaires – certainly, they’re tied for sixth among the richest folks on this planet – and that Koch Industries is the second largest privately held firm in the US. But what more do we actually learn about them, their wealth and the extent of their political activities And simply how have they each acquired their respective $forty+ billion in net price
It’s, quite frankly, astonishing to me that they have time to maintain constructing their company empire, since a lot of their power and time goes into shopping for influence and affecting coverage in DC and beyond. In this election 12 months alone, they’ve committed to spending upwards of $290 million to install their lackeys in public office across the nation, and their slash-and-burn campaigns in opposition to Democrats are spreading and intensifying as the times dwindle before the 2014 election.
But the Kochs aren’t just an election year phenomena, as they also provide hefty funding to proper-wing assume tanks just like the Cato Institute and The Heritage Basis, as well as their very own “social welfare” organizations like Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners and American Encore. They’re additionally huge players and funders of the suitable-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (“ALEC”), which simply had its annual meeting on July thirtieth in Dallas. Its agenda there, based on Rebecca Wilce in PR Watch, was to think about laws that will, amongst other issues, severely limit entry to Medicaid, increase charter faculties, develop US exports of “natural” gasoline obtained by way of fracking – as well as making it simpler to frack – and undermine the EPA’s Clear Air and Clean Water Regulations. ALEC has additionally been having a profound impact in a number of states nationwide, creating so-called “enterprise-pleasant” insurance policies that destroy employees’ rights and throttle unions.
Another angle being performed by the Kochs is through the donations they are spreading around to quite a few universities throughout the country, primarily in an effort to unfold the Conservative message amongst our younger individuals by “enterprise” courses that tout their free market ideology and advocate for such issues as decrease taxes for the wealthy, vouchers for Medicare and cutting our other safety nets like Social Safety and Medicaid – all in the identify of what they view as good enterprise practices and, certainly, their desired objective of a severely decreased function for our authorities in regulating company America.
And, leaving no stone unturned, the Kochs also fund cultural centers like New York Metropolis’s Lincoln Center and Metropolitan Museum of Artwork, as well as serving as board members of PBS in each New York and Boston, the place they have contributed funding to PBS applications like Nova. It should also be noted that their cash and clout likely helped keep an unflattering documentary about them from being aired on PBS.
Lee Fang, writing within the Nation on March seventh, noted that the Kochs spent twice as a lot in the 2012 elections as the top ten unions mixed, with unions spending a total of $153,473,251, while the Kochs’ contributions amounted to a whopping $412,670.666 – $four.9 million by means of their PAC’s, and roughly $407 million via undisclosed “darkish money” contributions. Fang goes on to chronicle the Kochs’ contributions to the GOP since 1995-96, much of it by means of their shell firm, Triad Administration, which, as a company entity, was not required to report its donations, whereas unions – which are extremely regulated by the FEC and Labor Department – must report all of theirs. Are there any clearer causes for amending the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s terrible Citizens United and McCutcheon selections, and remove particular interest cash from our politics and go to public funding of campaigns
So simply what are the sources of this great wealth the Kochs use to fund their nefarious deeds Koch-owned companies are situated in roughly sixty nations and have greater than one hundred,000 employees, with about 60,000 of them in the US. Some of their products embrace transportation fuels, constructing and consumer products, digital connectors, fibers, fertilizers, and pollution filtration and control gear. They’re also large in oil refining, with large holdings in Texas particularly, where the newly opened leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is surely already bringing more hundreds of thousands to their coffers.
Some other key holdings of the Kochs include:
Flint Hills Assets – By its subsidiaries, Flint Hills operates refineries in Minnesota and Texas, with a combined crude oil processing capability of greater than 600,000 barrels per day. The corporate also produces and markets petrochemicals, ethanol, biodiesel and asphalt, and owns a 50% interest in a lubricant base oil facility in Louisiana.
Georgia-Pacific – Based in Atlanta, GP and its subsidiaries are among the many main manufacturers of client products, packaging, paper, cellulose and chemicals. They are also a number one supplier of do-it-your self warehouse retailers like House Depot with their huge variety of constructing products. Some of their familiar identify manufacturers in paper merchandise are Brawny Paper Towels, Quilted Northern and Tender and Gentle bathroom paper, and Vanity Honest paper napkins.
Invista – This firm and its subsidiaries are among the many world’s largest integrated producers of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers. Their applied sciences for creating mylar, spandex and polyester are used to supply clothing, carpets and many different everyday products.
Molex – Based mostly in Lisle, Illinois, Molex is a global producer of electronic, electrical and fiber interconnection methods. steam, heat conduction oil jacket heating reaction kettle It provides about 100,000 merchandise to numerous markets, together with cell units, info-tech, consumer electronics, automotive, telecommunications, industrial, medical, military and aerospace. The company operates forty five us energy information administration oil prices manufacturing locations in 17 countries.
Koch Pipeline Company, L.P. – Koch Pipeline owns or operates greater than 4,000 miles of pipeline that transports crude oil, refined petroleum products, ethanol, pure gasoline liquids and chemicals. They even have 4 different companies and quite a few other subsidiaries that market and distribute 13 million tons of fertilizer products yearly.
Koch Chemical Expertise Group – That is a group of Koch corporations that specialize in manufacturing pollution management equipment, little question to fight the messes they create with their worldwide activities in extracting fossil fuels via conventional drilling and fracking – hey, if you recognize you are going to make an issue, it makes sense to have an answer available on the market, too, no
The Matador Cattle Firm – This corporation operates three huge ranches in Montana, Texas and Kansas, with a complete of 440,000 acres and 12,000 head of cattle on their books.
These companies and the Kochs’ other holdings herald an annual revenue of round $one hundred fifteen billion – which sounds low to me, frankly. And one has to marvel how much they’re paying in taxes, what with all of the breaks they surely get in this enterprise pleasant tax local weather
With so much money tied up within the fossil gas enterprise, it makes sense that the Kochs are additionally the biggest financiers of local weather science denial. In keeping with Polluter Watch, Koch Industries has spent millions paying lobbyists to fight local weather and vitality legislation, and have labored along with ALEC’s Vitality and Atmosphere Job Drive to distribute anti-environmental bills across the county that delay policy solutions to local weather change and forestall the EPA from regulating coal pollution and different soiled gas industries. In 2013, the Kochs had been even inducted into Corporate Accountability International’s Corporate Hall of Disgrace for spending $50 million to fund climate change denial and influencing the Supreme Courtroom resolution to allow unlimited company dollars to movement into federal elections.
A constructive note here is that the world is beginning to see the Kochs for who they actually are and reject their tarnished brand, making them amongst essentially the most hated males on the planet – which they’re destroying, by the best way, with their fossil gas products that we proceed to buy, in flip giving them the resources to proceed to buy off our elected officials. As if in the Kochs’ honor, on September 21st in New York Metropolis, the People’s Local weather March will carry 1000’s out for the biggest public motion to this point on this issue in our country. This march will happen at the identical time that world leaders are coming to the UN for a summit on the local weather disaster. UN Secretary Common Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to help an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming-inflicting pollution. We might be watching this historic gathering and can eagerly anticipate the actual options it delivers for a greater, healthier and more simply world. The Individuals get it, and are mobilizing on many fronts to fight the lies and destructive actions of the Kochs and their right-wing allies. Our time has come.
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