David Koch

During Secret Retreat With Billionaires, Koch Lobbyist Admits Tea Party Group ‘Designed’ To Elect Republicans In 2010

Rachel Maddow dissected the Koch brothers’ relationship to the Tea Party over a year ago…so this is nothing new.  It’s simply inadvertently out in the open.

Think Progress

This morning, blogger Brad Friedman, writing in Mother Jones and BradBlog, revealed a set of audio tapes from the last major donor meeting convened by the billionaire Koch brothers. There are a number of startling revelations from the scoop — but the opening remarks from Kevin Gentry, a Koch Industries executive at the firm’s DC lobbying office, blow the cover off the many Tea Party efforts underwritten by the billionaires in the Koch network of donors.

Gentry, who doubles as the official responsible for doling out Koch charitable grants, admits privately what ThinkProgress and others have noted for years: Americans for Prosperity, the front group founded by David Koch, orchestrates Tea Party events simply to elect more Republicans. Gentry said he met with Fred Young, a Wisconsin owner of engine manufacturing plants, at an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) event “designed to help in the Congressional races” during one of their “get out the vote tours”:

KEVIN GENTRY: I’m going to turn it over to a dear friend, Fred Young, for the purposes of an introduction. Fred is a long-time fighter, freedom fighter, in this movement, from Racine, Wisconsin. Former owner of Young Radiator. As part of our efforts last year, in 2010, I was on the road for [TN?] in Wisconsin, here at one of Americans for Prosperity’s last minute kind of get out the vote tours. And I went to an event in Racine, Wisconsin, and met up with Fred. It was sort of a Tea Party AFP event designed to help in the Congressional races. And Fred was kind enough to lend me a sweatshirt because I wasn’t actually prepared for Racine, Wisconsin in November. So Fred, let’s take it away, please.

Too many in the media ignored the Koch network’s transparently partisan agenda last year. A few outlets, like the Washington Post, took the group to task for spending $45 million in attack ads against Democrats using an unaccountable, secret money wing of Americans for Prosperity. However, most failed to report on the millions more spent on four different bus tours designed to promote Republicans. These rallies, which required great resources in terms of staff and logistics, were never reported to the Federal Elections Committee as campaign spending, thus evading the few watchdog groups and reporters interested in serious election coverage.

As ThinkProgress revealed last year, in documents outlining the June, 2010 donor meeting, billionaires like Paul Singer, Ken Griffin, Rich DeVos, and John Childs are regular attendees of these events, which solicit multi-million donations for an elaborate array of right-wing front groups, from Tea Party organizers like Americans for Prosperity to stealth advertising campaigns like “Public Notice.” Unfortunately, many still report on Tea Party groups like Americans for Prosperity as bonafide grassroots organizations.

Related articles

Americans For Prosperity Accused Of Voter Suppression In Wisconsin Recall Elections

In my opinion, voter suppression is an insult to every American who believes the Constitution has set guidelines to avert such activities.  Once again the GOP usurps the same Constitution they claim to “love”.

Huffington Post

Patch.com reported that Charles Shultz, a Democrat who lives in the 10th Senate District, received an absentee ballot application form last week from AFP that contained incorrect information on it. The form instructed him to mail it back to the wrong location by Aug. 11 — two days after the recall election in his district between Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) and Shelly Moore (D) is set to take place, on Aug. 9.

Politico obtained a copy of the AFP mailer, which was also distributed to voters in the 2nd District.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party filed a formal complaint Tuesday with the state’s Government Accountability Board over the issue, accusing AFP of “falsely representing the time frame” for the upcoming August 9 recall election. Shultz filed his own complaint with the GAB on Saturday.

AFP may also be getting involved in the increasingly heated ad wars that have been leading up to the recall elections. According to One Wisconsin Now, AFP has reportedly purchased over $150,000 in television ad time in the Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee areas.

A spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity did not respond when asked for comment on the purchase, but One Wisconsin Now, a non-profit statewide progressive communications network, says the ad buy appears to be an effort to help the six Republican state Senators who were challenged by recall elections after supporting Governor Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining legislation in early 2011.

Scot Ross, the Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, said at least one of the AFP-backed ads will air in support of two Republicans, Sen. Luther Olsen (District 14) and Sen. Robert Cowles (District 2). The group has also confirmed a $90,000 AFP ad buy in District 12, currently represented by Sen. Jim Holperin, a Democrat who is being recalled.

Continue reading here…

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Rick Scott attends secret Koch brothers meeting in Colorado

Kiss the ring of your masters

Palm Beach Post

Florida Gov. Rick Scott attended a secret, invitation-only meeting outside Vail, Colo., hosted by conservative billionaire GOP donors David and Charles Koch, the governor’s staff confirmed today.

The meeting wasn’t on Scott’s official schedule and his spokesman Lane Wright initially refused to confirm or deny whether the first-term governor would make an appearance, saying he would not “speculate as to what he has done, or will do on his personal time.”

But, after The St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday Scott did attend the meeting, Wright confirmed that the governor was there but would not say whether Scott was in Colorado on Sunday or Monday.

“I told anybody who asked me,” Scott, in Washington, D.C., told the Times, without revealing too much about what took place.

“It was very interesting,” he told the Times. “They wanted to know basically… what am I doing in Florida.”

Scott, the self-proclaimed “jobs governor,” joined at least three other conservative Republican heads-of-state at the semi-annual meeting.

Continue reading here…

Obama’s quiet strike against the “socialist” label

In my opinion, nothing will stop the Right from calling the President a “socialist.”  It’s  meme that works for them and keeps Obama’s poll numbers down.

Salon

Think the government should be run more like a business? Obama has just the plan for you …

In the past two weeks, President Obama dramatically freed himself from his enemies’ suggestions that he is too “foreign” (with the release of his long-form birth certificate) and too “weak” (with the killing of Osama bin Laden). But you might have missed a subtler move by the president that could further erode his opponents’ push to brand him a “socialist.”

This past week, the administration asked Congress to form a commission to fast-track the sale of “excess” federal property in an attempt to wipe some zeroes from the tail-end of the deficit figure.

The sale of public real estate to private interests has bipartisan support, but it’s more significant than that: It’s an indication that under Democratic leadership the U.S. government is beginning to behave as an entity that is concerned with such fiscal trivialities as ledgers and balance sheets. It’s the opposite of state socialism and nationalization — goals that Obama’s critics on the right have relentlessly claimed that he’s pursuing.

Continue reading

 

Nope, David Koch Isn’t Giving Obama Any Credit For Bin Laden’s Capture

It’s fairly apparent what David Koch thinks of President Obama, based solely on the staggering amount of money that the Koch brothers intend to spend in order to defeat President Obama in 2012.   So he now tells reporters that he isn’t giving the president any credit for Osama bin Laden’s capture.  No surprise there…

Mediaite

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone at this point that businessman David Koch isn’t exactly a huge fan of Barack Obama. Case in point: The billionaire won’t even give Obama at least partial credit for the capture of Osama bin Laden. To put that into some sort of context, do recall that even Sarah Palin – obviously no friend of Obama’s – and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh both decided to give the President at least some credit  for his role in capturing bin Laden.

New York magazine reports that, during the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Ball, Koch made his thoughts about Obama’s role in the capture explicitly known:

He just made the decision, it was obvious where the guy is. He was one of the worst terrorists organizing attacks on the United States. I mean, no president in his right mind would not approve that decision to go eliminate him. So he’s getting a lot of recognition and his polls have jumped up, but his decision was the easiest of them all. The real hard work was done by the intelligence and the SEALs.

Koch also called the President a “hardcore socialist” and “scary.” To which scary hardcore socialist Lawrence O’Donnell may have responded, “Um, hello. Remember Tora Bora?” To which Ann Coulter, dog owner, may have replied, “Um. Remember Bill Clinton?” and then everyone would just fight and yell and argue and forget that the U.S. just SUCCESSFULLY TOOK DOWN A VERY DANGEROUS TERRORIST, COME ON YOU GUYS!

Where is Glenn Beck and his tray of Happy America Cookies when we most need them?  Everyone please just relax and have a cookie.

h/t NY Mag

 

Plutocracy/ Koch Brothers’ Conservative Propaganda Machine – Front Groups

Palin Headed To Madison, Wisconsin This Weekend

There will be interesting goings on in Madison Wisconsin this week-end…

TPMDC

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be headlining a Tea Party rally this weekend, at a venue that has served as the stage for some very high-profile protests of late: The Wisconsin state Capitol building in Madison.

The state Capitol, of course, was the site of massive protests both outside and inside the building, as tens of thousands of people gathered to show (and shout) their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union agenda. But now, as the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Palin will be coming to town to rally the other side.

And check out this nugget from the paper’s report:

Americans for Prosperity is organizing busses to the event. Last year’s gathering featured former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and others.

Americans for Prosperity is, of course, a Koch financed group. The Koch name has popped up quite a bit in the Wisconsin protests — most notably after Walker’s 20-minute phone call in late February with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as David Koch. During that call, Walker discussed his ideas for tricking the Democrats into coming back by pretending to negotiate, his ambition to bust the public employee unions in the mold of President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers — an event that Walker said had led to the downfall of the Soviet Union — and that he had considered (but ruled out) planting troublemakers in the crowds of protesters.

Palin’s presence could provide useful measure of activist motivation on each side at this point in the saga. Back in February, a pro-Walker Tea Party rally at the Capitol featured an all-star cast that included Andrew Breitbart and Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher.

However, out of the tens of thousands who showed up that day, only a few thousand were on the pro-Walker side — with several times more demonstrators on the other.

Virginia Thomas builds tea party network

I wonder if the Senate, while going through the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees, has ever ordered psychological testing for those nominees. 

I know they can’t order the examinations on the nominee’s spouse, but I swear, regarding “Uncle” Clarence and Ginni Thomas, there’s a case to be made for mandatory psych evaluations of SCOTUS nominees…

Politico

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas has a new job in conservative journalism that keeps her involved with the recent focus of her political activism and business dealings – the tea party movement.

As a part-time special correspondent for the Daily Caller, Thomas plans to tap into the movement, according to emails sent this month to top tea party organizers around the country, to build a list of “leaders from the grassroots in each state … who have their ear to the ground” and are willing to be surveyed weekly by two “prominent pollsters.” The results will be published on the Daily Caller website.

Thomas’s involvement with the tea party and the conservative movement in general has been a continuing source of controversy both for her and her husband.

Ginni Thomas’s 2009 creation of a tea party non-profit group for which she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed contributions, as well as her subsequent creation of a tea party consulting firm last year, has become the basis for allegations by some liberals that her husband’s impartiality has been compromised.

And her attendance at an annual summit of major conservative donors organized by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch – revealed in a recent speech by a federal judge and Thomas family ally – can be expected to draw even more scrutiny.

In remarks prepared for delivery last month to the San Francisco branch of the conservative Federalist Society, Laurence Silberman, a senior judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, blasted critics of the Thomases as “hypocrites” pushing “phony concerns” about judicial ethics, while ignoring real ones and getting their facts wrong.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53059.html#ixzz1JM7R76V6

 

Behind the Story: Koch Industries Lobbying (Video)

Huffington Post

[...]

Charles and David Koch, the owners of the country’s second-largest private corporation, are libertarians of long standing, who contend that government regulations, taxes and subsidies stifle individual initiative and hamper American competitiveness. In recent years, the Kochs have played an increasingly public role as financial angels for conservative causes, politicians and foundations.

What’s not so well-known is the activity of Koch Industries in the trenches in Washington, where a Center for Public Integrity examination of lobbying disclosure files and federal regulatory records reveals a lobbying steamroller for the company’s interests, at times in conflict with its public pose.

The money that Koch (pronounced “coke”) has spent on lobbying in Washington has soared in recent years, from $857,000 in 2004 to $20 million in 2008. The Kochs then spent another $20.5 million over the next two years to influence federal policy, as the company’s lobbyists and officials sought to mold, gut or kill more than 100 prospective bills or regulations.       Continue reading here…

REPORT: Everything You Need To Know About The Koch Brothers

More info on the diabolical Koch brothers…

Think Progress

Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a report shedding light on the vast Koch network and how it operates. The report shows that Charles and David Koch have used the considerable wealth (they are worth a combined $44 billion) to push policies that put their profits ahead of the interests of most Americans.

The report finds:

  • Grassroots organizing for big business. The Koch brothers use their considerable wealth to bankroll the right wing, including the Tea Party. This serves the purpose of furthering not only their right-wing ideology but also their bottom line. Koch Industries has a lot to gain from gutting government oversight and electing candidates who oppose government regulation, especially in the oil-and-gas industry.
  • $85 million to 85 think tanks. Identification of at least $85 million the Koch brothers have given to at least 85 right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups over the past decade and a half.
  • State organizing. The Koch brothers are active at the state level, spending $5.2 million on candidates and ballot measures in 34 states since 2003. They donated directly to 13 governors that won election last year.
  • Over 70% of the GOP Freshman. The Kochs donated directly to 62 of the 87 members of the House GOP freshman class.
  • 2012. The Kochs are not going away. In fact, they have already pledged to raise $88 million for the 2012 election and have started scheduling events for potential Republican presidential candidates.

Read the full report here.

This report is intended to be a guide to help progressives map out the vast network of influence the Koch brothers have built over the last decades. By exposing the Koch brothers’ agenda and shedding light on how they operate, progressives can force a public debate that will show that the Koch brothers are outside the mainstream of most Americans and that they are putting their self-interest and right wing agenda ahead of middle-class families