Bernie Sanders used his press conference to send the message that he is going to be the Koch brothers worst nightmare come to life. Sanders didn’t just criticize the Kochs. He exposed the conflict of interest behind their attempt to buy elections and the government.
At a press conference where he laid out his agenda, Sen. Sanders took on the Koch brothers:
The major issue is how do we create an economy that works for all of our people rather than a small number of billionaires, and the second issue directly related is the fact that as a result of the disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, we now have a political situation where billionaires are literally able to buy elections and candidates. Let’s not kid ourselves. That is the reality right now.
So you’ve got the Koch brothers and other billionaire families now prepared to spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in elections to buy the candidates of their choice, or for the extreme right-wing candidates.
I’m the former chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, and I can tell you that I don’t believe that the men and women who defended American democracy fought to create a situation where billionaires own the political process. That’s a huge issue that we’ve got to deal with.
After Sen. Sanders had been asked about what he considers fair game in his campaign, he said, “I think what is more fair game for my campaign is the role of money in politics. Where are the conflicts of interest when the Koch brothers are going to spend $900 million in this campaign. Making a lot of their money from fossil fuels and having a platform which as I understand it calls for the elimination of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Ideas that are increasingly palatable to my Republican colleagues, so that’s a conflict of interest.”
Bernie Sanders is coming out of the gate as the Koch brothers worst nightmare. Many on the left have decried the flood of Koch dollars into the nation’s electoral process, but Sanders connected the dots. The Koch brothers aren’t spending millions and billions of dollars because they are patriots. When Charles and David Koch buy a candidate, they expect a return on their investment. They require the politicians they buy to deny climate science, deregulate the areas of the economy where they make their money and push an agenda that calls for moving all the nation’s wealth upwards to the richest Americans.
Sen. Sanders is going to spend his presidential campaign exposing a dirty system that has put the government up for sale to the biggest contributor. The Koch brothers want to operate in the shadows. Most Americans don’t know or understand what the Kochs are trying to accomplish.
Bernie Sanders is out to expose the attempted hostile takeover of elections and government by a few conservative billionaires. The presidential campaign has given Sanders a national platform, which is very bad news for the Koch brothers.