August 29, 2010- The Koch brothers are all the news, David and Charles… along with what some call their ‘libertarian’ based outpouring of money so much of which is ‘heavily weighted giving’ to protect their own business interests: oil, lumber, formaldehyde. Well, they earned it. They can give it to whom they wish. Within the law.
But some choices seem puzzling. And I dont mean the amounts of sugar poured into tea party-like groups such as one David Koch helped to found: Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has 25 states’ chapters reporting about how they have organized to push Obama administration policies back.
Oddly, Koch brothers Charles and David, gave no huge multi-million dollar money boost to Bob Barr, the former Representative to the Federal Congress who ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket against Barack Obama in 2008. Why the Koch brothers didn’t pour money to get a candidate who espouses many of their ideas and ideals, elected is a mystery.
Except, media hype about brothers’ Koch being libertarians is likely not accurate: They are Republican tribe. Conservative clan.
WHERE THE SUGAR IS POURING
But, they outspent ExxonMobil from 2005-2008, giving huge amounts of money to organizations fighting climate change legislation, for instance. They’ve funded a spider network of many foundations, think tanks, (Charles is one of the founders of Cato Institute) and political front groups that continue to target many Obama Administration policies: health-care reform, EPA rulings, immigration, economic-stimulus, Federal finance legislation.
This funding via billions of dollars over time, is noted in an August 2010 essay in The New Yorker magazine: “in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus”. The family name is actually pronounced “coke” and thus no pun intended.
A study released in 2010 by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”
Yet, David Koch, an affable personality, says his outfits run cleaner than the current air standards require.
Yet, in many environmental watchdogs’ minds, what is being said and what is actually being done do not match up.