Investigative Reporting Workshop: Koch millions spread influence through nonprofits, colleges

-By Charles Lewis, Eric Holmberg, Alexia Campbell & Lydia Beyoud

July 1, 2013- Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held corporations in the world and principally owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch, has developed what may be the best funded, multifaceted, public policy, political and educational presence in the nation today.

From direct political influence and robust lobbying to nonprofit policy research and advocacy, and even increasingly in academia and the broader public “marketplace of ideas,” this extensive, cross-sector Koch club or network appears to be unprecedented in size, scope and funding. And the relationship between these for-profit and nonprofit entities is often mutually reinforcing to the direct financial and political interests of the behemoth corporation — broadly characterized as deregulation, limited government and free markets.

Center For Public Integrity: Koch Industries PAC Bolts To Fast Start In 2013

Billionaire brothers' company PAC spending significantly more compared to recent election cycles

-By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

June 20, 2013- The political action committee of Koch Industries Inc. — the energy company run by conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch — is off to its fastest start ever for a federal election cycle.

KOCHPAC donated $559,000 to federal-level political candidates and committees during the first five months of the year, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission disclosures released today.

That easily bests its output for the same time periods during previous election cycles: $387,500 in 2011, $274,500 in 2009 and $387,570 in 2007.

Broward Palm Beach New Times: Rick Scott Signs Bill Banning Paid Sick Leave

-By Chris Joseph

June 17, 2013- Rick Scott, in an apparent mission to blow up every possible bridge linking him to re-election in 2014, signed a bill on Friday banning paid sick leave for Floridians, because, as much as they love to talk up how they hate Big Government and Bengazziiii and TAXES BAD, the GOPers simply love this ever living shit out of their money, and the only path to more of it is by screwing poor people.

Ha. Ha. Sorry poor people! You're just not allowed to get sick. Now sack up and get back to work!

See also: Rick Scott Kills Florida Wildflower Bill, Because No Free Handouts For Them Either!

The bill, which was backed by poor loving corporations such as Disney World, and the people that own Olive Garden and Red Lobster, blocks local governments from implementing paid sick leave legislation.

The New Yorker: A Word from Our Sponsor

Public television’s attempts to placate David Koch.

-By Jane Mayer

May 27, 2013- Last fall, Alex Gibney, a documentary filmmaker who won an Academy Award in 2008 for an exposé of torture at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, completed a film called “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream.” It was scheduled to air on PBS on November 12th. The movie had been produced independently, in part with support from the Gates Foundation. “Park Avenue” is a pointed exploration of the growing economic inequality in America and a meditation on the often self-justifying mind-set of “the one per cent.” As a narrative device, Gibney focusses on one of the most expensive apartment buildings in Manhattan—740 Park Avenue—portraying it as an emblem of concentrated wealth and contrasting the lives of its inhabitants with those of poor people living at the other end of Park Avenue, in the Bronx.

Greenpeace: Media Manipulators: David Koch resigns as WNET Trustee amid New Yorker article

-by Connor Gibson

May 23, 2013- Amid concerns that Koch Industries could buy several major U.S. newspapers from Tribune Company, industrial billionaire David Koch was forced to step down as trustee of WNET, New York City’s largest public TV station, after the New Yorker revealed how WNET gave Koch inappropriate influence over its programming. Mr. Koch was floating a seven-figure donation over WNET’s leadership as the station aired a movie that portrayed him as a particularly greedy Manhattan resident.

Sure enough, WNET didn’t wind up receiving David Koch’s hefty donation.

PR Watch: PBS Killed Wisconsin Uprising Documentary “Citizen Koch” To Appease Koch Brothers

-By Brendan Fischer

May 20, 2013- "Citizen Koch," a documentary about money in politics focused on the Wisconsin uprising, was shunned by PBS for fear of offending billionaire industrialist David Koch, who has given $23 million to public television, according to Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. The dispute highlights the increasing role of private money in "public" television and raises even further concerns about the Kochs potentially purchasing eight major daily newspapers.

Forbes: New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart

-By Clare O'Connor

May 14, 2013- In her keynote speech at last year’s annual Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea to the thousands of bloggers and web developers in the audience. The former Microsoft programmer and congressional candidate proposed a smartphone app allowing shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch were behind a product on the shelves.

Burner figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to Koch Industries through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont).

At the time, Burner created a mock interface for her app, but that’s as far as she got. She was waiting to find the right team to build out the back end, which could be complicated given often murky corporate ownership structures.

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