Top Ten Koch Facts

Everyone seems to be investigating Charles and David Koch lately, with exposés of their corrupt political behavior popping up in places like the New Yorker, AlterNet, ThinkProgress, and Brave New Foundation’s film Koch Brothers Exposed. Naturally, the billionaire brothers don’t like the attention, so they’re responding to it by smearing the activists and journalists. In their panic, they have now taken out Google ads attacking me and plastered an ominous image of my eyes on their website, like so:

They made me look like Emperor Palpatine. But who’s really representing the Dark Side here? The truth is that the billionaire brothers bankrolling the conservative movement are using their wealth in a way that should be terrifying to anyone who thinks democracy is about more than pulling a lever every two years and letting rich folks take care of the rest.

Accordingly, here are 10 facts that every American should know about who the Kochs are and what they’re doing to our country.

1. Koch Industries, which the brothers own, is one of the top ten polluters in the United States — which perhaps explains why the Kochs have given $60 million to climate denial groups between 1997 and 2010.

2. The Kochs are the oil and gas industry’s biggest donors to the congressional committee with oversight of the hazardous Keystone XL oil pipeline. They and their employees gave more than $300,000 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010 alone.

3. From 1998-2008, Koch-controlled foundations gave more than $196 million to organizations that favor polices that would financially enrich the two brothers. In addition, Koch Industries spent $50 million on lobbying and some $8 million in PAC contributions.

4. The Koch fortune has its origins in engineering contracts with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.

5. The Kochs are suing to take over the Cato Institute, which has accused the Kochs of attempting to destroy the group’s identity as an independent, libertarian think and align it more closely with a partisan agenda.

6. A Huffington Post source who was at a three-day retreat of conservative billionaires said the Koch brothers pledged to donate $60 million to defeat President Obama in 2012 and produce pledges of $40 million more from others at the retreat.

7. Since 2000, the Kochs have collected almost $100 million in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.

8. Koch Industries has an annual production capacity of 2.2 billion pounds of the carcinogen formaldehyde. The company has worked to keep it from being classified as a carcinogen even though David Koch is a prostate cancer survivor.

9. The Koch brothers’ combined fortune of roughly $50 billion is exceeded only by that of Bill Gates in the United States.

10. The Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs accused Koch Oil of scheming to steal $31 million of crude oil from Native Americans. Although the company claimed it was accidental, a former executive in this operation said Charles Koch had known about it and had responded to the overages by saying, “I want my fair share, and that’s all of it.”

That last quote — “I want my fair share, and that’s all of it” — encapsulates the unbridled greed driving the Kochs’ political activism and business dealings. Democracy cannot thrive with so much power being in the hands of men like this. If we care about democracy, we have to work to take it back.

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  • LibsFib

    As a long time libertarian I support The Kochs belief in drastically lower
    personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and
    much less oversight of industry.  I have actually met Charles on two separate occasions and found him to be a very nice person.  Living near Koch’s worldwide headquarters in Wichita, KS I can say this company benefits thousands of local families in a very positive way.  I also appreciate them using their vast wealth to support causes and push policies that I agree with.  I cannot begin to express how much joy I get knowing these brothers use their fortune to attack and discredit the Obama administration in any way they can (not that he needs the help).  I am even happier to know that many of these attacks are done by stealth and that they employ the same underhanded tactics to manipulate policy that the government uses themselves.  Liberals hate it when you use their methods against them, they say it isn’t fair hahaha.

    Without the Koch’s the progressive and liberal think tanks in this country would be running wild virtually unchallenged.   Despite the 10 points the author of this post used to discredit them and make them come across as evil and manipulative I think all these things combined are by far preferable than allowing liberals and people like Soros to have their way.  I also find it funny how this article also ignored the undisputed fact that Charles Koch is one of the United States biggest philanthropist, odd how they left out the billions he has given to charity… typical liberal media and their bias one sided reporting.  Long live the Kochs!

    • Redacted

      How much do they pay you to post this bullshit?

    • Heath

      Yes I agree lets pollute your areas so you nor the Kochs can reproduce and spread further self righteous ignorance an greed.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      No points for persuasiveness or verisimilitude, Kochbot.

      But Kudos on keeping to script.  You get paid by the word? Or is it a flat rate, based on the # of cut-and-paste jobs you run?

    • Spam

      Moron

    • JaceD

      “LipsFib” seems a more appropriate name for you. It must be pretty sweet being on the Kochs marketing team, although you must be one of the grunts to be here posting this shit. Good work Cog! This failing system needs more slaves like you.

    • Tcat2000

      ther’s the good, bad and ugly.  you and the koch brothers fit in with the ugliness that is happening in the world and in our lives..bet you are the kind who “kill in the name of God!” + you are one proud flag waving S.O.B. ready for war…you stupid fuck!

    • Andrew

      You may think you’re a libertarian, but your arguments are plutocratic.

    • elmysterio

      As a long time libertarian I support The Kochs belief in drastically lower 

      personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and
      much less oversight of industry

      Well the result of that, if successful is a very dismal, dog-eat-dog world where greed and selfishness are the guiding principals. Stupid. Heartless. Idiotic. 

  • http://twitter.com/zhinxy k gallagher

    As a long time libertarian, I support tarring and feathering the Kochs. With free-market feathers. And their own tar. 

  • Oy_vey

    11.Soros billions > Koch billions.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Tsk tsk.  T’ain’t nothin’ sadder than seeing a patrician go into meltdown mode, reduced to a blubbering tub of lard and runny mascara.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH(!)

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    you missed one
    Koch is pronounced Cock

  • We will eat you first

    It is positively amazing that anyone could be that stupid.
    Have you had an EEG lately to see if there is any brain activity at all ?
     

    • Spam

      @ LibsFib                      

  • Nunzio X

    Repeat after me:

    The interests and desires of billionaires ARE NOT, HAVE NEVER BEEN, AND NEVER WILL BE the same as the interests and desires of ordinary working people.

    If it’s something a billionaire is fighting to get, rest assured if he succeeds YOU will be fucked in the ass.

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