Tag Archives | Koch Brothers

Koch Brothers Pressuring Thousands Of Employees To Vote For Mitt Romney

In the aftermath of the Citizens United ruling granting First Amendment rights to corporations, companies such as Koch Industries are telling their employees whom they should vote for, while simultaneously forbidding workers from expressing political opinions, In These Times reports:

In a voter information packet obtained by In These Times, the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president. The packet arrived in the mailboxes of all 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees earlier this month.

Ironically, while the Kochs have been taking advantage of Citizens United to expand political communications to employees, they have also capitalized on weak labor laws to limit the political speech of those employees.

A new Georgia Pacific social media policy [PDF] implemented earlier this year that warns, “Even if your social media conduct is outside of the workplace and/or non-work related, it must not reflect negatively on GP’s reputation, its products, or its brands.” Given the policy, the workers were scared to appear next to a candidate the Kochs do not support with the plant in the background.

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Koch Brothers Funding Pro-Free Market, Anti-Occupy Rally In New York City

Ordinary billionaires are mad and they’re not going to take it anymore, Raw Story reports:

An activist group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers is planning a rally in New York on Thursday to “stand up to Occupy Wall Street extremists”.

Americans for Prosperity will gather at the Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan to demonstrate against Occupy protesters and Barack Obama’s handling of the economy. “The Occupy Wall Street crowd is nothing but a fringe element of malcontents bent on mayhem and destruction,” said Steve Lonegan, Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey state director.

David and Charles Koch have poured money into Americans for Prosperity, which is tied to the Tea Party movement and has a focus on small government and low taxes. A spokesman for Americans for Prosperity would not predict how many people might attend the rally at the Rockefeller, but the group’s website claims to be “more than two million activists strong” across the country.

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Amy Goodman Confronted David Koch At The Republican Convention

Last week the Democracy Now host came oh-so-close to getting an actual answer from one of the reclusive Koch brothers, before, in a moment ripe with metaphor, subservient Republican delegates formed a defensive moat around him:
When conservative billionaire David Koch sat down as a member of the New York delegation Thursday night on the floor of the Republican National Convention, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman attempted to ask him one question: "Mr. Koch, do you think unchecked concentration of wealth will undermine democracy?" While Koch started to answer, the delegates and security around him stood up, one by one, creating a human wall between them. One of those who stood up was Ed Cox, chair of the Republican Party of New York and the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon. Eventually, Goodman was asked to leave due to "security issues."
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Koch Brothers-Funded Climate Scientist Says He Was Wrong, Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made

Previously discussed scientist Richard Muller, a climate change skeptic whose work was heavily funded by the Koches, has penned an op-ed explaining that his extensive study proved the opposite of what his bankrollers had hoped. Via the New York Times:

Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years.

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Koch-Fueled “Americans For Prosperity” Plans Protest Against “Extremist” Kids Flying Kites

Stephen Lacey writes on ThinkProgress:
Americans for Prosperity now sees children flying kites as a major threat to society. Earlier today, I opened my email box to find an uproarious AFP promotion for a protest in Asbury Park and Ocean City, New Jersey this Friday. What are they so upset about? An event so dastardly and maniacal, it has the potential to tear down everything we love about our freedoms as Americans. I almost couldn’t stomach it when I found out more. Yes, it’s “extremist” kids from the Boys and Girls Club and local schools flying kites in support of offshore wind energy. Don’t worry, AFP is on the case (as explained on their website, accompanied by the smoking wind turbine)...
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Save the Cato Institute, Save the World?

CatoJustin Logan writes at Foreign Policy:

Why do think tanks exist? Are they really, as the common phrase goes, “universities without students?” Are they just places where aspiring government officials can do the spadework for their next run at being appointed deputy secretary of something or other? Or perhaps they’ve stepped into the void created by what some have termed the “cult of irrelevance” in the academy, which used to be a source of advice about public policy but has become too abstruse and method-intensive to be of much use to harried policymakers?

I’ve had ample reason to ponder the subject, considering that the think tank at which I work, the Cato Institute, is currently defending itself from a hostile takeover attempt by Charles and David Koch, two billionaire industrialists who are intensely involved in partisan politics. (For those who don’t know, Cato’s mission is to “increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace.” This libertarian orientation frequently puts us at odds with both political parties.)

Here’s the quick and dirty on what’s happening.

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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.… Read the rest

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Koch Brothers vs. Health Reform

koch brothers exposedDo all roads lead to Koch?

Conservative activists will rally at the Supreme Court tomorrow to encourage the overturn of the Affordable Care Act. The “Hands Off My Health Care” protest—which will feature the likes of Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Sens. Jim DeMint and Rand Paul—is being organized by Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group financed by industrialists Charles and David Koch. The billionaire brothers provided the seed money to get this organization off the ground and have donated at least $5 million overall (possibly a lot more) to its operations. David Koch still serves as the group’s chairman.

These facts belie the image that Americans for Prosperity would like to present as a humble grassroots organization. The stories we see today about regular Americans coming to D.C. to protest evil health reform are directly attributable to the corporate interests that the Koch brothers represent.

Yet the Kochs’ impact on the current court battle doesn’t end there.… Read the rest

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Would The Kochs Rather Attack Me Than Stop Cancer?

The Koch-owned Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, AR. Source: Georgia Pacific

The Koch-owned Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, AR. Source: Georgia Pacific

My filmmaking team and I recently told the story of the small town of Crossett, Arkansas, where residents are giving powerful testimony about the prevalence of cancer in their community and linking it to a nearby chemical plant owned by Charles and David Koch. This revelation came on top of the already-known facts that the Koch brothers are among the top 10 polluters in the United States and led the charge (unsuccessfully) to keep formaldehyde from being named a carcinogen.

Yet instead of cleaning up their operations, the Kochs are now attacking me personally.

Just as my new film Koch Brothers Exposed is set for release, one of the Kochs’ corporate spokesmen, Greg Guest, says I’m “a very, very slanted filmmaker” who has made “erroneous and false claims” about the Kochs’ operations. What he fails to mention is that my office has contacted the Koch brothers numerous times for an explanation of what’s false about our exposés, including the one on cancer.… Read the rest

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Are the Koch Brothers Funding Rush Limbaugh?

Rush Limbaugh by Ian MarsdenJust in time for the release of Brave New Foundation’s new film, Koch Brothers Exposed, Rush Limbaugh has thrown in with Charles and David Koch in their letter war with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. No surprise there; Rush has made his fortune defending the rich and powerful against the 99%. But does Rush actually have a vested interest in the Koch brothers’ success?

The letter war started when Messina sent a fundraising letter saying the billionaire brothers bankroll “Tea Party extremism” and manipulate oil prices to buttress their energy business. The Kochs responded that Obama was treading on their “right to free speech.” (To them, I guess, being criticized by the president is tantamount to being arrested for sedition.) Team Obama shot back again, and here we are.

Rush has taken to the airwaves and lauded the Kochs. “This is how you do it,” he says. And on the surface, the reason for Rush’s apologetics is straightforward enough: he’s a man of the Right, and so are the Koch brothers.… Read the rest

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