The Widdershins

Coup d’Koch…

Posted on: January 17, 2014

A most wonderful Friday to you Widdershin friends.  As unlikely as it might seem, there hasn’t been a breaking news alert on the George Washington Bridge closing in the last three minutes.   If only I had an orange-clad rotund guy putting out cones merging my meanderings into one “lane of thought” this post might not seem so scattered, but given that Gov. Christie is all “lawyered-up” and otherwise occupied, I fear “disjointed” might be the most descriptive word for today’s offering.

Earlier this week I was watching former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the Daily Show with Jon charles_and_david_koch-460x307Stewart.  Sec. Gates was in a neck brace — I assume from an unfortunate straining accident while kissing his own posterior for writing his book.  In response to a question about what the mainstream media had not covered from his book, he mentioned the current pitiful condition of Congress.

He said something to the effect, “When the red light of a television camera goes on, it has the same effect on a member of Congress as a full moon has on a werewolf.”  That got me to thinking about how we came to be in this piteous state of affairs.

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon a series of articles about the Uday and Qusay of conservative mega-funding, the Brothers Koch.  By the incredibly meticulous and mind-numbing review of interlocking tax returns for scores of shadowy organizations, it looks as if we finally have a ballpark figure for the Kochs’ contribution to lowering the level of political discourse during 2012 — the most recent year available.

During 2012, old Dave and Chuck Koch spent at least $400,000,000.00.  For unneeded emphasis, let me say that again, the Koch Brothers spent $400 million during 2012 to promote their self-serving brand of Libertarianism.  There was no one organization with the ability to unhinge its jaw to swallow such a sum, so as to make it difficult to trace, the money was disbursed through a miasma of patriotic sounding laundering operations.

Koch Network of Organizations

The main disbursing organizations were the Freedom Partners, the TC4 Trust, and the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR).  The CPPR was the organization tasked to defeat the Affordable Care Act and is responsible for sponsoring ads to irresponsibly tell the uninsured not enroll in healthcare or Medicaid.

Just like a mama bird feeding her baby cheepers, these three organizations provided the funding for groups like American Energy, American Future Fund, the 60 Plus Association, American Commitment, Generation Opportunity, Concerned Veterans, Center for Shared Services, and the “big gulp” Americans for Prosperity.  This is just a sampling of the organizations, there are more, many more.

This “in-house” subsidiary funding doesn’t take into consideration the outside organizations partially funded by the Kochs like the Club for Growth, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, and the NRA.

Dave and Chuck are planning even more spending for this year’s mid-term elections.  The aforementioned Center Best Uprising Money Can Buyfor Shared Services seems to be the human resources agent for their ground activities.  It currently has  employment ads for workers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.  In addition, the Brothers Koch have already committed $20 million for “insurance/schmimsurance go uninsured — its your right” television ads.

For those who might be in the mood for a moral equivalency argument of, “Both sides do this,” let’s be clear with no room for equivocation — there is nothing equivalent to this on the Left.  What’s more, given that the Supreme Court may throw open the floodgates of direct corporate giving with their ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, never before in the history of the country has a national party been privatized.

The Republican Party, or a large segment of it, has been privatized.  The Chamber of Commerce, once the major donor to the GOP causes, has finally wised up to what is happening.  The national Chamber has finally learned you can’t “buy” Tea Party candidates — you can only rent them.  Quite publicly, the Chamber has said, “Why would we continue to bankroll candidates who consistently vote against our interests?”

Republican FootA sad coincidence of all these in-direct groups is that their fear mongering tactics merely amplify and reinforce the messages of the “politics for profit” crowd of Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin, and Beck.

An even sadder consequence is this:  These surreptitious efforts by the Kochs and their ilk don’t represent a majority of the Republican Party — they represent an activist, vocal minority with a stranglehold on the primary process.  If this state of affairs was in the third world it would be termed a coup.

This year is going to be unusually coarse and bloody in terms of  Congressional elections.  You can bet the Kochs will see to it.

This is an open thread.

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7 Responses to "Coup d’Koch…"

The Kochs are evil. With their “corporations are people” ruling the Supreme Court has quite literally killed this country. I mean, like Rome fell – this will be the actual reason USA falls. It’s quite astounding that such a big and complex country and system can be undone by a single decision. I don’t think the USA can survive the Kochs. Am I being too pessimistic?

@1, while I don’t agree with your final prognosis, I do believe the Kochs are doing grievous harm to the country and it will leave lasting effects. I don’t believe they will be the undoing of the country because they are playing to a smaller and smaller portion of the electorate. Being optimistic, their efforts just might hasten the swing of the pendulum to the left.

Today has been a fubar day for me. Sorry bout dat.

Also, don’t forget the number of “think tanks” they fund so that they can release papers that will lend an air of legitimacy to their wacko ideas.

I had my annual flu shot, so I’m basically wiped out.
Great post, Prolix. Things definitely do not go better with Koch.

Mind blowing.

Agree with DYB. Unless we can overturn Citizen’s United, it seems like its just downhill. Still I hope for a miracle.

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