Most citizens with a pulse are aware of the tremendous obstructionism of the Republican Party in their efforts to destroy President Obama and his progressive agenda. Between their abuse of the filibuster and John Boehner’s infamous “Hell no you can’t!” speech before health care reform passage, on top of countless other examples, the Republican Party has made it clear they intend to see Obama fail by any means necessary. However, only the most astute and politically savvy voters are aware of the secret war being waged against Obama and the rest of the progressive movement by the wealthy ruling elite in this country. These people lurk in the shadows undetected as they pull the strings of our democracy and the very worst of these hidden puppet masters are David Koch and his brother Charles.
David Koch and his brother Charles own Koch industries, a largely oil-based conglomerate headquartered in Wichita, Kansas which generated roughly 100 billion dollars in revenue in 2008. Together the brothers are worth 35 billion dollars, only trailing Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in wealth among Americans. Among the New York City social elite, Koch is regarded as one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists thanks to his many charitable donations. The recipients of Koch’s generosity include Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building, the American Museum of Natural History, and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Unfortunately, when Koch isn’t presenting his billionaire-with-a-heart-of-gold facade, he spends his time bankrolling the right-wing propaganda machine.
Koch is a lifelong libertarian whose political philosophy coincides perfectly with his own corporate interests. His father Fred Koch is one of the founders of the extremist John Birch Society. David Koch meanwhile founded Americans for Prosperity, a “grassroots activist movement” which claims to fight for limited government and free markets while fighting against the voices of ordinary citizens being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests. What they do not reveal publicly is that “they are a grassroots movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires,” as David Axelrod has so accurately described them in the past. The Kochs’ secret network built to fight economic stimulus, health care, and climate legislation has its own special name in political circles, “Kochtopus.”
Americans for Prosperity, in typical grassroots fashion, has spent 5.2 million dollars of the Koch brothers’ money thus far to debunk the existence of climate change and undermine any efforts at cap and trade legislation in Congress. A report issued by Greenpeace described Koch Industries as “kingpin of climate science denial.” They found that from from 2005 to 2008, the Koches vastly outdid even the likes of ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Meanwhile, during the health care debate Americans for Prosperity funded this misleading advertisement to scare voters into thinking that health care reform is a “government takeover of health care” that will resemble the very worst of the Canadian single-payer system.
Media Matters has answered this misleading ad with facts.
Americans for Prosperity is also considered part of the Tea Party network. According to Peggy Venable, one of their more prominent activists, the role of Americans for Prosperity was to help “educate” Tea Party activists on policy details, and give them “next-step training” after their rallies, so that their political energy could be channelled “more effectively.” When asked about the Koch brothers in particular, Venable believes “They’re certainly our people. David’s the chairman of our board. I’ve certainly met with them, and I’m very appreciative of what they do.” When asked about the Tea Party movement, however, David Koch told New York “I’ve never been to a tea-party event. No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me.”I guess it’s only natural the wizard doesn’t want anyone knowing who is really behind the curtain (which is why the DISCLOSE Act was so important). According to Democratic strategist Rob Stein, The Kochs “are out to destroy progressivism” and unfortunately for progressives, they aren’t just in Kansas anymore.