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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Charles and David Koch are the billionaire brothers who raise and “invest” millions for conservative political causes, and at a June event, they spelled out their plans for taking out Barack Obama next fall:

Charles Koch would probably not publicly compare the president of the United States to a murderous dictator. (As a general rule, he and his brother don’t do much politicking or speechifying in public at all.) But Mother Jones has obtained exclusive audio recordings from the Koch seminar, a private event that took place in June at a resort near Vail, Colorado.

These unprecedented recordings provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the Koch brothers and their comrades talk when they gather. They include a pair of keynote speeches and remarks by brothers Charles and David Koch, who spell out their political aims and name some of the “great partners” who have contributed millions of dollars to their causes. (The audio was provided by a source who approached the author after the event was over and was not seeking compensation.)

Security was tight at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch on opening night of the weekend conference, which drew an estimated 300 guests. (Past attendees have included prominent politicians, right-wing media luminaries, corporate titans, and wealthy political donors.) Audio technicians even set up outward-pointing speakers around the perimeter of the outdoor dining pavilion, according to sources, emitting static to frustrate would-be eavesdroppers.

“There is anonymity that we can protect,” noted emcee “Kevin”—likely Kevin Gentry, a VP for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation [2]—as he gently urged guests to open their wallets in support of the brothers’ causes. Indeed, Charles Koch named 32 individuals and families [3] who had donated more than $1 million over the previous 12 months, yet because of loopholes in federal campaign law, their donations do not exist in the public record.

Charles and David Koch are co-owners of Koch Industries, an energy and chemical conglomerate inherited from their father that is currently America’s second-largest privately held company. To date, the brothers have spent more than $100 million supporting hard-right political campaigns and institutions. They are key funders of the movement to discredit climate science and sow doubt on the scientific consensus that human activities contribute to global warming.

The Kochs have tried to keep everything about the seminars secret: the content, identities of attendees and speakers—even meeting locations and dates.

The Kochs also bankrolled the fledgling tea party by making massive investments in right-wing political advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity, as detailed by [4] Jane Mayer in The New Yorker last year. More generally, the brothers have dedicated a portion of their vast wealth—and that of their benefactors—to influencing elections across the nation [5] and swaying public opinion on everything from health care and fracking [6] to labor policy and government spending.

We can expect the president to use the specter of the Koch brothers and other anonymous, unlimited corporate donations ravaging our democracy as he makes his case for reelection, all while he tries his utmost to surpass the $750 million he raised last time around so he can remain competitive in paid media like TV ads.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • SlyRobber

    What a surprise the Reich wing Repugnican Party supporters, the Koch future Reichsmarschalls don’t believe in Democracy and will do anything to corrupt it? Who knew?

  • Neil Haislop

    There have been times in our history where bribers and thugs placed themselves at voting Polls to buy votes or terrorize folks into voting their way. And, while our wealthiest families have, and probably always will use their power and wealth to influence the vote, what the Koch clan is doing is nothing but an attempt buy(fix) an election on a national scale. Our response should be to vote for the party that will bring back the ability to tax the nation’s wealthiest. Plus we should put a strict ceiling on their contributions (personal and corporate). Any tax break for the wealthy should be based on the amount job creation in the USA their corporations contribute to stop the flight of American industry to the Pacific Rim and other continents. Cheaper is better for their bottom line and, in some cases the American consumer. But, most Americans would welcome the chance to pay a few cents or few bucks more for their goods, knowing that their family, friends and neighbors will have a job and not become a burden on society. So, let’s stop this Koch-style political terrorism that is not good for our country.

  • kurt.lorentzen

    It’s a shame that politics in America has come to the wealthy bankrolling marketing schemes so as to buy a government that is favorable to their business interests. But two things should be noted.

    1) It is the Koch’s and their political fronts that finance tea party supporters, grassroots tea partiers do not support “politics for sale”. Right now, the tea party agenda coincides with the Koch’s own. But they will just as quickly turn their support to neo-fascists once the tea party has diverged sufficiently from their own interests and become a useless tool.

    2) There is at least equal funding of Democratic candidates and causes by sources who’s interests are better served by leftist politics. It’s just a bad from either side, but at least the moguls tend to balance themselves out.

  • kadee

    They are the co-conspirators working to kill democracy! Capitalism rules!!!

  • JosephSmith