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In Defense Of Koch Brothers, Tea Party Group Files Ethics Complaint Against ‘Mean-Spirited’ Harry Reid

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In Defense Of Koch Brothers, Tea Party Group Files Ethics Complaint Against ‘Mean-Spirited’ Harry Reid


The Tea Party Patriots have had enough of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) crusade against billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. On Monday, the right-wing group filed a formal ethics complaint against Senator Reid, in which they called the Democrat’s campaign against the Kochs an “abuse of power.”

“It’s been generations since a member of the Senate has abused the power of his office to attack private citizens the way Harry Reid has sought to vilify Charles and David Koch,” said Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin.

As The Hill reports, the Tea Party Patriots claim in their complaint that Reid “misused Senate staff or resources to engage in partisan campaign activity in violation of federal laws and Senate rules.”

The group also accuses Reid of using his “mean-spirited” attacks as a means of “unlawfully and unethically targeting private citizens.”

The complaint comes after months of Reid’s very public criticism of the Koch brothers. Reid has openly called the right-wing businessmen “un-American,” and accused them of “rigging the system” and “trying to buy the country” by “dumping unseemly amounts of money” into politics.

Tea Party Patriots are not the first to slam Reid for his attacks; many critics have noted the senator’s more favorable views of other wealthy donors — like Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Democratic businessmen George Soros and Tom Steyer — who have poured millions into politics. Reid has argued that a donor like Adelson is “not in this for the money,” unlike the Koch brothers, whom he believes use their money to ensure policies that benefit their business interests.

But the Tea Party Patriots are equally inconsistent in their own views. The sudden concern for “targeted private citizens” is a change of pace for the group that has launched its own attacks against “private citizen” Karl Rove, another wealthy Republican donor with a long history of spending in politics.

In fact, the original purpose of the Tea Party Patriots involved attacks on others: Tea Party Patriots was founded to advance the larger Tea Party movement’s battle against “establishment” GOP candidates in elections.

Reid is taking the Tea Party Patriots’ concerns as seriously as the Tea Party Patriots take ethics: not too seriously, to say the least.

“We are shocked — shocked! — that a publicity-seeking, extremist Tea Party group which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Koch brothers’ secret bank would attempt a frivolous publicity stunt to distract from the Kochs’ efforts to rig the system for billionaires like themselves,” Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid, responded, in a reference to the Tea Party Patriots’ connection to the Koch-backed Freedom Partners. “The shadowy, billionaire Koch brothers are pulling out all the stops to get Senator Reid to stop shining a light on their efforts to buy our democracy, but he will not be silenced.”

AFP Photo/Alex Wong

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  1. charleo1 June 4, 2014

    I think pretty soon the T-Party is not going to recognized anything but money
    as free speech. And who believes the Kochs would have any problem hiring
    the lawyers to argue that case? Or, that the army of strident, loudmouthed, “Ultra-Constitutionalist,” invented by Koch operation, would be anywhere else but there by their side, fighting to protect their particular interpretation of the 1st Amendment. Which evidently in their minds, prohibits members of
    Congress from expressing their opinions of private citizens. Even if they be
    private citizens engaged in the very public process of outright attempting to buy the political process, hire their own personal politicians, and open up another subsidiary of Koch Inc. smack in the middle of what is supposed to be a representative institution. And Harry Reid Senate Majority Leader of the
    opposition, would need to resign his office to criticize, or state his opinion
    as to the overall corrosive effects this kind of activity being allowed, will have. What do we suspect would have been the reaction of many of our greatest, and most eloquent Senators, to such a lawsuit? The idea there appointment by the People to their respective offices, would muzzle their own Right to freedom of expression? Henry Clay, for example, threaten to, “hang any man,” that refused to pay the Federally impose Tariff of 1828. That would have undoubtedly included the private citizens, and cotton barons of S. Carolina, who were also no doubt freely threatening Clay. As they threatened
    secession, even then. Tea Party darling, and legendary authority on all things
    freedom-y, or liberty-esk, is opining that actually no, it’s the Democrats are after the 1st Amendment. As evidence, he notes that President Obama had the temerity, and general uppity-ness, to state his opinion, to the Supreme Court, to their faces, he believed their decision on Citizens United would, “Open the flood gates,” and make worse the already corrupting influence of private money’s influence on public policy. And serve to limit the speech of ordinary Americans without the wherewithal, to buy the enormous bullhorn that would now be necessary to be heard above the den created by the wealthiest in the political arena. But alas, it seems that even Citizens United didn’t skew the tables enough when it comes to speech for the Tea Party. It doesn’t stifle the bully pulpit of a President, or silence the Senate leader of the opposition. So it’s back to the Courts they run to plug those pesky loopholes left undressed in the never ending pursuit of protecting the Constitutional Rights of our most vulnerable citizens.

  2. tdm3624 June 4, 2014

    I love the irony! I guess it’s not OK for Reid to attack the Koch Bros. but it is OK for tea party types to attack George Soros, Bloomberg, Obama, etc. etc……


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