Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) isn’t letting the Koch secret meeting go by unnoticed. In a statement, Sanders connected the dots between Citizens United and the Koch brothers primary that several potential Republican candidates are taking part in this weekend.
Sen. Sanders said, “Americans used to think Iowa and New Hampshire held the first caucus and primary in the nation every four years. Not anymore. Now the ‘Koch brothers primary’ goes first to determine who wins the blessing and financial backing of the billionaire class. This is truly sad and shows us how far Citizens United has gone to undermine American democracy.”
Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) are all speaking a secret Koch conference this weekend to make their pitch for the millions of billionaire dollars that will required to fuel their 2016 Republican presidential campaigns. The connection between the Koch agenda and governing became obvious when Sen. Mitch McConnell cut off debate on the Keystone XL pipeline so that Republican senators could get to the Koch meeting.
Campaign finance is a very complicated issue, but what isn’t complicated is the direct connection between the conservative billionaires campaign contributions and the way the Republicans run Congress. The outsized influence of billionaires on the left and right is bad for our electoral process, but there is a direct relationship between the Koch money and Republican policies. The Koch brothers have bought the Republican Party.
The impact of their purchase is that it won’t be Republican voters who decide which candidate will represent them in 2016. The Koch brothers and a handful of billionaires will pick their nominee in secret conferences and meetings. Once the Kochs have a nominee, the choice for voters will be between the Koch agenda disguised as the Republican Party and the Democratic candidate.
America is quickly moving towards a system of governance where voters choose between a candidate funded by oligarchs and the Democrats. This is a sad state of affairs for the country’s representative democracy, and the biggest reason Citizens United must be overturned.