It is quite possible that among this horrid sea of ignorance and willful stupidity infecting America, there are probably more than a couple of Americans who are aware that the Koch brothers openly boast about their very substantial investment in Republicans’ political campaigns. Even Charles Koch admitted that he expects results for the amount of money he and his brother spend to transform America into a libertarian society where government is abolished and replaced by an evangelical fundamentalist CEO and corporate board of directors.
To achieve their goal, the Koch’s secretive network distributes hundreds-of-millions in funds to rabid conservative groups that do their bidding as activists, lobbyists, propagandists and staunch Republican advocates. One of its primary “networks” affectionately known as the “Koch brothers’ secret bank,” Freedom Partners, does not have to expose their donors’ names because they register as 501(c)6 tax-exempt non-profit and chamber of commerce; but they do have to file tax documents. The group is made up of all those wealthy donors who shell out a minimum $100,000 membership dues annually just to attend the Kochs’ bi-annual secretive summits to plot the governments’ demise.
Now, according to a tax filing by “Freedom Partners chamber of commerce,” Americans can see which anti-government advocacy groups are getting the lion’s share of Koch and friends “secretive” millions. Of course they distributed significant amounts to the usual suspects like anti-regulation fossil fuel lobbies, Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Veterans for America, some nasty group targeting Latinos, and a group funding evangelicals; besides the millions to the other religious war on women crusaders.
What apparently surprised some was that the tax filing showed the Koch group handing out millions in “grants” to other anti-government groups already affiliated with and funded by the Kochs through ALEC, but not really included as part of “the network.” Groups such as the corporate advocacy group the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the anti-union lobby Club for Growth, and the fear-mongering gun manufacturing lobby the National Rifle Association.
To get an idea of the scope of the two billionaires’ influence over Republicans and control over American politics nationally and the state level, consider the Club for Growth; a right-wing anti-government political group established in 1999. It was once unknown where the group got its funding, but now it is apparent it is from “the Kochs’ and extremely wealthy conservatives intent on severely stripping the nation’s budget” to bankrupt government. In fact, the Club for Growth was “a key player in Republican Governor Scott Walker’s move to eradicate the state’s organized workers,” and has been working diligently on “a national strategy to get newly elected Republican governors to destroy labor and unions;” likely a step toward the GOP’s intent to return to 1920s America. Club for Growth works in concert with ALEC and the State Policy Network, both Koch-funded groups, at the state level to undermine worker rights, steal public pensions, and eliminate unions.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that works against workers as a lobby for corporations and big business, including advocating for shipping more Americans’ jobs overseas, is intricately connected to the Koch brothers through ALEC. A recent revelation is that anti-government crusader Grover Norquist, the Kochs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and ALEC all work closely together. Besides lobbying and funding Republicans, they regularly use each other as a “reliable” source of information and data. Data that Norquist, the Kochs, the Chamber, and ALEC use to get Republican leaders at the federal, state, and local level jumping to do and say whatever they dictate. It is why every Republican at every level of government reliably spouts the exact same lie, uses the same twisted logic, and expects the same result that always harms American workers.
Most Americans know the NRA and its very close connection with the Kochs through their legislative arm ALEC, but their influence on Republican policy goes beyond arming every man, woman, and child in America; they are also influencing at least one Texas Republicans’ crusade to prevent even one Syrian refugee from entering his country. Representative Tony Dale is an NRA-backed Republican and noted guns-everywhere advocate who actually said on television that refugees cannot come to America, at least not Texas, because it is too easy to buy guns in his state. Dale even sent an urgent appeal to Texas’ Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Texas’ congressmen Michael McCaul and John Carter to block Syrian refugees’ entrance to America. Dale letters said;
“While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades, it is clear that firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims. Can you imagine a scenario were (sic) a refugees (sic) is admitted to the United States, purchases a weapon and executes an attack? Do whatever you can to stop the Syrian refugee program.”
It is unclear where the Kochs publicly stand on Syrian refugees, but they are funding compassionless gun-nuts through ALEC and the NRA. They are also influencing the religious rights’ attack on women, secular government, equal rights, and the LGBT community through very substantial funding both directly and through their now not-so-secret network.
The Kochs claim their only interest is in promoting free markets and smaller government, but like the Republicans, Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, the NRA, and fanatical evangelical extremists they are dirty liars. The Freedom Partners’ tax filing proves they have invested tens-of-millions of dollars to influence every facet of American society and have adversely affected every American citizen, and the nation. At least now Americans may understand that contrary to what Republican man-turned-god Ronald Reagan said, the government is not the source of all of Americans’ woes; it is the Koch brothers, Republicans, and their dirty un-American anti-government “network” and now there are official tax documents to prove it.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.