With all this fascination on the left with the Koch brothers, I figured I’d find out who they are. First I went to Common Cause, which seems to have their knickers in a bunch over the Koch’s, what do they write about the Kochs?
Charles and David Koch are the owners of Koch Industries, a privately-held firm with revenues estimated at $100 billion (no, that’s not a typo!). The firm runs oil refineries in Alaska, Texas and Mexico and owns consumer brands like Brawny Paper towels, Stainmaster carpets, and Dixie cups. They’re also among America’s most generous patrons of the arts – David Koch gave $100 million in 2008 to modernize the theatre at Lincoln Center in NYC and has donated $20 million to remodel the National Museum of Natural History in Washington.
The Kochs and their firm are the central figures in an informal alliance of business executives, conservative theorists and government officials who for several years have met twice annually to strategize over how best to advance an ambitious libertarian agenda. They favor dramatically lower personal and corporate income taxes, less government oversight of industry, particularly environmental regulations, and minimal public assistance for the needy.
Wow they support the arts? and free markets? WOW! they’re shady. I wonder how much they spend on campaigns etc…
In a detailed profile of the Koch’s published in August, The New Yorker reported that “only the Kochs know precisely how much they have spent on politics. Public tax records show that between 1998 and 2008 the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation spent more than $48 million. The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, which is controlled by Charles Koch and his wife, along with two company employees and an accountant, spent more than $28 million. The David H. Koch Charitable Foundation spent more than a $120 million.”
The Kochs also run KochPac, which has donated about $8 million to candidates, most of them Republicans, and Charles and David have made personal contributions of more than $2 million to candidates over the past dozen years, The New Yorker reported.
Wit over ten years they’ve spent about $200 million on charitable expenses, some of which went to, gasp, conservative causes. So lets see over ten years they spent about $208M on a variety of causes.
During that time George Soros pledged his entire fortune to defeat George W. Bush. AFSCME spent, just in 2010 $87.5M.
The left isn’t upset that people are spending money in politics, the left is upset that those on the right are finally joining the fight.