From Funding Climate Deniers to Shadowy Groups, Koch Brothers Network Spent $400 Million in 2012

Democracy Now!, 1/7/14, including video with Amy Goodman

The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics have just published an exposé revealing how a labyrinth of 17 tax-exempt groups and limited liability companies tied to the billionaire Koch Brothers raised at least $407 million during the 2012 campaign. The staggering amount is equivalent to the combined spending of all unions in state, federal and local races — it dwarfs nearly all other sources of political spending in 2012. The groups were designed to help conceal the sources of the money, much of which went to voter mobilization and television ads attacking President Obama and congressional Democrats. For more, we are joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, and publisher of PRWatch.org and ALECExposed.org.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show with an in-depth look at one of the biggest political operations in the country: a vast network of politically active nonprofit groups funded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch and other conservative donors. The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics have just published an exposé called “Koch-Backed Political Coalition, Designed to Shield Donors, Raised $400 Million in 2012.” It reveals how a labyrinth of 17 tax-exempt groups and limited liability companies raised at least $407 million during the 2012 campaign. The staggering amount is equivalent to the combined spending of all unions in state, federal and local races. It dwarfs nearly all other sources of political spending in 2012. The groups were designed to help conceal the sources of the money, much of which went to voter mobilization and television ads attacking President Obama and congressional Democrats.

A Koch Industries and the Koch brothers’ spokesman, Robert Tappan, provided a statement to The Washington Post that read in part, quote, “This type of activity is undertaken by individual donors and organizations on all ends of the political spectrum—on the left, the middle, and the right. In many situations, the law does not compel disclosure of donors to various causes and organizations,” he said.

Well, for more, we go to Madison, Wisconsin where we’re joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of PRWatch.org and ALECExposed.org….

continue reading transcript at Democracy Now!

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