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by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 2/11/14
There are many reasons to pay no attention to any political ads and candidates financed by the Koch Brothers.
One reason is enough: the Koch machine lies.
I know, it’s not usual to call people liars head-on. But since it was done to president Obama, why not to the Koch Brothers?
Unfortunately, people tend to believe self-confident, manipulative lying billionaires.
Thanks to five of its current “immortals,” the U.S. Supreme Court decreed in the Citizens United case that corporations (and unions and non-profits, but we all know who has the big money) can basically use their riches to corrupt our democratic processes, as long as they don’t contribute directly to candidates.
With that little limitation (and big money would rather run its own show anyhow, to be sure their candidates don’t feel the lure of thinking for themselves), the Koch Brothers can use their myriad companies’ corporate funds, collect from others, and use all the money they want for political purposes while concealing where the money comes from and where it goes.
The January 26 New York Times editorial “The Koch Party” succinctly points out why the Koch machine is against democracy as we have known it, and truth as one would like to know it.
We’re talking about real money here, now probably well over the $400 million dollars the Koch Party invested in its own welfare two years ago. For one of the Times’ sources, see “Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012,” Washington Post, 1/5/14.
The Koch organization zealously guards its secrets. But a few days ago, a leaked list revealed some of the companies whose corporate magnates have contributed enough to the Koch Party to earn one-on-one strategy chats with Charles and David.
For details, see Andy Kroll and Daniel Schulman, “The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Last Donor Conference,” Mother Jones, Feb. 5, 2014.
I wouldn’t feel good about patronizing those companies, like Comcast, Gold’s Gym, Jockey, Omni Hotels, or Papa John’s pizzas, would you?
Of course, many consumers are already trying to avoid products of the Koch’s own empire; see Lauren Kelly, “How You Can Boycott the Kochs,” AlterNet, 2/28/11 and the whole lsite Boycott the Koch Brothers.
You might say: didn’t the billionaires earn their money fair and square and shouldn’t they be able to do what they want with it?
No and no….
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