By Lulu Chang, The National Memo, May 15, 2014
On Thursday, the Democratic SuperPAC American Bridge launched realkochfacts.com, a digital project that delves into the Koch brothers, their policy agenda, business impact, and political spending, including a state-by-state analysis of how the big-spending conservatives have affected local legislation.
The website’s release comes on the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to take to the Senate floor in support of a constitutional amendment that will reinstate limitations on campaign spending, contributions, and independent group spending. These limits were recently eliminated by McCutcheon v. FEC, which further loosened campaign spending regulations that were previously weakened by the Citizens United decision in 1988. J. Gerald Hebert, executive director of the Legal Center, said that the decision “exponentially increased the already significant political influence of the very richest while further undermining the influence of the overwhelming majority of Americans.”
With realkochfacts.com, American Bridge hopes to draw attention to a specific subset of the very richest: Charles and David Koch. According to the website, in conjunction with Americans For Prosperity, the Koch brothers spent more than $122 million during the 2012 election. Politico also reports that this year, the Koch brothers aim to spend more than $125 million “on an aggressive ground, air and data operation benefiting conservatives.” And according to a Politico source close to AFP, the $125 million number is a “very conservative estimate.”
According to a recent New York Times article, the chief aim of AFP is not only to advance Republican candidates, but more importantly, to convince “Americans that big government is bad government.” And with a veritable arsenal of financial ammunition, American Bridge believes that “voters need to know what’s at stake,” especially with midterm elections on the horizon. Gwen Rocco, the spokesperson for American Bridge, told The National Memo,
The organizations the Kochs fund and the extreme conservative candidates they support show the truth behind their agenda: supporting tax cuts for the wealthy, weakening Medicare, and eliminating the minimum wage. The Real Koch Facts project will serve as a daily research, communications and rapid response effort to show voters just how dangerous the Kochs’ self-serving agenda is for working families.
AFP has advanced that agenda in a variety of ways, notably opposing Hurricane Sandy relief, renewable energy, and environmental protection. Given that Koch Industries, America’s second largest private company, is a titan in the petroleum and fossil fuel industry, AFP’s resistance to alternative energy sources and stemming pollution comes as little surprise. It also shows how closely tied the Koch brothers’ personal interests are to their political maneuverings and AFP’s donations….
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