Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Koch billionaires and Tea Party funding

David H. Koch in 1996. He and his brother Charles
are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more
than $100 million to right-wing causes.  But what's
he up to in this picture? Impersonating Hannibal?
I think I've tracked down the original exposé of the Koch brothers and their funding of the Tea Party and linked right-wing organisations.  It’s an article by Jane Mayer, a staff writer at The New Yorker, in the August 30th edition.  “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama”.
You can hear an interview with Jane Mayer on an American radio show called Fresh Air

Fresh Air, I should add, is an excellent programme and I frequently download interviews from their site.

The article "Covert Operations" describes how the brothers' political interests dovetail with their corporate interests. Here's an extract:-
“The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry - especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a 'kingpin of climate science denial.' The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies - from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program - that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.”  

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