Art Pope & Koch Brothers wealthy political bullies

The rumors of their influence are greatly underestimated:

We saw this with the 19th century robber barons and in the 1930’s with the liberty league. Each generation has had to deal with these bullies. In the modern era, they are the Koch brothers and their wealthy allies, including North Carolina’s Art Pope. Spending millions of dollars, America’s 21st century bullies have reshaped the Republican Party and are threatening representative democracy.

Since 2010, in North Carolina, conservative businessman Art Pope has spent millions moving the state government to the right. Now, for the first time since reconstruction, Republicans control the governorship and the legislature. One observer noted, “Democrats running for office in North Carolina are running against Art Pope.”

This is one big reason why Democrats (both elected and activists) need to support campaign finance reform, instead of trying to "play the game" of big money with their Republican opposition. Aside from a handful of progressive businessmen, most of the wealthy would prefer to continue the shift of the nation's wealth upwards and preserve their dominance of our public policy debates, and the GOP gives them exactly that. The longer we put that off, the more influential these modern-day robber barons become:

In a rare extended interview with the Wichita Business Journal, Koch spoke expansively with Editor in Chief Bill Roy and Reporter Daniel McCoy, explaining in detail his political convictions, his involvement in Americans for Prosperity and his disdain for what he calls rampant cronyism.

He criticizes business leaders who say they believe in a free-market system, but do their best to manipulate that system by working to impose regulations on their competitors or going for “smash and grab, short-term profits.”

When you start attacking cronyism and people’s political interests, it gets nasty. We’ve been called every name under the sun. And some of this stuff is ridiculous.

The first two paragraphs were taken from Page 1 of the article, and the third was taken from Page 15. Column space limitations? Not for Baron von Koch.

Comments

Not just any campaign finance reform will do

The only cure is to ban ALL money from all campaigns. Public financing of a completely level field is the only way out of this mess IMHO.

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"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Amen, Thurman

Add term limits to total "public financing of a completely level field" and you're singing my tune. Right now, the leadership in both parties want nothing to do with either, however.

The Underestimates - Ya betcha

I have grown weary, exasperated, disillusioned and totally pissed off at the fact that everyone, especially Democrats and the Independents do not realize the extent that Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, the Kochs and others have willy nilly exercise near total control via media of the population and they things they believe. Nearly all of the reasons that the Republicans prevailed have to do with the hundreds of billions of absolute trash, junk and slime visited on them by the media of the right, hourly - and this does not include the billions of lies concerning commercial products. To then expect a literate and considerate polity is shear idiocy. We barely address this phenomena on alternate media, like blogs, much less on main stream media. The crap that the right wing Teabilies and their toady cohorts believe and act on consists of lies, absolute illogic and pure mystical ballyhoo -think Beck.

And who pays for this crap - the uber-wealthy who understand exactly what they are doing - a bunch of uber Shickelgrubers who can afford anything. All they want is a mentally disarmed polity so they can play at anything they want. The answer is simple: "The many with little must defeat the few with much!" Now figure out how to get the many to figure out they are enslaved. And unchecked wealth and power tends to forms of dementia as we have seen again and again.

But people among the many sit and debate simply silly shit for no reason whilst the Masters maneuver and are worshiped for their predatory treachery. I frankly give up on most of the population. They are unable to assemble under flags of unity, even briefly. Most to not understand that the "rule of law" has been snatched from them and they are pitted one against another. "Me" prevails and "we" is trashed and ignored. Religion has been enlisted, mostly evangelical and dominionist, in the army of the oligarchs and social excoriation, theocracy. People are willingly destroying public education, not the holy of holies, but damned well good enough to have helped us form a viable civil society.

So pay attention to who says what. Do you remember Locke and Civitas in the early 2000s when they outlined their agenda, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, etc. -- and the then dominant Dixiecrats ignored them and just snickered. Well, look at who is laughing NOW. They formed the attitudes and they won. Will they keep it, or can the many defeat the few? I for one do not know. But, I see rampant stupidity on all sides. Not a good sign. The fact that we have over 300 million guns under totally minimal control is a simple signal that we have all gone stark raving mad.

wafranklin

 

It's not just the money

Art Pope, the Koch brothers and their allies understand one very basic rule of politics - you don't have to have a majority of voters to win.

If you can just sway a good ten or twenty percent of the electorate to be rabid for you in just the right areas and throw your money just right at candidates, you can have the rabid dogs show up at the polls in just enough numbers to get a set of legislators elected that aren't there to govern - they're simply in place to say "no" to everything and put as many obstacles in place as possible.

Combine that with gerrymandering, a few dark money stink tanks, and a few corrupt public officials here and there and you've got a foundation for taking over the government and getting your agenda passed.

The Democrats were stupid for not seeing it coming in North Carolina.