Koch Brothers

Senate seat for sale

When the supply of desirable items is limited, demand soars. With only a few US Senate seats available for purchase this year, outsiders are dumping truckloads of money into North Carolina. So far, the highest bidders are the Koch brothers.

[Karl Rove's $1.1 million pro-Tillis] American Crossroads ad follows $8.3 million spent on six ads against Hagan and the health care law, which she supported, by Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries has headquarters in Kansas.

It's old news that Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have already launched an all-out attack on Kay Hagan in the form of television ads. But the amounts are staggering:

Koch Zero

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Democrats are beginning to shine some light on the Koch brothers dark world. That includes the Koch tentacles that reach into our state:

In North Carolina, Democrats think they have found a way to counter the Kochs at a chemical factory the company owns along the Cape Fear River, where, right before the holidays last year, 100 workers learned they would lose their jobs. Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, who has been the target of millions of dollars in negative ads from Americans for Prosperity, said the job cuts were a cruel slap to her state, especially since they came right as the group started to spend significant sums attacking her.

Lawsuit challenging NC's voucher program continues today

Here's some background to bring you up to speed:

Koch brothers interfering in NC school voucher lawsuit

NC Policy Watch takes a look at the libertarian law firm funded by the Koch brothers that are representing some parents in court cases challenging NC's school voucher law.

The law firm was founded in 1991 by Clint Bolick and Chip Mellor. In the firm’s early days, Bolick was known for his work opposing affirmative action legislation, and acted as one of the top strategists endeavoring to hold up the passage of the 1991 Civil Rights bill.

And, according to the New York Times, he is one of the prime architects behind school voucher plans in Milwaukee and Cleveland, which have come under intense scrutiny for no better or worse academic outcomes for its students as compared with public schools and numerous incidents of fraud and abuse of the programs.

Koch Americans for Prosperity makes $1.4 million anti-Hagan ad buy

Politico has the scoop. The ad campaign includes television, radio, digital ads and "grassroots actions". (Funny - how can something be a "grassroots action" when it's funded by a couple of billionaires?

“We want to make sure Obamacare and all the pain it’s causing is the number one issue on everyone’s mind,” said AFP president Tim Phillips. “Kay Hagan is being held accountable for a law that is causing cancelled insurance plans, lost access to doctors and rising costs.”

Backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, this is just the latest onslaught of ads the group has launched in North Carolina. In 2013, AFP spent millions targeting Hagan and has already engaged in a major television ad buy in January.

Koch brothers raising funds this weekend

Politico gives a tip that the Koch brothers are holding a major fundraiser with the country's richest Republican donors in Palm Springs this weekend.

Will Art Pope show up?

Many of the right’s most generous benefactors – folks like Minnesota media mogul Stan Hubbard, Wall Street investor Ken Langone and Wyoming mutual fund guru Foster Friess – are regulars. The gatherings, which attendees call “seminars” and are typically held at tony resorts, routinely attract some of the top operatives and biggest names in Republican politics, as well as rising stars tapped by the Kochs’ operatives.

The last seminar, held in August outside Albuquerque, N.M., drew Rep. Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Iowa state legislator Joni Ernst, who is running in a crowded GOP Senate primary.

Koch brothers play Henry Higgins for potential nutcase TeaBagger candidates

Mother Jones is reporting that the Koch brothers aren't just satisified with throwing money at candidates or supporting and coordinating with campaigns with ads run by groups like Americans for Prosperity.

Now, after sinking millions of dollars into loosing Tea Bagger candidates in the last election cycle, the Koch's have set up a consulting firm to operate a kind of "school" to groom Tea Bagger candidates for campaigning. They're hoping to prevent the next Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin from sticking their foot in their mouth up to their elbow.

Koch's big plans for NC and 12 other states

Alternet has a piece this morning that looks at the Koch brothers battle plans for 2014. North Carolina is on a list of 13 states where they'll be focusing during the next election cycle - at least that's what can be determined from the offices the Koch's are opening up and the hiring they're doing.

The Koch's are also going to be focusing more on social media and the Internet and less on traditional broadcast media, following a larger trend in campaigning.

There's some new PACs to look out for that will be spreading the Koch's toxic ooze over the state:

*The 60 Plus Association. Founded in 1992, it tries to be the right-wing version of the American Association of Retired persons, or AARP. The Post found that it spent $4.6 million on ads against Obama, Obamacare and House Democrats in 2012.

Koch Brothers subverting Florida State University Economics research

Hat-tip to Martha Brock for bringing this video to our attention.

Art Pope's stink tanks

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) on the State Policy Network is out with a report this week that deserves the attention of anyone interested in progressive and ethical government.

The idea is simple - Art Pope, the Koch Brothers, the Walmart Walton family and others are illegally using "think tanks", like Pope's Civitas and Pope Foundation, as direct lobbying organizations. Officially classified as non-profit educational groups, it's illegal for these groups to engage in lobbying activities.

Think about it for a minute. How many times have "reports" and "studies" by these groups been taken up as gospel by legislators in NC to justify particular laws? How many legislators have been involved in meetings, retreats or presentations for and by these groups?

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