Category Archives: Political Landscape

Website Addresses Popular but Inaccurate Beliefs About the Koch Brothers

On March 10, the Bill Moyers website published an article by Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and Theda Skocpol about what they call “myths” popularly believed about the Koch Brothers.

Charles and David Koch together own and run Koch Industries, making them multibillionaires each. Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States.

They are now well-known, especially Charles Koch. Most people, especially the politically active, know the two brothers raise money for conservative political causes. However, according to the article writers, most people believe things about the two brothers which are inaccurate. They want to correct the record.

One of the “myths” the authors wish to debunk is the idea that the Charles Koch funds hundreds of conservative groups, that they are behind virtually every rightwing group in the United States from Americans United for Life to the Heritage Foundation. The Center for Responsive Politics published a chart of their “Maze of Money” which makes it look like the organizations they support form a vast hydra-headed conspiracy.

According to the authors, the reality is, in a way, worse. Rather than fund everybody to the left of Hillary Clinton with a political shotgun, they focus and concentrate their spending for maximum effectiveness. Instead, they have some core organizations.  The main organization is Americans for Prosperity (AFP). It has a large staff, a bankroll and lists of millions of conservative donors. It opposes Democratic candidates, supports conservative Republican candidates and pushes to pass laws the Koch Brothers support.

They also fund a few organizations oriented toward specific groups. The Libre Initiative aims at Hispanics, Generation Opportunity at young people and Concerned Veterans for Americans at veterans. Aegis Strategic looks out for promising young politicians to train and recruit.

After all, they employ more people than the Republican Party and raise more money. According to the authors, the Koch Brothers need and interact as part of the Republican Party. They point out the Republican Party frontrunner, Donald Trump, is not a member of the Koch network, and is appealing to ordinary voters with policies the Koch Brothers disagree with.

Charles is Chief Executive Office of Koch Industries and David Koch is Executive Vice President. Their father, Fred Koch, founded the company. Together, they have grown it by a large amount since Charles Koch took over from Fred.

This article recapped