10 Most Important Facts About The Koch Brothers

 

Despite being able to puppeteer conservative legislators from the shadows for years, daylight is filtering into the Koch brothers empire and what it’s revealing is truly disturbing. Robert Greenwald has collected the 10 facts that every American needs to know about the Koch brothers and what they are doing to the country. Here they are:

1. Koch Industries, which the brothers own, is one of the top ten polluters in the United States — which perhaps explains why the Kochs have given $60 million to climate denial groups between 1997 and 2010.

2. The Kochs are the oil and gas industry’s biggest donors to the congressional committee with oversight of the hazardous Keystone XL oil pipeline. They and their employees gave more than $300,000 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010 alone.

3. From 1998-2008, Koch-controlled foundations gave more than $196 million to organizations that favor polices that would financially enrich the two brothers. In addition, Koch Industries spent $50 million on lobbying and some $8 million in PAC contributions.

4. The Koch fortune has its origins in engineering contracts with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.

5. The Kochs are suing to take over the Cato Institute, which has accused the Kochs of attempting to destroy the group’s identity as an independent, libertarian think and align it more closely with a partisan agenda.

6. A Huffington Post source who was at a three-day retreat of conservative billionaires said the Koch brothers pledged to donate $60 million to defeat President Obama in 2012 and produce pledges of $40 million more from others at the retreat.

7. Since 2000, the Kochs have collected almost $100 million in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.

8. Koch Industries has an annual production capacity of 2.2 billion pounds of the carcinogen formaldehyde. The company has worked to keep it from being classified as a carcinogen even though David Koch is a prostate cancer survivor.

9. The Koch brothers’ combined fortune of roughly $50 billion is exceeded only by that of Bill Gates in the United States.

10. The Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs accused Koch Oil of scheming to steal $31 million of crude oil from Native Americans. Although the company claimed it was accidental, a former executive in this operation said Charles Koch had known about it and had responded to the overages by saying, “I want my fair share, and that’s all of it.”

And to think, these are just the top ten facts. It’s enough to raise significant concerns over the health of our democracy and the significant influence two men have in shaping the policy that impacts millions of people in this country and beyond. This is not what democracy looks like. At all.

 

Related Stories:

Koch Blocking Political Debate

High Stakes In the Battle Over Cato

 

Photo from 401K via flickr.

81 comments

Death Becomesher
Mary N.about a year ago

This is great, please update

Angela P.
Angie P.about a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harperabout a year ago

noted

Teresa W.
Teresa W.2 years ago

thank you

TJ Grant
Thomas Grant3 years ago

it's a nice little rundown, this article. one thing that would have made it nicer, is if on point #8 the author hadn't included the prostate cancer comment. my father is a survivor so we know a lot about it in my family, and as far as i know owning chemical and petroleum companies isn't how you get it. prostate cancer is almost exclusively a result of fatty western diets. So while it's tempting to include the koch cancer to further underline their own hypocrisy, unless a lot more connecting links are made, to see how their clearly self-serving stance on keeping formaldehyde listed as a non-carcinogen, it doesn't add anything to the argument. in fact it detracts from it because it is a non sequitur, an irrelevant fact, and makes leftist cases look more hoky and less solid.
still a good article and i agree with everything else. let's not give into temptation though, the right gives us plenty of material to make them look bad, without having to stoop to their level and use poor reasoning.

Jennifer E.
Jennifer E.3 years ago

Maybe many governments could take a leaf out of the Israeli Knesset, where they have a lot of small parties so always have to find coalitions of similar principles to actually form a government. (There is a list on Wikipedia.) Would that reduce this big money influence a bit, I wonder? Or would the corrupt always find ways around it?

Those Koch brothers certainly sound worse and worse evey time I hear anything about them.

Wilda Kirk
Wilda Kirk3 years ago

Had never heard of them before this article. Thanks!

Aletta Kraan
Aletta Kraan3 years ago

Thanks for the information !!!

 .
.3 years ago

Way back around 1901, President Teddy Roosevelt took on Big BUSINESS and broke up
40 monopolies. He always wanted to give the working man a "Fair Shake" and even recommended a national health system. Most of all was his distrust of BIG MONEY, and aptly called them: "TRAITORS TO THE PEOPLE." He was absoltely
Right. I hope they stop and think - and know what the PENALTY is for TREASON.

 .
.3 years ago

Way back around 1901, President Teddy Roosevelt took on Big BUSINESS and broke up
40 monopolies. He always wanted to give the working man a "Fair Shake" and even recommended a national health system. Most of all was his distrust of BIG MONEY, and aptly called them: "TRAITORS TO THE PEOPLE." He was absoltely
Right. I hope they stop and think - and know what the PENALTY is for TREASON.