Wisconsin Dems Go After Koch Bros. In Recall Election

Wisconsin Democrats have had enough with the overwhelming flow of dark money coming into their state to prop up Gov. Scott Walker (R) and are taking their fight direct to the source: David Koch.

On a conference call with reporters yesterday, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate announced the party was filing a compliant with the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, and forwarding a copy of the compliant to the Internal Revenue Service attacking the nonprofit status of Americans For Prosperity after recent comments Koch made in a Florida paper.

“These organizations are a farce,” said Tate, referring to AFP’s 501(c)(3) status, as well as that of a state level conservative organization the MacIver Institute. “This designation allows an organization to accept tax-deductible contributions and further provides that they are not required to disclose their donors, nor are they required to report their spending until after an election has taken place.”

He added: “But to maintain this status, a 501(c)(3) is prohibited from engaging in ‘activities which constitute participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate.’”

Admittedly having AFP’s tax-exempt status is a tough road to climb, but as Tate made clear, the fight is also about the principle.

“While there may seem to be no real rules in Wisconsin politics or federally anymore, we think this is such an affront to the Wisconsin standard of open and clean government that we must take a stand here, and this is worthy of investigating.”

Tate added: “If we don’t consistently fight back as more billionaires try to buy our elections, this will become a matter of fact thing. and I’m a little disappointed that all of you in the media are just shrugging your shoulders and accepting this.”

Tate’s last point is especially important. David Koch is notoriously shy of the spotlight, yet here he is openly admitting and practically bragging about the “investment” he’s making into Gov. Walker through AFP. It’s gotten to the point where wealthy donors are not even trying any more to be discreet in their efforts to buy off democracy. If we just accept that the deck is stacked and the battle to have individuals as equally represented in Congress as corporations is hopeless well, then, our democracy really is doomed. But if after everything they’ve already fought for, Wisconsin Democrats are willing to lead the charge against this kind of money in our electoral process, then we at least owe it to them to help.

Related Stories:

President Obama Gets Behind Push To End Citizens United

Koch Bros. Pledge 100 Million To Defeat President Obama

Photo from WisPolitics.com via flickr.


W. C
W. C9 months ago


William C
William C9 months ago

Thank you.

Robert K.
Robert K6 years ago

BTW, Koch industries makes my favorite toilet paper, Northern, and I haven't bought it for 3 years since I fond that out. I wish they'd sell the company at a huge loss. 8^)

Robert K.
Robert K6 years ago

I believe that Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas should be charged with treason and hanged by the neck until dead. Kennedy should get prison time instead of death because he often legislates form the constitution and only sometimes legislates based on ideology.

Sadly, that won't happen and I'd settle for impeachment. Which, sadly, also won't happen.

But destroying the Kochs would be a fitting thing and then go after the crooked governors of Florida, Michigan and Ohio next.Public funding of elections is the only rational solution and would save us hundreds of billions a year as none of the politicians would be beholden to corrupting corporate influence and they would have to rely on the people. I'd also like to see a law that would end any campaign that lies about their opponent and fine the candidate enough to destroy their lives.

Past Member 6 years ago

To paraphrase a line from the W.C. Fields movie "The Bank Dick,"

"What's a six-letter word for political fraud?"


Rhonda B.
Rhonda B.6 years ago

America needs some serious election reform. Out of state money should not be used for state elections. The same thing happened in Louisiana. Bobby Jindal got all kinds of out of state money and the other candidates had so little they could not even get their names recognized. The political parties should have to donate to a fund and each candidate get the same amount of money. Then the campaigning should go on by debates, not advertising. 20 debates just lilke the Republicans have been doing and each one on a different topic and sponsored by a different interest group. Any candidate that refuses to debate gets dropped from the ballot, pure and simple. They have to participate in all debates unless they are in the hospital or have a death in the family. It's called equal opportunity and it is what makes America free.

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Leah H.
Leah H6 years ago

To those of you who boycott Koch products, I agree and have done the same since I discovered what they are up to politically. They may never feel the pinch, but I will NOT support a corporation that is actively working to destroy American democracy. Not one dime! I have also contacted businesses that I frequent and said that I will not buy clothing or household products containing Koch Industry products (Coolmax, Solarmax, Stainmaster, Lycra, Supplex and more).

Joey Sullivan
Joey Sullivan6 years ago

It's about fracking time someone in some government does something for frack sake...FRACK!

Julie Dawson
Julie D6 years ago

Bravo Mike Tate!