Campaign Finance

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Confronting Irresponsible Attacks and Intellectual Dishonesty from the New York Times Managing Editor

In a speech on June 16, New York Times Managing Editor Jill Abramson tried to justify the paper’s biased and obsessive coverage of Koch with a comparison to the Nixon administration that was divorced from reality and unhinged from the facts.  Speaking from prepared remarks to a trade group, Abramson said, “I’m tremendously proud of the enterprise stories we’ve done [because] the Koch brothers may be the most important behind-the-scenes players in this election, especially considering Watergate history, an environment where there are giant, secret campaign contributions is ripe for even more investigations.”

Abramson’s analogy is false, misleading, and ludicrous in several respects.  Every contribution to a state or federal political campaign made by Koch or any other person or group must be disclosed to the government and publicly catalogued.  Indeed, Koch scrupulously complies with all disclosure requirements, which the New York Times and other partisan media have used as a way to harass and attack us in the past.

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012
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Friday, July 29th, 2011

We Respond to Roll Call

Ms. Kate Ackley
Lobbying Reporter and Editor
Roll Call

Dear Ms. Ackley:

I am having a hard time understanding why Koch Industries was singled out in your piece and headline in reference to an event with which we had no participation whatsoever [Romney Fundraiser Hosts Include Koch Lobbyist; July 26].

I should point out first that the headline and lede could lead the reader to the impression that Patton Boggs currently conducts lobbying services for Koch — which is not the case. Regardless, the inference that we therefore have tacit involvement in any activity of either their firm or Siff & Associates (the other firm cited), is simply false.

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011

UPDATE – Letter to Senator Patty Murray, Chair Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

On Friday, July 8, we heard back from Guy Cecil, Executive Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), who attributed Senator Patty Murray’s request for a contribution to a “staff error”.

Mr. Cecil also raised several issues facing our country. We clearly disagree on the best way to address those problems. We think the role of government is to help create an environment of economic freedom where people and businesses can prosper. This short video illustrates that perspective:

As for the “staff error” Mr. Cecil refers to, he should know this was not an isolated incident.

On June 17th, we received a letter from a member of DSCC finance staff asking for a substantial contribution. That was followed by a phone call from that staffer on June 22nd and another on June 30th. Also on June 30th, we received yet another overture from the Deputy Director of Finance, urging us to “max-out” a donation, join the DSCC “Leadership Circle,” have breakfast with U.S. Senators, and also take part in the DSCC’s Kiawah Island retreat.

Senator Patty Murray, Chair
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Dear Senator Murray:

For many months now, your colleagues in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership have engaged in a series of disparagements and ad hominem attacks about us, apparently as part of a concerted political and fundraising strategy. Just recently, Senator Reid wrote in a DSCC fundraising letter that Republicans are trying to “force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say ‘Koch Brothers.’”

So you can imagine my chagrin when I got a letter from you on June 17 asking us to make five-figure contributions to the DSCC. You followed that up with a voicemail* indicating that, if we contributed heavily enough, we would garner an invitation to join you and other Democratic leaders at a retreat in Kiawah Island this September.

I’m hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it’s hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money.

It is troubling that private citizens taking part in the discourse have become the targets of White House and DSCC fundraising missives, and we would certainly encourage you to rethink that approach. Ultimately, I expect voters will see through that and will weigh the issues on the merits alone. But in the meantime, if you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful.

Philip Ellender
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

*Listen to Senator Murray’s voicemail message here.

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