Electoral Politics

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Statement by Koch Regarding False Assertions About Virginia Redistricting

During these uncertain economic times, when the U.S. is still struggling to get back on its feet, it is unfortunate that Virginia State Senator Donald McEachin falsely and irresponsibly attacked Koch Industries, a company which employs nearly 1,600 people in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The downstream multiplier effect of those jobs, the total number of people employed as a result of Koch’s operations in the state, is about 5,700 people.

Sen. McEachin encouraged people to “tell the Koch brothers to get out of Virginia,” while falsely accusing Koch of being actively involved in efforts to “rig the electoral map” in Virginia. The Kochs have done no such thing. In fact, what Senator McEachin calls the “scheme to rig the electoral map” was actually perpetrated by his own party, according to Blue Virginia, a blog supportive of the Virginia Democratic party and its politicians. Senator McEachin’s attacks are just the latest in the ongoing orchestrated campaign against Koch by the Democratic party and its allies who oppose Charles Koch and David Koch’s longstanding 50-plus year advocacy for individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom. As has been documented herehereherehereherehere, and here, Koch and its owners have been subjected to an ongoing series of political attacks designed to intimidate them and silence their exercise of their First Amendment rights of free expression.

We urge Sen. McEachin to cease his irresponsible attacks against Koch and its employees in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to stop trying to stifle constitutionally-protected free speech. Senator McEachin should stop these attacks which are inconsistent with Virginia’s long history and tradition of promoting and protecting freedom of speech and individual liberty. Instead of irresponsibly and falsely attacking Koch, Senator McEachin should focus his efforts on promoting policies that will stimulate jobs and prosperity in his state.

 

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The 2012 Elections

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

With the election behind us, the real work for our nation begins. Our elected representatives need to work together to balance the budget, rein in unbridled government growth and spending, end cronyism, and create an environment that rewards principled entrepreneurship and strives for economic freedom and opportunity for every American.

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Encouraging Engagement in the Political Process

To encourage employees to be informed about and engaged in the political process, Koch mailed a letter in early October to its 50,000 U.S.-based employees. The communication makes clear that decisions about which political candidates to support are up to each employee and should be based on factors most important to him or her. In addition to the letter, employees were given information they often request – voter registration deadlines, early voting options for various states, and a list of candidates supported by Koch companies and KOCHPAC, Koch’s employee political action committee.

Because inaccurate and false stories were written about a similar letter we sent to Koch employees in 2010, we are posting a PDF of the letter along with the complete text of the letter below so that readers can see for themselves the true intent of the mailing:


Click Here For Full Post »

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

UPDATE Koch Responds to Dishonest Ads from the President’s Allies

Harry Reid, the second most powerful Democrat in the country, and two major unions have teamed up with a George Soros-funded advocacy group to pour money into commercials that are falsely attacking Charles Koch and David Koch.

Patriot Majority, a political organization affiliated with Sen. Harry Reid that doesn’t disclose its donors, has to date spent a million dollars on dishonest ads that misrepresent Charles Koch and David Koch’s positions on many issues as part of its multimillion dollar ad campaign. (The hypocrisy of such a group criticizing Koch for funding “secretive” political organizations is impossible to ignore.)

Click Here For Full Post »

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Statement from David H. Koch on Reducing the Federal Deficit

“It is my hope that Democrats, not just Republicans, will become part of the effort to reduce the federal debt by right sizing government and restructuring unsustainable entitlement programs. For that to happen, corporate subsidies and tax preferences not applied equally should be eliminated, or simplified in a revenue-neutral way, which I alluded to last week (“The Republicans’ new Koch,” editorial, Sept. 3). Broad-based tax increases make no sense; they would only slow an economy in tremendous need of growth. The Democratic Party has a perfect opportunity at its convention to join Republicans in pledging to stabilize America’s finances. They should seize it.”

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Statement from David H. Koch

“I’d like to set the record straight regarding false rumors alleging involvement by me and my wife with Governor Romney’s selection of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate.

I have great respect for Congressman Ryan. He is a bright, capable leader and a tremendous asset to Governor Romney’s ticket. I presume Paul Ryan was chosen as the Governor’s running mate based on his qualifications and track record for thoughtful reform. The topic of who Governor Romney should choose as a running mate never came up, and the assertion that we had anything to do with his selection is wholly inaccurate and completely baseless.”

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Friday, August 10th, 2012

Statement from David H. Koch

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen as one of 95 delegates representing the great State of New York at the 2012 Republican National Convention. As Americans, we all have a role to play in the democratic process. From learning about the issues to participating in campaigns and voting, this is an opportunity – and a right – to help chart the course for our nation.”

 

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Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Senator Lautenberg Falsely Attacks Koch Industries, a U.S.-Based Company With Operations in His Home State of New Jersey

At a time when the United States remains mired in an economic crisis with unemployment above 8 percent and 30 consecutive months of troubling private sector hiring reports, Sen. Lautenberg and three other Democratic  senators took to the Senate floor this week to falsely and maliciously attack Koch Industries, a U.S.-based manufacturing company that employs 50,000 people including more than 100 in his home state of New Jersey.  Sen. Lautenberg falsely accused Koch, Charles Koch, and David Koch of trying to “buy our elections” and “manipulate the election.”  Of course, Koch, Charles Koch, and David Koch have done no such thing.  Sen. Lautenberg’s rambling diatribe is directed at the alleged activities of Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots organization with more than 1.8 million activists and 90,000 donors in 50 states.

Sen. Lautenberg went on to urge a boycott of products that Koch companies’ employees manufacture here in the United States and listed these products, some of which are made by his constituents in New Jersey.
Click Here For Full Post »

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Obama Press Secretary Peddles Misinformation

Ben LaBolt, the press secretary for the Obama campaign, made false comments about Koch on an MSNBC program today. LaBolt claimed that Charles Koch and David Koch are making campaign contributions because they, “want to maintain their subsidies.”

As we explained several times, Koch opposes subsidies of any kind and we have argued publicly that subsidies should be discontinued across the board. We pointed that out directly to the Obama campaign just a few months ago. Given our repeated statements concerning our longstanding views on these issues, it is difficult to understand why the President and his allies continue to make these blatant misrepresentations. We urge them to stop these attacks and instead focus on addressing the economic challenges our nation faces in a productive and honest manner, including ending the rampant cronyism that negatively impacts our economy.

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Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Koch Respects The Right of All Americans to Support Their Political Candidates

We have seen media reports about the protest being organized by a convicted terrorist and a number of fringe organizations.

It is ironic that the pretext for the protest is supposed “outrage” at the role of money in politics. Considering the record-setting fundraising by President Obama as reported hereherehereherehere and here, the hypocrisy of the Left and their attempts to mislead the public are obvious. There is a double standard at work here, and the message from the Left is that fundraising for their preferred candidates is fine, but donations to those with differing points of view are somehow immoral. The Left’s outrage is selective and hollow.
Click Here For Full Post »

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Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Another Misstatement about Koch

As we have documented previously, the President, and his aides and allies have routinely disparaged and sought to intimidate Koch for disagreeing with his public policies.  During a fundraising conference call with supporters last week conducted aboard Air Force One, the President took yet another swipe at private citizens, Charles Koch and David Koch, for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.  Along with the personal attack, Obama also got the facts wrong about Koch’s activities in spite of PolitiFact having previously explained all this in detail.

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Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Hypocrisy and Deception from DSCC Spokesman Matt Canter

The comments made by DSCC Spokesperson Matt Canter on June 20 about Koch’s historical business in Iran are inaccurate, disingenuous, and hypocritical.  As has been pointed out in the past, including on this site, Democrats in general and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in particular have for years accepted campaign contributions from companies that have done extensive business with Iran.  That includes a major Fortune 500 company with longstanding business connections with Iran whose CEO is one of President Obama’s top supporters. A number of Democratic elected officials also are actively accepting contributions from companies doing business with Iran, such as Sen. Jon Tester and Mr. Canter’s former boss, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.  Indeed, among the top contributors to Senator Gillibrand are two entities that were fined for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

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Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Correcting Misleading Statements from Rep. Cummings and Rep. Waxman

In response to misleading statements in a May 22, 2012 letter from Representatives Cummings and Waxman to Mr. Thomas Donahue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries is correcting the record.  This is not the first time that Representative Waxman has made dishonest accusations about Koch.  He previously falsely claimed that Koch was involved with and behind the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Click Here For Full Post »

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Koch Responds to Misleading Intimidation Tactics by the Obama Campaign

On May 2, the President and his campaign again attacked private citizens because of their exercise of their constitutional rights to speak out about issues of public policy. In their most recent attack video, the Obama campaign makes multiple false representations about Koch, our operations and our position on public policy issues.

This is not the first time the Obama campaign has chosen dishonesty and invective over principled discussion as many others have pointed out. We will not be intimidated or silenced by the President and his allies. It is essential that we exercise our constitutional right to speak out on reckless fiscal policies, irresponsible over-regulation, and the critical role of economic freedom and individual liberty in restoring the growth and vitality of our country.

We have posted the following rebuttal to expose the Obama campaign’s dishonesty:

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Monday, May 7th, 2012

Koch Responds to Violent Rhetoric from Obama Campaign Advisor David Axelrod

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

Despite pronouncements from the Obama campaign that its rhetoric would become more “positive”, senior Obama advisor David Axelrod’s comments to reporters on May 7 reveal that the campaign continues to stoop to the lowest forms of invective.  Mr. Axelrod described Koch as “contract killers over there in super PAC land.”

Click Here For Full Post »

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Statement Regarding the Recent Obama 2012 Press Release

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

A recently issued press release by the Obama campaign once again singles out Koch and misrepresents the facts in a divisive manner when Americans are asking for a reasoned dialogue and solutions to pressing economic issues.  The Obama campaign is upset about a study put out this week by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University concerning President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.  Instead of addressing the study’s findings and analysis, the campaign spokesperson deflects and falsely criticizes Koch for supporting “subsidies for oil and gas companies that are making record profits and boosting their own bottom line.”

As has been explained repeatedly, Koch has consistently and for many years opposed government subsidies of any kind and urged the government to discontinue them.  Further, Charles Koch and David Koch have championed free-market policies for more than 50 years and criticized those policies that are counter to free-market principles, regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans were in power.  We have long supported the Mercatus Center and other groups that analyze and advance thoughtful, reliable, free-market solutions to the pressing economic problems facing our country. The Obama campaign’s complaints about energy policy appear to be a tactic to divert attention from the study’s analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s impact on our country’s massive deficits.   The fact that the President’s campaign would prefer to demonize Koch rather than discuss the economic consequences of the president’s policies demonstrates that the Administration and its allies would prefer not to deal with the serious economic crisis our nation faces.

We encourage and support a principled, fact-based and civil debate about the important issues we face today.  However, we continue to object to attempts by the president’s campaign and other politicians to single out private citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights concerning matters of important public policy.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012

UPDATE Koch Responds to Obama Campaign

Dear Mr. Messina:

Although I haven’t yet received it, the Washington Post reports that you have sent me a reply to our letter of last Friday.  According to the letter that was reprinted, it appears you have reverted to the same half-truths, distortions, and outright false statements that the Administration and its allies have used for the past three years against Koch Industries, Charles Koch, and David Koch.  We have repeatedly refuted these prior assertions and will continue to do so to ensure the truth is told.  I invite you to review www.kochfacts.com for more details.

Your letter never addresses the fundamental issue I raised concerning the impropriety of a sitting President and his campaign publicly attacking two private citizens for exercising their free speech rights. While we encourage and welcome a principled and civil debate about the important issues our great nation faces, it is inappropriate and beneath the office of the President to denounce an American company like ours that employs 50,000 people here in the United States, malign its owners with repeated misstatements and distortions, and harass our effort to speak out just because you disagree with our consistent support for the principles of a free society.

Your demand, for instance, that Koch disclose the names of Americans for Prosperity donors is misguided given that AFP is a separate and independent organization. Your demand is also hypocritical, particularly given the President’s own reliance on anonymous donors now and in the past.  Koch complies with all laws regarding disclosure of political contributions.  However, given the hostile rhetoric that you, the Democratic party, and your allies have aimed at us and others who disagree with your point of view, it is easy to understand why people have valid reasons to retain their privacy.  To cite just one example, Koch and its owners have been the target of many threats of violence over the past two years by some who disagree with our view on public policy issues.  In light of that, I think most Americans would agree it is at odds with our national values for the President and his aides to single out and personally impugn private citizens for political gain.

As has been stated previously, for more than 50 years Charles Koch and David Koch have consistently advocated for principles of economic freedom and have strongly opposed policies that undermine free markets, regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican was President — and will continue doing so. Despite this most recent effort at intimidation, we will not be silenced or compromise our principled positions on issues, nor relinquish our rights to privacy and free speech.

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

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Friday, February 24th, 2012

A Letter to the Obama Campaign

Mr. Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Dear Mr. Messina:

Because every American has the right to take part in the public discourse on matters that affect the future of our country, I feel compelled to respond directly about a fundraising letter you sent out on February 24 denouncing Koch. It is both surprising and disappointing that the President would allow his re-election team to send such an irresponsible and misleading letter to his supporters.

For example, it is false that our “business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump.” Our business vision begins and ends with value creation — real, long-term value for customers and for society. We own no gasoline stations and the part of our business you allude to, oil and gas refining, actually lowers the price of gasoline by increasing supply. Either you simply misunderstand the way commodities markets work or you are misleading your supporters and the rest of the American people.

Contrary to your assertion that we have “committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama,” we have stated publicly and repeatedly since last November that we have never made any such claim or pledge. It is hard to imagine that the campaign is unaware of our publicly stated position on that point. Similarly, Americans for Prosperity is not simply “funded by the Koch brothers,” as you state — rather it has tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life. Further, our opposition to this President’s policies is not based on partisan politics but on principles. Charles Koch and David Koch have been outspoken advocates of the free-market for over 50 years and they have consistently opposed policies that frustrate or subvert free markets, regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican was President.

If the President’s campaign has some principled disagreement with the arguments we are making publicly about the staggering debt the President and previous administrations have imposed on the country, the regulations that are stifling business growth and innovation, the increasing intrusion of government into nearly every aspect of American life, we would be eager to hear them. But it is an abuse of the President’s position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy. The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.

This is not the first time that the President and his Administration have engaged in this sort of disturbing behavior. As far back as August, 2010, Austan Goolsbee, then the President’s chief economic advisor, made public comments concerning Koch’s tax status and falsely stated that the company did not pay income tax, which triggered a federal investigation into Mr. Goolsbee’s conduct that potentially implicated federal law against improper disclosure of taxpayer information. Last June, your colleagues sent fundraising letters disparaging us as “plotting oil men” bent on “misleading people” with “disinformation” in order to “smear” the President’s record. Those accusations were baseless and were made at the very same time the president was publicly calling for a more “civil conversation” in the country.

It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be “tired of hearing” that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint. Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.

We agree with the President that civil discourse is an American strength. That is why it is troubling to see a national political campaign apparently target individual citizens and private companies for some perceived political advantage. I also hope the President will reflect on how the approach the campaign is using is at odds with our national values and the constitutional right to free speech.

Sincerely,

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

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Friday, February 10th, 2012

Statement from Koch in Response to Obama Campaign Remarks

We will exercise our First Amendment rights and not be intimidated or silenced by the President’s aides and his allies who criticize private citizens that disagree with the President’s policies.

The Obama campaign’s decision to embrace Super PACs is similar to the President’s hypocrisy in 2008 when he broke his promise to use public campaign financing, and became the first major party presidential candidate in history to turn down public financing in a general election.  It is worth noting that President Obama outraised and outspent his opponent by hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2008 Presidential campaign, relying in large part on the same corporate executive funding sources whose productivity, business practices, and profitability he pretends to denounce.

Apparently, the President and his allies do not want to lose that perceived fundraising advantage during the 2012 Presidential campaign, and are trying to intimidate into silence those who may disagree with them and who may decide to support other candidates.

Philip Ellender, President and COO
Government and Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

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Friday, January 20th, 2012

Koch Responds to Obama Campaign Ad

“President Obama’s first TV advertisement of the 2012 political season refers obliquely to Koch while claiming credit for a thriving energy sector. It’s a message that is divorced from the facts, and only makes sense to a federal bureaucrat or a campaign focus group. In reality, the Administration has been ambivalent or, more often, outright hostile to many of the affordable and practical solutions that would increase America’s domestic energy supplies, including pipelines and offshore drilling permits.

While the Obama2012 campaign pays political consultants to create misleading ads and talking points, Koch employs nearly 50,000 American workers who create value every day and contribute to the economic prosperity of their communities and our nation. With the nation’s unemployment rate at more than eight percent, it is unfortunate that the President demonizes Koch and other job creators for political gain rather than create an environment that will promote job growth and help businesses and the people they employ flourish.”

–Philip Ellender, President, Government and Public Affairs, Koch Companies Public Sector

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