Notable Quotes & Links

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – April 8, 2015

Another View — Mark Holden, Devon Chaffee, and Christine Leonard : We cannot ‘live free or die’ without meaningful criminal justice reform
New Hampshire Union Leader

For nonviolent offenders facing years, decades or even life in prison, “live free or die” takes on a whole different meaning.

New Hampshire has a low and stable crime rate, but its prison population is a different story. Between 1999 and 2009, the prison population increased 22 percent, and annual state spending on corrections doubled to more than $100 million. This reflects disturbing trends nationwide.

As home to the first-in-the-nation primary, New Hampshire will play a critical role in shaping the national debate over criminal justice reform. Pressing presidential candidates on the issues can help make the dream of a “second chance” a bipartisan reality.

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Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Notable Links Digest – April 3, 2015

Liberals Are the New McCarthyites—and They’re Proud of It
National Review

It was just over 60 years ago that the tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy were repudiated when he was censured by the Senate in December 1954. Ever since then, McCarthyism — the reckless hurling of accusations at adversaries so as to destroy their reputations — has been considered one of the lowest forms of political behavior and one liberals love to crusade against.

But McCarthyism isn’t limited to one party or ideology. And if liberals have any sense of self-awareness they will recognize the tactic has returned and is growing in their back yard.

Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash this week if he regretted his 2012 accusation on the Senate floor that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney “hasn’t paid taxes for ten years.” Reid presented no evidence at the time and claimed he didn’t need any: “I don’t think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.”

Reid’s response in the interview was fascinating. When asked by Bash if his tactic was McCarthyite he visibly shrugged on camera, smiled, and said “Well, they can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win, did he?” White House spokesman Josh Earnest refused to criticize Reid for his comment because it “was three years old,” when in reality Reid’s televised reveling in it was only three days old.

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Friday, March 27th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – March 27, 2015

The Campus Climate Crusade

Conservative thought on campus these days is rare, though for some it’s still not rare enough. Witness the growing campaign by politicians, unions and environmentalists to intimidate into silence any academic or program that might challenge liberal ideology.

Congressional Democrats have grabbed most of the attention here, with their recent attempt to cow climate skeptics. Richard Lindzen, an emeritus professor of meteorology at MIT and a Cato Institute scholar, earlier this month described in these pages how House Rep. Raul Grijalva was targeting seven academics skeptical of President Obama’s climate policies, demanding documents about their funding and connections. A trio of Senate Democrats is working to muzzle more than 100 nonprofits and companies that have questioned the climate agenda, with a fishing expedition into their correspondence.

Largely unnoticed is that the congressional climate crusaders didn’t come up with this idea on their own. For several years a coalition of liberal organizations have been using “disclosure” to sully the names of conservative professors and try to shut down their programs. Their particular targets are academics who benefit from funding from the Koch Foundation, which has for decades funded free-market professors and groups on U.S. campuses.

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Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – March 25, 2015

Those evil Koch brothers 11

Nothing infuriates the left more than the generosity of David Koch, he of the notorious Koch Brothers, who keep on pursuing both activist conservative politics and pure philanthropy.

Three dozen scientists, joined by groups like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, are demanding that all science museums cut ties with any people or firms that, like the Kochs, “profit from fossil fuels.”

More: They want David Koch kicked off the boards of the Museum of Natural History in New York and of the Smithsonian — to which he’s given $70-plus million.

Why? The Koch brothers also fund groups that question the political consensus on climate change — so their money is “tainted.”

Now, both museums say they have no intention of booting Koch or anyone else. They also note that permanent exhibits he’s endowed at the Smithsonian specifically address the impact of climate change.

Anderson Cooper 360
Koch Industries General Counsel Mark Holden and CNN Political Commentator Van Jones discuss the importance of criminal justice reform.

Mark Holden wants you to love the Koch brothers
Yahoo! Politics

Over lunch in the gleaming “Café Koch” cafeteria, Holden said he thinks Charles Koch’s distaste for the spotlight and for showboating of any kind prevents him from taking more credit for his considerable philanthropy and empire-building.

“He should be celebrated, in my opinion,” Holden said. “Like Ford, Rockefeller, Steven Jobs, Carnegie — you know what I’m saying?”

Cohlmia, the head of public relations, agreed. “He is an American hero and an icon, and we want people to know,” she added.

Holden and others who work with Charles Koch believe that his Midwestern distaste for claiming credit has fueled his vilification — and that if people understood his views and his accomplishments, the negative mythology would mostly disappear.

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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Notable Links Digest – March 3, 2015

The Koch Brothers Just Launched a Lobbying Campaign to Eliminate an Obscure Government Agency. Here’s Why.
Mother Jones

On Tuesday, the industrial conglomerate run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the reauthorization of this obscure, 80-year-old institution, which otherwise will expire at the end of June. Signed by Philip Ellender, the president of Koch’s government affairs arm, the letter signals the start of a Koch lobbying effort aimed at shuttering the New Deal-era agency. The Ex-Im Bank has been living on borrowed time since September, when Congress temporarily extended its charter. But now Koch Industries wants Congress to eradicate the agency for good.

“The Ex-Im Bank is yet another example of the government intervening in the market to pick winners and losers,” Ellender writes. “It confers benefits granted by the American people as a whole to a small number of well-connected corporations. It socializes the risk of economic activity while benefiting relatively few companies.”


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Friday, February 20th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – February 20, 2015

So that’s it! Attacks on Koch brothers led to Dems’ midterm disaster, officials say
Washington Times

Democratic officials are second-guessing the party’s obsession with attacking … Koch …, saying it bears some of the blame for last year’s devastating election losses as the focus on the conservative billionaires diluted a party message already struggling for clarity.

Doubts about the relentless attacks on … Koch … surfaced as the Democratic National Committee held its annual meeting Thursday in Washington, where state party officials from across the country mulled what went wrong in 2014.

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – February 18, 2015

Unlikely Cause Unites the Left and the Right: Justice Reform
New York Times

Koch Industries . . . and the center, a Washington-based liberal issues group, are coming together to back a new organization called the Coalition for Public Safety. The coalition plans a multimillion-dollar campaign on behalf of emerging proposals to reduce prison populations, overhaul sentencing, reduce recidivism and take on similar initiatives. Other groups from both the left and right — the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, the Tea Party-oriented FreedomWorks — are also part of the coalition, reflecting its unusually bipartisan approach.

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Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – January 30, 2015

The Kochs Ride Again

One sign [America] is still a free country is that a band of like-minded people, devoted to principles they consider essential to the country’s thriving, can get together and try to effect them in public policy.

Unlikely bedfellows unite on criminal justice reform
Yahoo! News

Only one issue in Washington right now could bring together the Koch brothers’ top lawyer, an environmental activist, the former head of the NRA and Sen. Al Franken.

Criminal justice reform.

In a city best known for dysfunction and discord, the issue has stood out as a rare area of common ground between Democrats and Republicans.

Behind the Koch Caricature
National Review Online

In fact, the Kochs are hardly the biggest spenders. In 2012, reports the Center for Responsive Politics (a nonpartisan outlet that tracks political spending), 13 of the 20 most generous organizations making donations to outside spending groups (i.e., those not affiliated with candidates’ official campaigns) leaned Democratic. Koch Industries was No. 136 on that list. The Kochs did not even appear on the list of the top 100 individual donors (to outside spending groups that required the disclosure of donor names — some, such as 501(c)(4)s, do not).

Charles Koch: ‘We don’t rest on our laurels’
Wichita Business Journal

In his speech, Koch said, “Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism,” but that “we don’t rest on our laurels.” He urged work toward freedom and a “society that maximizes peace, civility and well-being.”

Koch Brother Teams Up With Liberals on Criminal Justice Reform

The Kochs’ commitment in criminal-justice reform dates to the mid-1990s…

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Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – January 11, 2015

Congress doesn’t have to be a joke
Detroit Free Press

The federal criminal justice system’s onerous mandatory minimums and the culturally retrograde stripping of felons’ voting rights have long been an issue for the nation’s liberal constituencies. But they are also an affront to libertarian interests that generally find their home on the political right.

Last week, billionaire Charles Koch, a mega-funder for the GOP’s most conservative causes and candidates, penned a moving and articulate opinion piece pledging that he would focus on criminal-justice reform issues in 20

Charles Koch’s views on criminal justice system just may surprise you
The Wichita Eagle

Ten years ago, [Charles Koch] began giving money to support efforts by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse what some see as a national trend to get tough on crime, which has resulted in the tripling of the incarceration rate since the 1980s and has stripped the poor of their rights to a legal defense.

He’s going to give more to that effort, he said.

“Over the next year, we are going to be pushing the issues key to this, which need a lot of work in this country,” Koch said. “And that would be freedom of speech, cronyism and how that relates to opportunities for the disadvantaged.”

The nation’s criminal justice system needs reform, “especially for the disadvantaged,” Koch said, “making it fair and making (criminal) sentences more appropriate to the crime that has been committed.”

Truth is, there’s no one behind the wheel–tms–jgoldbrgctnjg-a20150103-20150103-column.html
Chicago Tribune

Meanwhile, for every rich conservative out there, there’s a rich liberal cutting checks, too. In other words, the one-percenters who supposedly run everything aren’t some homogenized class of economic overlords; they are, in fact, at war with each other. And, trust me, Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess no more think they are running the country than liberal super-donors Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Tom Steyer do.

Corporate Good Guy of the Week: Koch Industries

Most big businesses that decry “big government” and “Washington interference” also lobby heavily for favorable tax treatment and anti-competitive regulations.  So it is worth noting that Koch Industries (cue evil mustache-twirl music now if you are a mindless liberal) is publicly arguing right now to let expire all of the “temporary” tax “extender” measures that Congress likes to roll over every year and that benefit a number of Koch’s own business ventures.  In other words, Koch is advocating policies that will raise its own tax bill.  But they are doing this consistent with their free market principles.

Principle centered leadership: The Koch brothers story
Midland Daily News

Every now and then, you come across exceptional people who by their leadership, courage, vision, principles, and imagination have literally changed the world. Charles G. and David H. Koch are two such people.

The Kochs have been criticized in many circles for their belief in, passion for, and support of the traditional values that have made America great. Charles and David are unequivocal believers in and advocates for free enterprise, private property rights, limited government, the rule of law, and individual responsibility. Simply put, the Koch brothers are concerned that government consumption of GDP in the U.S. is too high, taxes on U.S. businesses are too high, the U.S. national debt is too high, and the U.S. regulatory structure is handcuffing America’s ability to compete and create jobs in today’s complex global economy.

Perhaps all of us should be more concerned with the same issues the Koch brothers are.

Chris Rodel: Kochs give plenty to nonpolitical causes
Cap Times

Dear Editor: It still amazes me how people around here want to use the Koch brothers as the standard of all that is evil in society today. The letter that appeared recently, calling out the spending habits of the Kochs as opposed to the Frautschi/Rowlands or Morgridges (those folks have done admirable things for our community — thank you!) missed out on an opportunity to show how wealthy people across the entire nation support great nonpolitical causes.

The Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions supporting medical research (David Koch is a prostate cancer survivor), higher education and science (being major donors to the Smithsonian and American Museum of Natural History), the fine arts (over $150 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Lincoln Center).

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Monday, October 27th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – October 27, 2014

Did You Hear the Koch Brothers Just Gave a Million Bucks to NPR to Cover Healthcare?
Inside Philanthropy

Come to think of it, I didn’t recall any controversy when RWJF gave National Public Radio $5.6 million to report on healthcare between 2008 and 2011, during a period when this was among the most politicized of all topics.

You’d think that somebody would at least have raised an eyebrow, given that RWJF is a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act, as well as other healthcare policy positions on the progressive side of the spectrum.

God bless that foundation, if you ask me. But as a thought experiment, imagine if the Koch brothers had given the same amount of money to NPR to cover healthcare.

People would have gone nuts.

A Rare Victory for Public Defense
New York Times

On the same day as the New York settlement, it was announced that the Koch brothers had made a six-figure grant to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train public defenders and fund research aimed at improving public defense.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was right to stop fighting the lawsuit, which settled only on the eve of trial. New York had faced the embarrassment of being the first state to stand trial over its inability to provide public defense.

The Truly Daffy Demonization of the Brothers Koch

As Wichita’s Koch family has learned the hard way, the surest way to make mortal enemies in contemporary America is to build a hugely successful business, stick to your principles, and care about the future of your country.

A bantam-weight among those enemies is The Kansas City Star. Not above the occasional rabbit punch, Star editors jabbed away with a recent story headlined, “Conservative Koch group launches TV ad attacking Orman in Kansas Senate race.”

Never mind that the Kochs are libertarians, not conservatives. What intrigues about the story is that hundreds of groups run ads every campaign season. To single out just one sponsor by name when that sponsor is running perfectly legal ads in its own state suggests something deeper than a bias. It suggests a disease, specifically KDS—Koch Derangement Syndrome

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Notable Links Digest – October 22, 2014

Koch Industries Funds Legal Defense For the Poor
Wall Street Journal

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced this week that it’s getting a “major grant” from Koch Industries Inc. to support the group’s indigent defense training programs and to study how states can do a better job of delivering legal services to the poor.

“We are supportive of the NACDL’s efforts to make the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to counsel a reality for all Americans, especially those who are the most disadvantaged in our society,” Charles G. Koch, the chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, said in a statement about the grant, which is believed to be in the six figures.

Tom Steyer and the Right to Free Speech
Commentary Magazine

Democrats have spent much of the last year trying to fuel outrage about the efforts of what they claim is nothing less than a plot by rich conservatives to purchase American democracy. At the center of that campaign is an effort to demonize the Koch brothers with a secondary role being played by Sheldon Adelson. But, as the New York Times reports today, liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer has now exceeded Adelson as the country’s largest donor to Super PACs with at least $55 million dollars donated in the last year to help defeat Republicans in the 2014 midterms. While Steyer is within his rights to spend his money as he likes, his move into first place in the Super PAC rankings effectively demonstrates not only the hypocrisy of attacks on the Kochs but the disingenuous nature of the Democrats’ claim that the GOP is buying the election.

Exclusive: Right to Counsel Is the Kochs’ New Cause
New York Times

Koch Industries, in partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is financing a program to provide scholarships and training for public defenders. The grant will also pay for a review of indigent defense programs to see what works in providing legal representation to those who can’t afford it.

Charles G. Koch, the chairman of Koch Industries, said in a statement that the grant was a way “to make the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to counsel a reality for all Americans, especially those who are the most disadvantaged in our society.”

Koch Industries gives grant to NACDL “to address the nation’s profound indigent defense crisis”
Washington Post

You hear a lot about the Koch brothers these days, but this press release from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers cuts against the usual narrative:

Washington, DC (Oct. 21, 2014) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the nation’s preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing, has been selected by Koch Industries, Inc. to receive a major grant in support of NACDL’s efforts to address the nation’s profound indigent defense crisis.

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Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – October 16, 2014

Hey, Big Spender
National Review Online

Then, of course, there is the experience of the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who have been featured in dozens of television ads, verbally flayed by Senate Democrats throughout the election cycle, and lambasted by Reid for everything from “actually trying to buy the country” to being flat-out “un-American.”

The Kochs, who in 1986 sat for a lengthy New York Times profile chronicling the family’s disputes and dramas, are today in virtual hibernation. Many Republican donors have followed suit.

“All the attacks on us definitely sent a message to people that if you support what we’re for and what we’re doing, you’re going to pay a price,” says Mark Holden, who serves as general counsel for Koch Industries. “And while some people are still willing to go forward, other people, understandably, aren’t willing to pay that price.”

RFK JR.’S Unhinged Attack On The Kochs Besmirches The Kennedy Name

Koch has contributed roughly $1.3 billion to charity for medical research, education, culture, the arts, and policy studies.

It’s an incredible story. Besides the Met museum, he just announced a $100 million donation to New York Presbyterian Hospital. He’s given $185 million to MIT, and another $100 million to Lincoln Center. The list goes on and on.
At the end of that speech at the Met, David Koch said he hoped his legacy would be that he “did his very best to make the world a better place.” That legacy is firmly in place.

Robert Kennedy Jr. should be ashamed of himself. Blissfully unaware of the scientific facts and existing solely in his self-centered world, he insults one of America’s great benefactors and stains the greatness of his uncle, John F. Kennedy, and his father, Robert F. Kennedy.

Democrats outraising Republicans as election nears
Fox News

Despite outrage from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats about billionaires like the Koch brothers donating to the GOP, statistics show Democrats are outraising Republicans this election season.

Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics estimated, “the Democratic senatorial campaign committee has raised $111 million compared to $82 million for their Republican counterpart.”

Even when you take all sources of money, from all donors for all races, the Democrats still lead. “It’s about $595 million for the Democrats, and about $450 million for the Republicans,” Krumholz said.

Begich, Reid lead the league in hypocrisy
Alaska Dispatch News

But Reid, Begich and Co. have an ugly secret. The campaign against the Kochs is a lie – a very big, very bold, very calculated lie. The Kochs, it turns out, are not the problem when it comes to big money in Alaska elections – not by a long stretch.

Federal Election Commission records analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics show hypocritical Harry Reid is the problem when it comes to big outside money flooding into campaigns.

He is closely linked to an independent expenditure group, the Senate Majority PAC. It is the top outside spender when it comes to campaigns, the FEC says – and not just in Alaska but across the entire nation. At last report, it had spent $34.5 million. In Alaska, it almost single-handedly is paying for Begich’s independent re-election effort.

The Koch brothers? They are nowhere near the top of the list.

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Monday, October 6th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – October 6, 2014

Is Another Obama Administration Scandal About To Explode?

Austan Goolsbee directed Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and later chaired his Council of Economic Advisers. In August 2010, Goolsbee conducted a telephone press briefing in which, according to the Washington Post, he purported to reveal confidential taxpayer information

There are three possibilities here: either Goolsbee just made up the claim that Koch Industries doesn’t pay corporate income taxes; or he learned Koch’s tax status from some proper, legal source; or else he illegally accessed Koch’s tax returns and used the information he learned for political purposes in a call with reporters.

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Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Notable Links Digest – October 3, 2014

Reid calls out Kochs, but Dem pac spends more


Editorial: Leave Muppets out of it!…/editorial_leave_muppets_out_of_it
The Boston Herald

The presence of the billionaire philanthropist and promoter of libertarian and conservative causes on WGBH’s board is subverting its “mission,” according to Forecast the Facts, which has helped organize repeated protests at ’GBH aimed at Koch.

That’s a particularly hollow charge, given the millions Koch has donated to the network and specifically to the science program “Nova,” which has produced endless hours of coverage about climate change and its impact on the planet. Call that Exhibit A that Koch has little influence over the network’s editorial decision-making.

Are Liberals Fund-Raising Hypocrites?
By Thomas B. Edsall
The New York Times

Mark Holden, general counsel at Koch Industries, contends that the Democracy Alliance orchestrates the activities of a permanent “left infrastructure” with ties to 172 organizations, each determined to attack the Koch brothers’ agenda of free enterprise and democratic capitalism…

The Democracy Alliance is an organization of roughly 100 very rich men and women who agree to contribute at least $200,000 annually to a list of roughly 20 liberal think tanks and advocacy groups, according to documents obtained by Politico. The Alliance itself makes no contributions. Nor does it pay for television ads or engage in other direct campaign activity.

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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – October 2, 2014

Top Spending PAC Aims To Keep The Senate In Democratic Hands

KORVA COLEMAN: For months Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has made a sport of bashing billionaires David and Charles Koch for donating millions to tax exempt groups pushing to win back Republican control of the Senate. But it turns out, the biggest spending outside group in this election cycle isn’t the Koch brothers, it’s a super PAC with ties to Senator Reid. NPR’s Peter Overby reports.

PETER OVERBY: The consultants who run Senate Majority PAC say they have just one goal, keeping the Senate in Democratic hands. To do that, they’ve spent 33 million dollars so far. That puts Senate Majority PAC at the top of the list, according to Federal Election Commission data, as analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

None Can Call It Treason
National Review Online

A couple of weeks ago at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, several hundred people went to their feet to applaud a speech delivered by David H. Koch. The occasion was the opening of the Met’s new façade on Fifth Avenue. It runs four city blocks, and is complete with new fountains, paving, lighting, landscaping, and seating areas for visitors. Mr. Koch contributed the entire $65 million cost of the project, which took years to complete.

And the people kept applauding. For several minutes. They wouldn’t stop in their gratitude for Koch’s generosity toward New York and one of the world’s great museums.

The Left demonizes David Koch and his brother Charles for their free-market views, their political donations, and the fact that they run a substantial energy company. Harry Reid has made a new career of it, calling them “un-American.” But on the platform that morning were liberal Democrats Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney. Ms. Maloney was particularly gracious when she said, “There is hope for the world when Koch and I can agree on something. On this we agree 100 percent.”

MSNBC Ridicules Democrats’ Hypocritical And Ineffective Koch Brothers Strategy
Washington Free Beacon

“This Koch brothers thing, it’s ridiculous,” Scarborough said. “Especially when they’re getting tons and tons of money on their side.”

Scarborough was alluding to a recent revelation that while Democrats frequently decry big money in politics, they in fact are the main recipients of big donor money.

“It doesn’t even work in Manhattan, where people thank God for David Koch,” Scarborough said. David Koch has donated nearly $300 million to New York City medical and cultural institutions.

“If you go to the hospital for special surgery because you’re mortally injured you will be thanking David Koch,” co-host Mika Brzezinski said.

Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist, equally perplexed, said Reid’s obsession with the Koch brothers has become a national strategy for Democrats but has been ineffective in moving the needle in midterm battleground states.
On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone


Rolling Stone has declined badly since the days when it employed P.J. O’Rourke as its foreign correspondent. The magazine falls a little farther with this month’s issue, which features the most uninspired hit piece on Koch Industries yet to appear in print. Timed to reinforce the Democrats’ campaign theme, Tim Dickinson’s article contains no original reporting, but merely regurgitates tired and discredited stories about Koch’s alleged misdeeds over the decades.

Dickinson’s problem isn’t just impenetrable ignorance, however. He contacted Koch Industries with a series of questions, and Koch responded with 3,200 words of history, fact and analysis-99 of which made it into the Rolling Stone article. You can see the information that Koch gave to Dickinson, and that Dickinson ignored, on KochFacts, where the entire email exchange between Dickinson and Koch is reproduced. The inescapable conclusion is that Dickinson knew that his article was a tissue of lies, misrepresentations and misleading statements and omissions, but published it anyway.


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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – August 27, 2014

Koch Brothers Take On Camo-Wearing Cops
The Daily Beast

Groups on the left have been among the loudest voices condemning police actions in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown this month. But the Koch brothers, boogeymen of national Democrats, have long funded libertarian groups that laid the intellectual groundwork for opposing police militarization, a phenomenon that now has been discussed and denounced much more widely.

The militarization of police in particular is an issue the Koch brothers view as necessary to tackle and which they have spent years fighting, a spokesman said.

“We need to address issues such as overcriminalization, excessive and disproportionate sentencing, inadequate indigent defense that is inconsistent with the Sixth Amendment, and the militarization of police,” Mark Holden, general counsel of Koch Industries Inc., told The Daily Beast. “We have deep respect for the moral dignity of each and every person and because of this, we’ve worked for decades to support those who defend the full range of individual rights.”

Why I stand with the Koch brothers
The Star Tribune

Every day, another media personality or politician criticizes Charles and David Koch. Even our two Minnesota senators — Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar — regularly attack these two brothers, as has their boss, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called them “un-American.” The Kochs, who have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and donated hundreds of millions to charity, earned such scorn for promoting free-market policies.

I agree with the Kochs. … We share a common vision: a society where opportunity and innovation improve well-being for everyone. We want to protect the American dream for future generations.

We believe that everyone should be free to chart his or her own path to success. They should be free to start and grow a small business into an economic powerhouse. And they should be free to do all of this without politicians and bureaucrats blocking the path.

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – August 14, 2014

Youth Entrepreneurs’ Good Work Should Not Be Politicized
By Kent Matlock
Huffington Post

I know the Youth Entrepreneurs program very well. My firm has worked with Georgia-Pacific for more than 20 years and with Koch Industries since it purchased GP. GP has funded the Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia program since 2005 (it was known as Youth Entrepreneurs — Atlanta then). My work with Liz Koch, the chair of YEGeorgia, who had a personal hand in establishing the program in Atlanta, was very similar to my work with Mrs. Billye Aaron when she was vice president of UNCF, and Coretta Scott King, throughout the 1980s and 90s. My experience showed them all as strong and smart women fully committed to the outcomes of their causes. In the case of Youth Entrepreneurs, I have personally witnessed the life-changing impact on a youth who attends an inner-city school, and realizes that they have the ability and opportunity to start their own business and to fulfill their dreams. The Youth Entrepreneurs program provides not only that hope, but also equips the participants with the knowledge, confidence, and often resources (e.g., scholarship money or venture capital).

Instead of criticizing the Youth Entrepreneurs program and suggesting some sinister and unfounded plot by Charles Koch, we should be duplicating these programs and making them available to more youth. The question your reporters should be asking is “what are we doing to prepare our youth – all our youth – to reach their full potential?” I suggest that we allow the students who have gone through the Youth Entrepreneurs program to tell their stories, many of which are captured in this video channel, without the “politics” so that we can find common-ground solutions that benefit our youth.

Koch Brothers’ donation will help black students
By Kent Matlock
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The recent $25 million grant to the United Negro College Fund from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation has generated comments and opinions, many of which are, at best, politically motivated and, at worst, hate-fueled. Such assertions have hijacked the intelligent dialogue we should be having about what does and doesn’t work in preparing our young people for their futures.

EDITORIAL: Campaign cash and the Kochs

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics — the nation’s premier tracker of money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy — has released its lists of top contributors during the 2014 election cycle. The lists allow the public to see which organizations and individuals donate the most money to federal campaigns and committees.

The lists show a pronounced shift. In the 2012 election cycle, seven of the top 20 donors favored conservatives. Of this year’s top 20 organizations, only two favor Republicans. The other 18, with the exception of a lone, “on the fence” trade association, strongly favor liberal policies and Democratic candidates. 


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Monday, June 30th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – June 30, 2014

Inside the vast liberal conspiracy
By Kenneth Vogel

Picture this: millionaires and billionaires gathering under tight security in fancy hotels with powerful politicians and operatives to plot how their network of secret-money groups can engineer a permanent realignment of American politics.

Only, it’s not the Koch brothers. It’s the liberal Democracy Alliance.

The 21 groups at the core of the Democracy Alliance’s portfolio intend to spend $374 million during the midterm election cycle — including nearly $200 million this year — to boost liberal candidates and causes in 2014 and beyond, according to internal documents obtained by POLITICO.

While growing sums of that cash are being spent vilifying the billionaire conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch over their own network’s political spending, the documents reveal the extent to which the Democracy Alliance network mirrors the Kochs’ — and is obsessed with it.

The existential crisis of the liberal millionaire
By Kenneth Vogel and Tarini Parti

David Brock has a message for liberal millionaires: Don’t sweat being called hypocrites.

Brock, a former “right-wing hit-man”-turned-top-big-money-Democratic-operative, is part of a behind-the-scenes campaign to convince donors it’s OK to attack the Koch brothers for spending millions of dollars while doing the exact same thing for the left.

Conservatives reject the notion that rich liberals donate more out of their concern for society than do their conservative counterparts like the Kochs. But Brock’s pitch also isn’t sitting well with some major liberal donors and operatives, who worry the anti-Koch strategy could backfire big time. It has not yet been proven effective at motivating key Democratic voting blocs like unmarried women and minorities, and liberal critics also worry it risks undercutting more important issues, smacks of class warfare and opens themselves up to hypocrisy charges.

Morning Joe

JOE SCARBOROUGH: You guys at Politico have been writing stories about this, about democrats ringing their hands and also this group that has gotten together. I have short term memory loss so I don’t remember exactly the name of the group.

JIM VANDEHEI: Democracy Alliance.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But you said they’re going to raise gazillions of dollars and their goal is to out-Koch the Koch brothers.

JIM VANDEHEI: Well, it’s funny we were talking about this with Hillary Clinton where democrats have this tortured relationship with money, we have all these multimillionaire, billionaires who they want to put money into politics and they’re tortured about it. Should we do it by saying the Koch brothers are criminals. Inherently what they’re saying is hypocritical. You can’t say that’s awful but when we do it, boy, it’s great. The truth is, the way that campaign finance laws are, if you care about politics, you should spend gobs of money. The campaign finance rules work in your favor. you can have a huge effect —

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Barack Obama became the first billion dollar candidate. He knows how to raise and spend money.

EUGENE ROBINSON: Exactly. Both major parties will race enormous sums of money. Where do you get it? You get it from people that have enormous sums of money. It would be hypocritical.

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Friday, June 13th, 2014

Notable Links Digest – June 13, 2014

Tom Finneran: I’ll Have a Koch
By Tom Finneran

As an American citizen I’m under no obligation to give support to any candidate at all. I might find them all repellent. Yet if I learn of a candidate who seems sensible and grounded, a candidate whose principles align with mine, I’m free to help that candidate get elected. As are you. As are the Koch brothers.

These evil brothers have been in the news lately for some actions that are incredibly generous and entirely benign. Within the past week or so they have announced a twenty-five million dollar gift to the United Negro College Fund. You know the UNCF, the organization whose slogan is that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”. UNCF does some amazing things with students who aspire to succeed against pretty dramatic odds. I suspect that the Koch donation will put some mighty big wings on those students’ dreams. Three cheers.

Regular viewers of NOVA, the renowned PBS program are aware that the program has received magnificent support from David Koch for quite some time. It’s a great program and I suspect that PBS is deeply appreciative of Mr. Koch’s continuing generosity. Three more cheers.

Locally, the David Koch Institute for Cancer Research at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts has been the beneficiary of major grants from Koch family foundations for cutting-edge medical research as well as for an on-site day care center for the children of the young and brilliant scientists who work there. Three more cheers….

Ironically, here in America in the 21st century, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the Koch brothers are attacked mercilessly for their embrace of free markets. America’s strength of course comes from capitalism, which for whatever its faults and limitations, remains the best economic system in the history of the world. Those troublesome brothers believe in and exercise the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association. They participate in politics as alert and knowledgeable citizens. What’s not to like about them? John Adams would have loved them.

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Notable Links Digest – June 3, 2014

Congress Abetted the IRS Targeting of Conservatives
By Bradley A. Smith and David Keating
The Wall Street Journal

On Monday the Center for Competitive Politics filed a complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics against nine U.S. senators: for interfering with IRS tax proceedings; for misusing official resources for campaign purposes; and for improper conduct that reflects poorly upon the Senate. Attempting to use the IRS to advance a partisan, electoral agenda is a fundamental assault on good government. We believe these elected officials have staged such an assault.

The complaint documents how the senators improperly interfered with IRS adjudications to further their party’s electoral prospects. They pressured the IRS to undertake income-tax investigations of specific organizations, to find that specific organizations were in violation of the law, to reach predetermined results pertaining to pending applications by individual organizations for nonprofit status, and to adopt specific regulatory interpretations and policies to further their campaign goals.

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