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.
Koch previously explained in detail the limited business that a foreign subsidiary of Koch did many years ago in Iran. This has been corroborated by multiple media outlets. The DSCC’s statement that Charles and David Koch “got rich violating a trade ban by doing business with Iran” is patently false. As previously explained, the foreign subsidiary at issue had in place protocols to ensure compliance with U.S. law concerning Iranian sanctions, and neither the thoroughly discredited Bloomberg Markets article nor the follow-up story by ABC News ever pointed to any violation of U.S. law. In fact, Bloomberg Markets conceded that it was not claiming Koch violated U.S. sanctions.
As we have explained previously, several years ago Koch voluntarily adopted a policy more restrictive than U.S. law that no Koch entity will do business in Iran. That policy remains in place today. Given that other companies and Democratic party contributors continued doing business with Iran at a much higher level and for a longer time period than Koch, Mr. Canter’s statements should be taken for the dishonest and shameful hypocrisy that they are. If he and the DSCC truly believe what he has said, then they should renounce those donations that they have accepted and refuse to accept any in the future.
- Mark Holden, General Counsel, Koch Industries, Inc.