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.
Sen. Lautenberg made his comments in support of the DISCLOSE Act, which is the Democrats’ latest effort to intimidate and harass their political opponents. Sen. Lautenberg’s attacks are just the latest in the ongoing orchestrated campaign against Koch by the Obama administration, the Democratic party, and its allies, who oppose the Kochs’ longstanding 50-plus year advocacy for individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom. Democratic Senators Durbin, Stabenow, and Whitehouse made similar disparaging remarks, joining in the Democrats’ coordinated attack on Koch. Koch companies have operations and employees in Senators Durbin’s and Stabenow’s home states. As has been documented, (here, here, here, here, here, 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. Some commentators have stated that President Obama has employed an enemies list, similar to that of President Nixon. Sen. Lautenberg’s comments are unfortunate, wrong, and especially troubling and ironic given that he claims he was placed on President Nixon’s enemies list for financial support of a political opponent of Mr. Nixon.
We urge Sen. Lautenberg and his Democratic colleagues to cease their irresponsible and reckless attacks against Koch, its 50,000 U.S. employees, Charles Koch, and David Koch, and instead focus their efforts on promoting policies that will stimulate real, sustainable economic growth and freedom.