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Reply #9: They've been around -- just worked really hard to stay invisible [View All]

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-08-11 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. They've been around -- just worked really hard to stay invisible
Edited on Thu Sep-08-11 11:16 AM by starroute
All indications are that the Koch brothers have been messing up American politics for a very long time -- but they were masters of using front groups behind other front groups to conceal their participation. Some of this came out when the Senate investigated the role of Triad Management in the 1996 elections, but that was the only time until recently that their name surfaced at all -- and then the GOP managed to head off any deeper scrutiny.

So the real question is why they've been outed in just the last few years. I suspect that with the rise of the Tea Party and Citizens United, they felt they no longer had to hide their hand. But there may be more to it than that.

David H. Koch ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980. Author Thomas Frank wrote in "What's the Matter with Kansas?" that "Koch money flowed through Triad Management Services", an advisory service to conservative donors groups and candidates, for the 1996 Senate campaign of Sam Brownback. /

The founder of the Center for Public Integrity, Charles Lewis, told the New Yorker: The Kochs are on a whole different level. Theres no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. Ive been in Washington since Watergate, and Ive never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.

Charles and David Koch have poured more than a hundred million dollars into dozens of seemingly independent organizations. Tax records indicate that in 2008 the three main Koch family foundations gave money to thirty-four political and policy organizations, three of which they founded, and several of which they direct. These include the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center, the Citizens for a Sound Economy, & the spinoff group, Citizens for the Environment, and the Americans for Prosperity.

A trust called Triad Management spent more than three million dollars on attack ads in twenty-six House races and three Senate races recently, and the New Yorker reports that more than half of the advertising money came from an obscure nonprofit group, the Economic Education Trust. A Senate committee minority report found that the trust was financed in whole or in part by Charles and David Koch of Wichita, Kansas. Triad Managements funds may have played a decisive role in four of six federal races, says the New Yorker.

Okay, so you have Triad, which is a for-profit organization, whose purpose is to influence elections, and it has two arms that are shells, in a sense, that are its airwings, its air force. It runs television ads against candidates, right?


It gets its money from something called the --

The Economic Education Trust. It went out, we think and hired political consultants, planned an issue ad campaign in key districts that were important to whoever was running the trust, and spent between $1 and $3 million dollars doing that.

And what was its relationship to Triad?

As near as we can tell, the Economic Education Trust basically shopped for organizations to run money through in an effort to keep its existence hidden. So its relationship to Triad is essentially -- it went shopping for organizations, and Triad was one that it found.

And who gives that money to the Economic Education Trust?

What the report says and what the evidence the committee developed suggests is that the Economic Education Trust is funded by Koch Oil, which is possibly the second largest privately held company in the country.

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