Sunday, June 09, 2019

How Soon Before The Koch Brothers Are In A Position To Buy Cheri Bustos The Speakership?


A few weeks ago, I had dinner with an old friend, an author who had recently interviewed David Koch for a book he's working on. He told me the Koch brothers planned to support Democrats as well as Republicans this cycle. We went back and forth about that and then let it drift. Then, on Friday the news started filtering out that the Kochs are indeed looking to gain influence inside the Democratic Party, the way they have inside the Republican Party.

The Kochs are willing to finance Democrats "in step with Koch policies?" Don't be deceived by the Koch affinity for DREAMers. That isn't what "in step with Koch policies" is about. About a week ago, in an unrelated story, Common Dreams published a piece by Jake Johnson about what the Koch agenda is and has always been: pushing a polluter-friendly agenda... their business bottom line. "The Koch network's dark money manipulation of our nation's colleges and universities," wrote Johnson, "has been proven to harm communities of color, dismantle protections for workers, and obstruct environmental protections... George Washington University's ostensibly neutral Regulatory Studies Center is in fact a "key cog" in the Koch family's fight to slash government regulations designed to protect workers and the planet... [T]he Regulatory Studies Center (RSC) 'is the Fox News of the regulatory policy world, except it still clings to the fiction that it is fair and balanced. The center is a microcosm of the strategy that Charles Koch has honed since the 1970s to finance deceptively named university centers to generate faux scholarship in support of Koch's anti-regulatory views.'... [M]uch of RSC's work revolves around providing 'scholarly rationales against government regulation' of corporate America, with a particular focus on the fossil fuel industry--where Koch Industries makes much of its profits while financing campaigns to spread doubt about the reality and urgency of the climate crisis."

Goal ThermometerTranslate that into politics and what you will have is millions in right-wing sewer dollars flowing right into the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Blue Dogs and New Dems-- to finance a take-over of the party by elements that are already largely in calling the shots. And what a coincidence that reactionary Blue Dog Cheri Bustos, the moment she seized control of the DCCC, immediately undermined the ability of progressives to challenge reactionaries like herself, reactionaries likely to be the beneficiaries of filthy Koch campaign largesse. Believe me, the Koch brothers are more interested in stopping candidates like AOC than they are in helping DREAMers.

These are some of the headlines I caught on Friday and Saturday about the Koch brothers new "bipartisan" approach to taking over the American political system entirely:
TIME: Coming Soon to a Democratic Primary: Candidates Backed By Charles Koch

Politico: Koch Network Floats Backing Democrats In Revamp Of Influence Operation

Open Secrets: Koch Brothers Float Possibility Of Backing Congressional Democrats In 2020 Primaries

National Review: Koch Network Willing To Back Dem. Candidates In 2020
Jack Crowe, writing up the story for National Review reported that "Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers’ sprawling influence network, which has traditionally confined its support to Republicans, plans to pursue a 'bipartisan approach' when determining which candidates to back in the 2020 election cycle. In a memo distributed to employees Thursday and obtained by CNBC, AFP CEO Emily Seidel announced that the group will evaluate candidates entirely based on their support for its preferred policies without respect to party affiliation. 'AFP or AFP Action [the group’s super PAC] will be ready to engage contested U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state-level primary races, including Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise, to support sitting legislators who lead by uniting with others to pass principled policy and get good things done,' Seidel’s memo said."

The Kochs are creating 4 new PACs with 4 policy agendas. One, for example, is the Economic Opportunity PAC, which will back candidates opposed to increased regulation on business. OK, who inside the Democratic Party would happily sell their asses for opposing increased regulation on business? That is, after all, a perfect description of the New Dems, including notorious corporate whores like Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Pete Aguilar (CA-- who also runs Bustos' DCCC recruitment committee), Derek Kilmer (WA), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Scott Peters (CA), Charlie Crist (FL), Henry Cuellar (TX), Brad Schneider (IL), Ami Bera (CA), Jim Cooper (TN), Ron Kind (WI), Tom O'Halleran (AZ), Kurt Schrader (OR), Tony Cárdenas (CA), Denny Heck (WA), David Scott (GA), Jim Costa (CA), Ed Case (HI), Gregory Meeks (NY)...

A little warning to low-IQ right-wing Democrats from, of all places, Politico: "But North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, was an early test case for the Koch’s bipartisan approach to election spending during the general 2018 elections: After she voted in favor of a bill relaxing some financial regulations in the Dodd-Frank law, the network ran digital advertisements in Heitkamp’s favor. It later decided to eschew supporting Heitkamp’s Republican opponent in the race, then-Rep. Kevin Cramer, saying he was insufficiently supportive of Koch priorities like free trade-- saving Heitkamp from artillery in the form of what could have been millions of dollars worth of television ads and other election spending." The Kochs had already spent around $500,000 beating up on Heitkamp for not supporting Trump's tax cuts for the rich-- and in North Dakota $500,000 buys an immense amount of propaganda. and it was far more than the crumbs the Koch network sent Heitkamp's way in return for the anti-regulatory votes that soured progressives on her.

The Koch Industries PAC spent 1,464,000 on congressional Republicans and $24,500 on congressional Democrats. To get a better idea of where Koch money is likely to flow this cycle, look at who they helped finance last cycle-- all extremely right-wing Democrats who vote with the GOP frequently and who were not being targeted by the NRCC:
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)- $2,000
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)- $7,500
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)- $10,000
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog- OR)- $5,000
Kara Eastman, an Omaha grassroots progressive is in a primary with an establishment shill recruited by the DCCC. Kara has been very firm about not accepting corporate PAC money and came within a couple of points of beating GOP incumbent Don Bacon in 2018-- 126,715 (51%) to 121,770 (49%)-- beating him outright in Douglas County. The last thing the Koch brothers want to see is a Democrat winning a House seat in Nebraska-- and the last thing Cheri Bustos wants is a progressive winning in Nebraska-- or anywhere else. "Rejecting corporate PAC money is not enough for a candidate," Kara told us last night. "We have to stop allowing large corporations and the very wealthy to have such influence in all levels of electoral politics. In my last race, I raised more money than any other Democrat had raised in this district and did it from small dollar contributions. I also pledged that I would represent the people of Nebraska-- not the corporations who do not need my voice. It’s time to change this corrupt system and it starts with candidates like me."

Kathy Ellis is running for a congressional seat in southeast Missouri, the 8th district, the 11th poorest district in America. People should be voting overwhelmingly for Democrats but instead, it's the reddest district in the state. Obama lost badly there both times he ran and in 2016 Trump beat Hillary 75.4% to 21.0%. Ellis has seen the Koch brothers come in and buy up the Republican Party in districts like hers. This morning she warned us that "no self-respecting Democrat, either a progressive or otherwise, should make a deal with the Koch brothers. This is just another way to infiltrate our Democratic values with poison.

Jon Hoadley, candidate for Congress in MI-06, is in the Michigan legislature, so he's already seen the kind of damage the Koch network does. "The Koch brothers and their network unleashed untold harm on our political system," he said. "In an effort to protect their own narrow business interests, their sponsored candidates and shadowy nonprofits weakened laws meant to protect the voices of individual voters against the influence of wealthy and powerful special interests. The Kochs have assaulted the basic institutions and important norms that reinforce stability in our democracy. This is exactly why people don’t trust their elected officials. I call on every candidate asking to earn the public’s trust-- Republicans and especially Democrats-- to reject contributions from the Koch brothers."

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At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yep. and you should be reminded that this is NOT the kochs' principles evolving. It is the democrap party's "principles" becoming so obvious that the kochs are seeing benefit to buying them.

But I don't suppose that the kochs' move to partial ownership of your "savior", "lesser evil" party will inspire any epiphanies... will it?

fuck we're stupid!

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bipartisan Koch-Sucker Blues...

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering how much more pollution is noticeable, who says the Kochs are waiting for the election to buy lackeys against humanity?


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