Someone Has a Koch Addiction

Friday, April 11, 2014


Recently Democrats have taken to making the Koch Brothers and the millions they've spent on political ads a central issue in midterm elections. Fiery language has been thrown around on both sides already. Harry Reid called the brothers "un-American" and Charles Koch has called his political opponents "collectivists." Brooke talks with New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, who says the intensity of this clash of the titans is only going to go up.  


Carl Hulse

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [11]


Apr. 17 2014 02:15 PM


I don't disagree with anything you say, but your points don't address mine. Whether its a group like ActBlue, or individuals like Steyer or Soros, or even union money for that matter, we heard nothing about liberal/democratic money in the report. If you're going to imply that 2 brothers can change elections, then comparing liberal individual giving OR group support provides context and balance. And whether ActBlue and grassroots support can overwhelm the Kochs, that's important. But you wouldn't know it from this story.

Apr. 14 2014 11:14 PM


ActBlue's $100 million is made up of thousands of individual donors. The Koch's (and Soros, and Steyer, and Adelson) money represents one or two people, and often represents one or two people trying to reshape government to best serve their personal economic interests and ideology.

The link from OpenSecret also contains this paragraph, which explains why the Kochs are 59 on the list:

"This list does not include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife Miriam donated nearly $93 million in 2012 alone to conservative super PACs — enough to put him at No. 2 on this list. Similarly, the list excludes former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated more than $19 million in the past two years, largely to groups that support gun control. It's also important to note that we aren't including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors; see a list of top donors that we've been able to identify to such groups."

Apr. 14 2014 02:48 PM
A Compton from South Dakota

I would appreciate OTM giving equal attention to George Soros. That is, if they are interested in being fair and impartial.

Apr. 14 2014 02:34 PM

It HAS gotten to be a little much:

Apr. 14 2014 02:18 PM
Steve Taffee from Menlo Park, CA

Progressives can and should take a different path in their SuperPACs by releasing the names of all of their contributors.

The argument against this is that it may lead to fewer donation dollars, and perhaps it will. So be it. Model the kind of behavior you expect from your opponents.

Apr. 14 2014 11:49 AM

Somewhat incredibly – only somewhat, given that at OTM, realityalways has a liberal bias – it seems that there are no Democratic big-givers behind attack ads? According to analysis of the top all-time donors between 1989-2014, the Kochs are only the 59th largest donor in American politics.

The largest political donor, ActBlue, which refers to itself as, “the online clearinghouse for Democratic action,” has contributed over $97 million to communist-leaning causes, over five times the $18 million donated by the Koch Brothers. It is also notable that ActBlue began contributing only 10 years ago in 2004, 15 years less than the vilified Koch Brothers.

And why not mention that the Kochs are actually libertarians, pro-gay marriage, and have given money to Chuck Schumer?

And in these reports, we never hear about the alternative: If Soros, the Kochs and Tom Steyer (why no mention of his Democratic-only cash?) are plutocrats, okay. But you have to ask what would happen if all this money was ruled out? The only people who could run for office at this level would be the already-rich. Do we want only oligarchs leading the country?

Apr. 14 2014 08:46 AM
Marcos Hardy from New York

People like the Koch always count on the Supreme Court and media "analysis" like the present one to not-so-stealthily try to conform Government and laws to their goal of profiting from people that are mostly unaware of their existence. To call "an addiction" the denunciation of the Koch's aims of distorting the political and economical realities is a disservice to Democracy and a help to outlets of political lies. One expects comments like this to come from Fox, not from NPR. Calling the denunciation of Koch's maneuvers "an addiction" is to shield the Koch Bros. from the public scrutiny they deserve. Or is like calling Sheldon Adelson "a man of probity" instead of a "man deserving of opprobrium."
With friends like these...

Apr. 14 2014 07:52 AM

Are you really defending the Koch Brothers? Is everyone in the media bought off, or aspiring to be bought off? Unreal.

Apr. 14 2014 07:23 AM


This fellow is equating Harry Reid with the Koch bros in terms of influence in the world political theatre?


I loved the point where this reporter stated that yes, the leadership of the country should go to those with the greatest amount of money. Those who don't have billions can basically suck eggs, and have no place messing about with their betters, maybe run a committee on their neighborhood park clean up, but leave the governing to their betters.

How much more brash can these elitists get? Obviously a lot more, seeing how no one who heard to story has even bothered to comment on how outrageous it was, nor did the host call the fellow to task over his bald faced fascism.

Apr. 13 2014 09:43 PM
Douglas from El Paso

Based on some poll results that I saw on MSNBC, I doubt that a significant number of Americans have heard of the Koch brothers and understand their influence on politics. Adding to the difficulty of using the Kochs as a target of voter outrage is the possibility that "Koch" will be confused with "Coke."

Apr. 12 2014 10:47 AM

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