“I’ve never been to a tea-party event,” pollution billionaire David Koch told New York magazine in July, 2010. “No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me.” Koch’s corporate public relations officials declared in April 2010 that “no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties.”
However, in October, 2009, Koch was applauding his army of Astroturf tea party organizers. Brad Johnson has the story and the video that refutes Koch’s claim he isn’t the marionette.
Koch, who founded Americans for Prosperity with his brother David, was the guest of honor at AFP’s annual Defending the American Dream Summit. Independent filmmaker Taki Oldham filmed Koch beaming as organizers who run AFP’s 25 state-level outposts touted their success in mobilizing dozens of tea party events across the nation:
AFP CALIFORNIA: We helped organize huge tea parties all throughout the state. And on April 15, Tax Day, over 10,000 Californians joined us on the steps of the state capital and we held one of the largest tea parties in the country. . . .
AFP MICHIGAN: “¦ We have held the largest tea party in the state “¦
AFP GEORGIA: “¦ the largest Tax Day tea party in the nation on April 15 “¦
AFP OKLAHOMA: “¦ we’ve held 29 tea parties “¦
AFP MARYLAND: “¦ we organized dozens of tea parties “¦
DAVID KOCH: This is a phenomenal success in my judgment. Eight hundred thousand activists from nothing five years ago. This is a remarkable achievement. And we’re being effective in so many ways.
Oldham’s documentary, (Astro)Turf Wars, reveals that David Koch’s tea party army has demonized health care and climate legislation by stoking false fears of their costs and lying about the science of global warming. AFP, the Guardian explains, “has spun off other organizations such as November is Coming, Hands Off My Healthcare, and the Institute of Liberty, which are buying up television ads and holding rallies across the country in an attempt to defeat Democrats.”
One particular focus of Koch’s efforts this November is California’s Proposition 23, which would kill the state’s landmark global warming law. The Koch brothers’ corporation gave $1 million to the Prop 23 campaign, while AFP California attempts to stoke grassroots support, and Koch-funded think tanks attack climate policy.
(Astro)Turf Wars explains in detail how the Koch brothers and other right-wing plutocrats have succeeded in mobilizing millions of grassroots conservatives to support their pollution-for-profit agenda, at the price of the nation’s health and security.
(HT Kevin Grandia)
– Brad Johnson in a Wonkroom cross post.
- New Yorker exposes Koch brothers along with their greenwashing and whitewashing Smithsonian exhibit
- The coming climate election: Tea party extremists backed by Big Oil and corporate polluters want to stop and then reverse all efforts to advance clean energy or avoid catastrophic global warming
- Why the victory of the Tea Party extremists (backed by Big Oil) over the slightly less extreme GOP establishment (also backed by Big Oil) is good for progressives, but bad for climate and clean energy