Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) told a town hall audience on Tuesday that he believes oil billionaires Charles and David Koch to be “two of the most patriotic Americans in the history of the Earth.” A ThinkProgress review of campaign contribution records finds that he and his leadership PAC have received at least $57,500 from the brothers’ corporate political action committee.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Vitter says in video posted by American Bridge 21st Century, “My reaction is: God bless the Koch brothers. They’re fighting for our freedom.”
Watch the video:
Since 2006, Koch Industries, Inc. Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) has reported $17,500 in campaign donations to Vitter’s re-election committee. It has also the legal maximum — $5,000 annually — to the Louisiana Reform PAC, Vitter’s official leadership PAC. That totals an additional $40,000 the Koch’s company PAC has given to Vitter.
The mutual admiration society between the Kochs and Vitter is unsurprising: Vitter’s Congressional website highlights his record of being “a strong supporter of our domestic energy industry,” fighting for “free market economics in energy production, rather than the command and control policies that continue to fail around the world,” and “Shedding light on EPA overregulation that is crushing jobs and preventing a strong economic recovery” — all high priorities for the anti-government Koch Brothers and their fossil fuel interests.
Vitter announced in January that he will run for governor in 2015.