For the past two years, ThinkProgress researcher Lee Fang has been digging into the nefarious activities of the Koch family, reporting on their funding of the tea parties, the depth of their astroturfing, and their family’s record of right-wing radicalism.
Using a great deal of TP’s research, The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer published a lengthy article this week that gives the “Kochtopus” ideological network the mainstream media attention it deserves. In order to “alter the direction of America,” the oil family has been “giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups.”
“They are out to destroy progressivism,” Democratic strategist Rob Stein said of the Kochs. Appearing on MSNBC’s Countdown last night, Fang observed the long history of Kochs’ efforts to bring down the progressive movement:
Charles Koch, about 10 years ago, compared himself to the theologian Martin Luther and he said he’s bringing a right wing radical free-market reformation to this country. So, you know, like you said, Fred Koch, the father, did this to President Kennedy, funding the John Birch Society. They did it to Clinton, funding a lot of the attack groups and the rallies on Capitol Hill, smearing Hillary Clinton. They’re doing it to Barack Obama. But they’re going to keep doing it.