"The Kochs’ Fig Leaf"
Americans For Prosperity Fesses Up To Their Dirty Agenda
Billionaires Charles and David Koch — who made their vast fortune through oil, gas and other energy related industries – continue to spread their wealth to benefit their own agenda. Their political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity have already spent tens of millions of dollars on ad campaigns attacking Democrats for support the Affordable Care Act. And today we found out why: Not because they care about health care, but to prevent action on climate change and protect their financial bottom lines. Their actions don’t stop at the federal level though. They’ve also been launching state fights in Kansas, Michigan and others. Below are just some highlights of where the Kochs are working to build a government that only works for the wealthiest.
Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity Admit Their Anti-Obamacare Ads Are Really About Preventing Action on Climate Change And Helping Their Bottom Line. The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity have spent around $30 million in attack ads against Democrats in 2014 with the majority of those ads attacking Obamacare. Despite a public focus on attacking health care, the aim is really about protecting their bottom line and fighting against climate change, regulations and the government. Today in the New York Times, AFP head Tim Phillips admitted “We have a broader cautionary tale. The president’s out there touting billions of dollars on climate change. We want Americans to think about what they promised with the last social welfare boondoggle and look at what the actual result is.” The Koch’s have significant interest in reducing “big government”, particularly reductions in carbon pollution from power plants, oil refineries and other sources, since they have billions of dollars invested in energy, transportation and manufacturing. Even yesterday, a Koch subsidiary was fined by the Department of Justice for pollution violations and required to spend $45 million on upgrades.
Congressman Steps Up Attack On Koch Brothers For Detroit Petcoke Pollution. Rep. Gary Peters, the Democratic candidate running for Michigan’s open Senate seat, accused billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch of turning Detroit into their own personal trash can. Today, he held an event near the area of the Detroit River — where large piles of petroleum coke, a product of oil from the Canadian tar sands, of which the Koch Brothers are the largest owners — once stood. Peters’ event is just one small peg in what has been a long battle between the sitting Congressman and the Koch Brothers. Americans for Prosperity recently launched a $1 million and three-week ad blitz gainst Peters, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin. Most of those ads attempt to hold Peters accountable for his vote supporting the Affordable Care Act, and use a cancer-stricken woman’s experience that has been widely debunked by journalists who have pointed out that the woman will actually save more than $1,200 a year under the law.
Americans For Prosperity Renews Its Battle Against Clean Energy. The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is once again getting involved in the battle to repeal renewable energy standards in the states. Earlier this week, they made their legislative pitch, saying that AFP is holding out for a full repeal of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires Kansas electric companies to produce 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Despite involvement from Grover Norquist, efforts to repeal or reduce the RPS failed last year as did anti-renewable conservative efforts across the nation. AFP recently launched a media blitz, running misleading TV and radio ads that attempt to tie the RPS to former governor Kathleen Sebelius, despite being signed into law by her successor in 2010. The Topeka Capital-Journal notes that the ads also attribute electricity rate hikes to the standards, which prompted former Senate President Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, to pen a letter to the editor calling the ads “provably false.” Meanwhile, the nearby farm states of Iowa and South Dakota generate more than one-fourth of their electricity from wind power, which creates jobs and cuts carbon pollution.
BOTTOM LINE: The Koch’s goal is to keep the economic deck stacked in their favor and that means a government that only work for the wealthiest. And they will spend whatever it takes to protect their bottom line.