“The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”
— Charles Lewis, founder of the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, quoted in a New Yorker expose of the Koch Brothers
Over the years, the Koch Brothers have spent over $50 million on campaigns in their fight to stop any action on climate change. They have poured gobs of money into federal politics, bankrolled climate deniers, and issued completely false ads on the impact of carbon-reduction policies. And to top it all off, the Koch Brothers are reportedly set to raise and spend $200 million on the 2012 election — with much of that money going toward energy-related issues.
In short, no two people more epitomize the corrupting power and influence of the 1% over the 99% than the pollutocrats, Charles and David Koch.
Now, one of the most prominent and vocal Koch-backed organizations, Americans for Prosperity, is spending $2.4 million on a new media campaign to highlight the Solyndra bankruptcy, releasing a one-minute television ad in key battleground states.
The tagline: “Tell President Obama that you shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars for political favors.”
Well, after two months of investigation, public hearings and a whole lot of political posturing, we still don’t have any proof of political favors or illegal behavior. Of course, it would be silly to speculate or assume anything before the official investigation of the loan guarantee program is complete. But that’s not how the war of communications is won.
The facts don’t matter. Speculation and outright lies are exactly what win campaigns — and that’s what the Kochs and Americans for Prosperity do best.
Keep in mind, the ad below lamenting “political favors” is being run by groups that have paid tens of thousands of dollars to sit down directly with other corporations and policy makers to write state laws, then engage in aggressive campaigns to get those laws passed.
Welcome to the 2012 campaign season — bought and sold by the 1%.