The harm that’s being done by dark monies from billionaire donors like the Koch brothers and others cannot be overstated. They have invested heavily in the Republican Party to where they own it. It can be said that the donor class has been hard at work to for years strategizing to realize their political goals.
The Koch brothers and their crony billionaires have for all intensive purposes bought and paid for the GOP lawmakers, the resident in the White House and his support staff. Either the US congressional lawmakers and the president respond to their demands or these wealthy donors won’t let go of the money flow that republican leaders have become addicted to in order to stay in power.
These conservative money men are simply taking full advantage of the 2010 US Supreme Court ruling “Citizens United v FEC where corporations can act as individuals in creating ads and paying for political activities to push favored policies like the overturning of Roe v Wade, Obamacare, and to deliver rulings in favor of corporations, deregulation, etc
Now, it seems that they will even own the US Supreme Court. See the following from the 4/17/17 New Yorker by Jeffrey Toobin:
The students did start the Federalist Society from scratch, but it is less clear that tremendous courage was required. Within just a few years, the group was embraced and funded by a number of powerful, wealthy conservative organizations, which eventually included foundations associated with John Olin, Lynde and Harry Bradley, Richard Scaife, and the Koch brothers. “The funders all got the idea right away—that you can win elections, you can have mass mobilizations, but unless you can change élites and the institutions that are by and large controlled by the élites, like the courts, there are limits to what you can do,” Amanda Hollis-Brusky, a professor of politics at Pomona College and the author of “Ideas with Consequences,” a study of the Federalist Society, said. “The idea was to train, credential, and socialize a generation of alternative élites.”
The Federalist Society has assisted/ promoted the 3 last justices to the US Supreme Court, the Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Their most recent Federalist Society member is the current Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
The Koch brothers and ALEC…
The Koch brothers along with EXXON created ALEC, but a lot of players left it in 2012 when one of its laws faced controversy, the “Stand Your Ground” law. Then they started putting monies in a whole host of other conservative organizations like “Americans for Prosperity” and “the Federalist Society.
These are the template laws that ALEC ( (American Legislative Exchange Council ) policy gurus were promoting, besides the “Stand Your Ground’ law that the NRA had on their wish list:
1.) Promoting ways to dismantle public worker unions in states with Republican majority led legislative bodies as these are the only big money contributors left who can seriously compete with the big money interests who donate to the GOP.
2.) This includes the promotion of school choice even if the school choices have not been vetted for financial solvency and /or demonstrated a plan for real improvement. (This policy was created in part to supplant the Teachers’ unions.)
3.) Promoting voting rules and systems designed to reduce the number of minority folks who vote democrat from having access to the voting booth including the requirement of picture voter identification cards and gerrymandering.
4.) Promoting the interests of the oil and fossil fuel industry including the discounting of scientific evidence regarding the issue of climate change.
Do any of these template policies look familiar?
The Trayvon Martin case was the straw that broke the camel’s back. In 2012, companies such as Walmart, Coca Cola, Pepsico, Wendys, Blue Cross & Blue Shield and many others ended their partnership with the conservative group, ALEC. “The Color of Change” group was actively involved in this endeavor.
Then the Koch brothers altered their political long-term strategic plans by supporting and funding of various other conservative Tea Party type groups like ‘Americans for Prosperity, ‘which still included enacting the “stand your ground” laws; voter ID laws designed to restrict minority members’ access to the ballot box; denial of any scientific evidence regarding the validity of climate change; and the dismantling of public and non-public unions.
This explains the unholy alliances among billionaire donors like the Koch brothers, the NRA leaders, the Evangelical leaders, corporate giants. Notice how all these groups back anti-abortion laws, the 2nd amendment; deny the reality of climate change; and back corporate interests, like tax cuts.
It’s no wonder the average Joe worker is furious. They are just directing their anger to the wrong targets.
The Koch brothers with the help of other billionaires like, Rupert Murdock (owner of FOX TV) and the Mercer family (funders of Breitbart), have provided the megaphone via media outlets to market their policy/ political agendas.
As per 7/1/18 Washington Post report by Sarah Ellison, “(In July 2018, 87 year old Rupert Murdock’s) sons, James and Lachlan, who are the CEO and co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, respectively, disagreed over the pace and manner of change required to survive in a digital era. And, increasingly, Murdoch came to grips with a future where the media behemoth he created just wasn’t big enough to compete.”
“The decision to sell also comes as Murdoch has flexed other muscles. With President Trump’s election, he’s at the height of his political influence in the United States, a position he has long sought.”
“Murdoch has a direct line to Trump and close relationships with several Fox News personalities who act as unofficial advisers to the White House.”
“Trump and Murdoch talk weekly and sometimes daily, according to people close to both men. The morning Disney announced the agreement with Fox, Trump, who had sought assurances from Murdoch that he wasn’t going to sell Fox News, called Murdoch to congratulate him on the deal. That approach contrasts the public opposition Trump voiced to the AT&T purchase of Time Warner, which owns CNN.”
As per the 7/14/11 report by Robert Greenwald, “As I follow the unfolding story, it reminds me not only of the warning call of Outfoxed, but also of Brave New Foundation’s latest project, an expose of the corruption and power of the Koch brothers. The conglomeration of too much power in the hands of ethic-less ideologues is a shared theme. When this happens in the world of journalism, and when this happens in the world of politics, the public inevitably pays the highest price.”
“A recent segment of Koch Brothers Exposed examined the intricate right-wing echo chamber the brothers fund in order to propagate policy lies into the mainstream debate. Unsurprisingly, Fox News was a key outlet through which they could accomplish this.”
“Such pooling of power and control has caused our political and journalistic institutions to lose integrity and to move away from the service they should provide to society. At what point do we say enough to such ideological conglomerate control of journalism and democracy? If the rash of stories this week isn’t enough for us to seriously reconsider the role of corporate control of our society, I don’t know what will be.”
“The ever-exposed corruption of Murdoch’s empire, along with the ever-exposed corruption the Kochs cause our democracy, can no longer run unchecked.”