NEW REPORT: A Koch Confessional

Or How The Kochs Have Attacked Pope Francis While Pushing A Self-Enriching Agenda That’s On The Wrong Side Of The Holy Father

As Pope Francis arrives in Washington, Bridge Project is releasing a new report titled, “A Koch Confessional, Or How The Kochs Have Attacked Pope Francis While Pushing A Self-Enriching Agenda That’s On The Wrong Side Of The Holy Father.”

The Kochs are terrified of the pope’s teachings because they threaten what the billionaire brothers worship most, their bank accounts. Bridge Project’s new report, reveals how the Koch network has attacked Pope Francis and targeted his teachings on the economy, immigration, climate change, fair pay, and more.

At the crux of the differences between the billionaire Koch brothers and Pope Francis is their starkly contrasting world views. While the pope has pleaded for his followers to reject the “trickle-down” policies championed by billionaires like the Kochs, and pushed immigration as a “hallmark for our society,” the Kochs have […]

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NEW REPORT: The Elephant In The Room

The Pope Addresses A GOP-Controlled Congress Opposed To His Progressive Values

This Thursday, all eyes will be on Pope Francis for his historic and much anticipated address to a joint meeting of Congress. But before the pope arrived in the United States, Republicans already started picking fights and attacking the pope’s teachings.

In advance of the pope’s address, Bridge Project is releasing a new report titled, “The Elephant In The Room: The Pope Address A GOP-Controlled Congress Opposed To His Progressive Values.

Since the start of his papacy, Pope Francis has signaled a shift in focus for the church towards protecting “the least of these,” whether it’s through the stewardship of our environment or addressing income inequality and providing a livable wage. Republicans’ policy views continue to move further and further to the right, and the pope is finally calling them on it.

On countless issues, the GOP’s policy positions go against the pope’s teaching. Bridge Project’s latest report examines how on the following issues, the GOP’s […]

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NEW REPORT: Kochs vs. The Pope

Ever since Pope Francis signaled that he would be issuing an encyclical, or papal teaching, definitively stating that climate change is man-made and calling for swift action, the Koch brothers’ network has been desperately trying to get ahead of the narrative. CNN described the Koch-funded Heartland Institute as “the headquarters for the U.S.-based opposition to Pope Francis’ climate change plans.” Heartland “churned out podcasts, videos, and white papers, and recently arranged a trip to Rome — all in an effort to build opposition to the pope’s environmental message.”

Heartland argued that Pope Francis was “out of his element” and was being misled by UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, who “violate[d] the Eighth Commandment” by “bear[ing] false witness” on climate data. And they’re not alone– candidates seeking the approval of the Kochs told the Holy Father to stay out of politics.  Jeb Bush, who cited the pope while defending […]

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REPORT The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State

Bridge Project is continuing the “Month’s Supply of Koch” with the release of the latest report: “The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why the Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying in the Hawkeye State.” It’s a comprehensive look at the impact of the Kochs’ operations in Iowa. In their quest to grow their empire, the early primary state has been a central focus for the brothers’ political maneuvering.
 
The Koch brothers’ priorities couldn’t be more out-of-step with Hawkeye State values. Perhaps the best example of the Kochs’ self-interest is their opposition to the renewable fuel standard and biodiesel fuel standards – a boon to Iowa’s economy – to protect their own oil profits. In fact, since 2006, Koch companies have lobbied on at least 37 bills in Iowa related to ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels — despite overwhelming support of biodiesel by Iowans. The Kochs aren’t just hitting Iowa’s farmers on renewables; Americans for Prosperity even lobbied against the Farm Bill in 2014. 
 
Just about every issue lobbied on by the Kochs lines their pockets while hurting Iowans. For example, the Kochs, who are major formaldehyde producers, lobbied against the classification of formaldehyde as a carcinogen, and in Iowa, lobbied on a bill that would ban formaldehyde in children’s toys. The Kochs fought a bill giving workers injured on the job access to better care by allowing them to see their own doctors. They also lobbied against a bill that permitted Iowans to file consumer fraud lawsuits against dishonest businesses.

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Michele Bachmann’s Legacy Lives On

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has announced that she will not seek another term in the House of Representatives. However, the former presidential candidate’s legacy of extreme statements, paranoid conspiracy theories, and ideological witch hunts will live on through the right-wing members of Congress who will continue to champion her views.

Anti-American Conspiracies

Bachmann Called For A Media Investigation Into Whether Members Of Congress Are “Pro-America Or Anti-America.” During an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, Michele Bachmann said, “What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.” [MSNBC, Hardball, 10/17/08]

  • Steve King Called Joe McCarthy “A Hero” And Said He Would Support Something “Along the Lines Of the House Un-American Activities Committee.” In an interview with Right Side News, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was asked, whether he would support “resurrection of the Congressional internal security committees along the lines of the House Un-American Activities Committee.” King replied, “I would. Something similar. If we called it the House Un-American Activities Committee, that would be lighting up the history of McCarthy in a way that wouldn’t be necessary, although I am often quoted as saying McCarthy was a hero for America. He was. He was right far more times than he was wrong. It is a historical fact. But I would submit a different committee name so that we don’t have to deal with the history, and move forward. I think that is a good process and I would support it.” [Right Side News, 10/5/10]
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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “PA Senate – Bob Casey”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accuses Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) of “voting against western Pennsylvania” by supporting the health care law, a cap-and-trade bill, and EPA regulations designed to cut down on toxic air pollution. But the Affordable Care Act doesn’t, as the ad suggests, cut any money out of Medicare’s current budget. The estimate of job losses the ad cites for the cap-and-trade law comes from the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and the EPA’s air toxics regulations would prevent an estimated 11,000 premature deaths per year.

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American Crossroads: “Consequences”

American Crossroads hits Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey (D) for opposing a balanced budget amendment and supporting health care reform and cap-and-trade. But current debt levels are due to the recession and Bush-era policies, not to the absence of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which would make it harder for the government to respond to economic downturns. Kerrey’s position on health care is that the law must be amended rather than fully repealed, which would have negative consequences that include kicking millions of people off insurance and forcing seniors to pay more for care. In context, the former senator’s remarks on cap-and-trade legislation make it clear that Kerrey views climate change as a moral issue without dismissing its impact on jobs and the economy.

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “What’s Tim Kaine’s Plan For Virginia”

Claiming Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine supports “higher taxes” and “fewer jobs,” an ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attacks him over his support for a cap-and-trade plan and health care reform. But the taxes Kaine proposed during his tenure as governor of Virginia were designed to pay for much-needed transporation upgrades that Virginia’s Republican-controlled House wanted to pay for with long-term borrowing, and although Kaine spoke about the need for a plan to address the threat climate change poses to Virginia, he has not endorsed a specific plan. The Affordable Care Act, meanwhile, leaves the private system intact and does not raise taxes on most Americans.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Jon Tester – Working for Washington”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce attacks Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) for supporting the Affordable Care Act, a cap-and-trade bill, and for the Senate’s failure to pass a budget resolution over the last three years. Contrary to the Chamber’s claims, however, the health care law doesn’t ‘cut’ Medicare benefits, and the cap-and-trade measure Tester supported would have had little impact on the average household budget.

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Americans for Tax Reform: “Energy Tax”

Americans for Tax Reform hits Kentucky Democrat Ben Chandler over his support for a 2009 cap-and-trade bill, claiming it violates the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” Chandler signed, but the costs to families of the American Clean Energy and Security Act have been exaggerated by conservatives. The ad also clips a 2008 interview then-candidate Obama gave describing his position on a generic climate change bill, using it to suggest that Chandler voted for a scheme to kill coal, even though the bill he actually supported would have allowed for the construction of new coal-powered plants, provided they installed carbon capture technology.

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