What The Kochs Consider “Common Sense” Means More Health Risks For Americans

Increased risk of asthma attack, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and, yes, premature death: These are some of the adverse health effects that the EPA cites in their call for mercury emissions regulations. But the Kochs continually disregard health risks to protect their profits.

In 2012, according to the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, Koch Companies Public Sector – the lobbying arm of the brothers’ corporate empire – spent three out of four quarters lobbying on a resolution for the Senate to formally disapprove of the EPA’s MATS standards. So it comes as no surprise that the Koch-allied think tank, the Cato Institute, spiked the proverbial football after the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA’s MATS emission regulations in State of Michigan vs. EPA today.

In their press release Cato says the Supreme Court’s decision is a “clear victory for common sense.” How convenient that “common sense” rules in favor of their billionaire benefactors as well as the amicus brief that Cato submitted on Michigan’s behalf.

Read more after the jump.

Florida Man Buys State: Koch Impacts in the Sunshine State

Through their decades in business and politics, Charles and David Koch have honed their methods for rigging the system in their favor, both through their national operations and activities. Their history in Florida is indicative of this overall multifaceted strategy, which includes lobbying and raising funds for politicians, using their advocacy network to sway public policy, and leveraging financial donations to universities to buy professors that promote their worldview. Time and time again, the Koch brothers’ self-interested actions proved to be beneficial to their bottom line at the expense of hardworking Floridians.

Read more after the jump.

Americans for Prosperity wants to keep the GOP on Cruz control

After he shut down the government last year, and derailed House Republicans’ attempt to pass a bill in response to the Mexico border crisis this summer, it’s evident that Senator Ted Cruz is responsible for pushing the GOP even further to the far right. His extreme-Conservative-or-nothing approach to governing is now driving the Republican agenda on critical issues like health care and immigration reform.

Just ask the Koch brothers’ political arm, Americans for Prosperity, who are so convinced of Cruz’s leadership that they’re hosting him twice this month. Tonight, Senator Cruz will be joining a phone “chat” with AFP’s president Tim Phillips, where “grassroots activists” can learn how they, too, can help grind the work of government to a halt. Later this month, Cruz is the headliner for an AFP summit that promises attendees the opportunity to hear from lawmakers “leading the charge against big government.”

Read more after the jump.

Who Else Supports Cliven Bundy’s Cause? The Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity

Cliven Bundy’s racist rant and recent support from prominent Republicans like Rand Paul and Rick Perry may have made the front page of the New York Times, but lesser known is the support Bundy’s cause has received from the Koch brother’s primary political enterprise, Americans For Prosperity. AFP’s Nevada and Colorado affiliates have repeatedly come to the defense of Bundy’s cause, attacking the Bureau of Land Management and its actions via social media. Who will be next on AFP’s list of causes to defend?

Research after the jump.

Read more after the jump.

The Kochs’ Mission To Make Katrina Victims Pay More For Flood Insurance

When Congress passed the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act, the goal was to keep the National Flood Insurance Program afloat after insurance payouts from several devastating hurricanes, including Katrina, left the program in debt. However, lawmakers did not foresee the legislation’s impact on Louisiana homeowners: sky-high flood insurance premiums for some of the same families that had already suffered through the “single most catastrophic natural disaster” in U.S. history. The Biggert-Waters Act hit some Louisiana families with annual premiums as high as $18,000 and threatened to destabilize the state’s property values and housing market.

Yet when Congress, backed by a wide bipartisan coalition, was preparing to halt the harmful effects the flood insurance hikes were having on Louisiana, the Koch brothers tried to intervene and kill the legislation. Their Tea Party-affiliated group, Americans for Prosperity, backed plans to end all federal flood insurance subsidies for property owners and preserve “the crux” of the faulty Biggert-
Waters Act despite its harm to Louisiana homeowners. Although opposition from conservative groups like AFP caused House leaders to delay a vote on the fix, Congress passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act in March 2014, staving off Biggert-Waters’ extreme premium hikes despite the Koch Brothers’ efforts.

Read more after the jump.

Till The Bill: How Conservatives Wrecked The Farm Bill Over Food Stamps

With a compromise farm bill finally coming to the House floor, it is worth taking a moment to review why it took this long to get here – endless Republican obstruction.

As Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz were taking the Republican war on health care reform to new extremes, forcing the government to shut down in the process, another political standoff defined by conservative radicalism received much less attention.

Last October, the farm bill expired, leaving uncertain the future of agricultural programs and essential food assistance for the poor. The expiration came after more than a year of intraparty squabbling among Republicans over the size of proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – commonly known as food stamps.

The House Agriculture Committee approved a five-year farm bill extension in July 2012, but congressional conservatives demanded major cuts to the food stamp program as ransom for their support. The debate carried over into the new Congress, where the Tea Party faction successfully blocked the bill from moving forward. Unable to satisfy the far right’s appetite for draconian cuts, Republican leaders eventually poisoned the process by severing the bill and passing “farm-only” legislation alongside a separate measure slashing funding for food stamps.

Read more after the jump.

Americans For Prosperity: “Doctor Questions”

A new ad from Americans for Prosperity stars a pediatrician who says that “Obamacare has me worried” about her ability to give patients the attention they need and the future of her practice. However, while the conservative group identifies Dr. Mary Ellen Gallagher as a “Family Doctor and Pediatrician,” the ad does not mention that she also has a history of attaching herself to Republican campaigns in Virginia, including Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

Read more after the jump.

Americans for Prosperity: “You Be The Judge – Healthcare Freedom Amendment”

An ad from Americans for Prosperity blames the Florida Supreme Court for ‘denying’ Floridians the opportunity to vote against the Affordable Care Act, which AFP falsely claims will “cost trillions” and allow bureaucrats to cut Medicare. But the ad, which follows in the wake of the GOP’s decision to try to remove three Florida Supreme Court justices, omits the fact that the case before the court dealt with an attempt to place misleading, partisan language describing the health care law on the state’s 2010 ballot.

Read more after the jump.

The Week In Conservative Attack Ads

As the nation turned its attention to the Democratic National Convention, conservative groups were again relatively quiet on the airwaves. We fact checked six television ads, including two extremely misleading attacks on Democratic candidates from the Adelson-funded YG Action Fund. In addition, Americans for Prosperity released an ad falsely comparing the Affordable Care Act to Canada’s single-payer health care system, Crossroads GPS continued its assault on North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp, and the Club for Growth shifted its focus from Republican primaries to the general election.

30 Months, 4.6 Million Private-Sector Jobs

American Crossroads countered the convention with an ad blasting President Obama’s economic record and suggesting that he has taken the country “backward.” In fact, the economy now has gained 4.6 million private-sector jobs in the last 30 months, but government employment continues to shrink, restraining the overall recovery. The following chart shows the accumulation of private-sector job gains and public-sector job losses since the recession officially ended in June 2009:

pub-priv-jobs-jul2

Read more after the jump.

Americans For Prosperity: “We Must Replace President Obama”

In an ad deceptively likening health care reform in the U.S. to the Canadian single-payer system, Americans for Prosperity deploys a Canadian woman who sought care for a brain condition in the U.S., claiming that she would have died before she was able to get in to see the necessary specialists in Canada. The comparison is false, however, since health care in the U.S. continues to be based in the private sector.

Read more after the jump.