Hold your horses — Kochs and GOP will continue to fight ACA

More than six million Americans are breathing a sigh of relief today knowing they’ll be able to keep their affordable health insurance, but the scene at Koch headquarters is undoubtedly whipping into a frenzy. They’re gearing up for the next fight to prevent Medicaid expansion in the states and getting ready to bark orders at GOP politicians like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush eager to follow their lead.

For people who prioritize return on investment, today’s ruling dealt a huge blow to the Kochs, who spent millions to bring King v. Burwell to the Supreme Court and to stop Medicaid expansion.  Now more than ever, they will work with conservative state governments and GOP candidates to push their extreme agenda.

With this latest defeat, the Kochs and their Republican allies are setting their sights on next year’s court decisions and, of course, the White House.

Read more after the jump.

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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Bridge Project Wraps Up the “Month’s Supply of Koch”

Bridge Project is wrapping up the “Month’s Supply of Koch,” where we dedicated the month of May to exposing the Koch brothers and their sprawling political organization. Throughout May, Bridge Project released in-depth reports on the Koch brothers’ shady methods that seek to rig the system in their favor in key states and through front groups.

Now that the Kochs are pledging to spend almost $900 million on the 2016 elections, the GOP presidential wannabes are clamoring for the title of most Koch-friendly candidate.  With our “Koch Tank” video, Bridge Project gave you a sneak peak at the Kochs’ auditions to find the best candidate to buy – that is, whoever will best implement their self-serving agenda. Beyond “Koch Tank,” we released state reports on the Kochs’ devastating effects on Florida and Iowa, and exposed their shallow and underhanded attempts to manipulate Hispanics and millennials.

Beginning with a New York Times expose on David Koch‘s libertarian run for president, Bridge Project has been committed to exposing […]

Read more after the jump.

REPORT: The Kochs’ Transparent Attempt To Pander To Millennials

Bridge Project’s “Month’s Supply of Koch” is dwindling as we approach the end of May with the release of the fourth report: “GenFlop: The Kochs’ Transparent Attempt to Pander to #Millennials.” The latest report is a deep dive into Generation Opportunity, the Kochs’ youth outreach front group, which spreads their libertarian, profit-driven agenda to millennials.

Much of GenOpp’s advocacy is focused on lower-profile campaigns that would appeal to young people, such as supporting food trucks and ride-sharing apps like Uber. However, these smaller campaigns are designed to build an audience of millennials to whom the Koch agenda can be pitched; this agenda is aimed at boosting the Kochs’ bottom line, often at the expense of these same young people. Besides reaching millennials via social media, Generation Opportunity has also spent millions from their Koch-raised coffers on ads and grassroots lobbying efforts such as hosting events on college campuses.

Read more after the jump.

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.

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.

NEW VIDEO: Bridge Project declares May as “Month’s Supply of Koch”

Starting with a spring 2014 expose on David Koch‘s libertarian run for president, Bridge Project has been committed to exposing the Koch brothers. In addition to the Real Koch Facts website — updated constantly with new information about the Kochs agenda and shady tactics — Bridge Project has released research on their efforts in states including Wisconsin and North Carolina. Now, the Kochs are set to spend almost $900 million this election and their invisible primary has Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul auditioning to be the most Koch-friendly candidate. In response, Bridge Project is dedicating the month of May to shining a light on the Koch brothers and their sprawling political organization, bringing you a “Month’s Supply of Koch.”

We’ll be building on our existing work and taking a deeper dive into new states and constituency groups. Since Charles Koch continues to insist that their political spending has nothing to do with boosting Koch Industries’ bottom line, he and David shouldn’t mind Bridge Project digging into their secretive right-wing operations.

Read more after the jump.

David Koch & Palm Beach

Residents of Palm Beach

David Koch Is The Richest Full Or Part-Time Resident of Palm Beach, Florida. According to the Palm Beach Daily News, “Of the more than 1,000 names on the list are more than two dozen full- and part-time residents of Palm Beach and Manalapan. David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, is the richest on the island, worth $17.5 billion, according to Forbes. Koch ranks as the 24th wealthiest person on the planet, along with three others: Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google fame, and his older brother Charles Koch, who doesn’t have a place here. William Koch, David’s twin and fellow Palm Beacher, also is on the list, but is reported as having a net worth of ‘only’ $3 billion. He is ranked at No. 316, along with 26 others, including Hollywood types Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Besides the Koch brothers, there are […]

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Koch Attempts to Influence Florida State University

Koch Rejected Nearly 60% of Faculty Suggestions During First Round of Hiring

St. Petersburg Times: “During The First Round Of Hiring In 2009, Koch Rejected Nearly 60 Percent Of The Faculty’s Suggestions.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “David W. Rasmussen, dean of the College of Social Sciences, defended the deal, initiated by an FSU graduate working for Koch. During the first round of hiring in 2009, Koch rejected nearly 60 percent of the faculty’s suggestions but ultimately agreed on two candidates. Although the deal was signed in 2008 with little public controversy, the issue revived last week when two FSU professors – one retired, one active – criticized the contract in the Tallahassee Democrat as an affront to academic freedom.” [St. Petersburg Times, 5/10/11]

Tampa Tribune Columnist Joe O’Neill: “Whereas Most Donors… Are Limited In Influence, Koch Is Accorded Virtual Veto Power For Its $250,000 Per Year. Too Little Money For Too Much Input. A Classic Lose-Lose.” According to an opinion by columnist Joe O’Neill in The Tampa Tribune, “Speaking of FSU’s call, the Koch deal candidly smacks of a sell-out. Whereas most donors, no matter how prestigious and how appreciated and how generous, are limited in influence, Koch is accorded virtual veto power for its $250,000 per year. Too little money for too much input. A classic lose-lose.” [Joe O’Neill – The Tampa Tribune, 5/18/11]

Author Of University Inc. Jennifer Washburn Called The Koch Deal With FSU “Truly Shocking” And Said It Was “An Egregious Example Of A Public University Being Willing To Sell Itself For Next To Nothing.” According to St. Petersburg Times, “Jennifer Washburn, who has reviewed dozens of contracts between universities and donors, called the Koch agreement with FSU ‘truly shocking.’ Said Washburn, author of University Inc., a book on industry’s ties to academia: ‘This is an egregious example of a public university being willing to sell itself for next to nothing.’” [St. Petersburg Times, 5/10/11]

Read more after the jump.

Charles Koch Institute’s University-Giving Background

Center For Public Integrity’s Dave Levinthal: “When The Kochs Spend Money On Universities, Or Even High Schools, They Do It To Advance The Long-Term Objectives Of The Koch Political Network.” According to KCUR, “But, Dave Levinthal, at the Center for Public Integrity isn’t so sure. He’s studied Koch funding for years and says that when the Kochs spend money on universities, or even high schools, they do it to advance the long-term objectives of the Koch political network. ‘At every level that they can operate in, for all intents and purposes they are making investments that will build that next generation of Libertarian economic thinkers, and actors, business people and politicians,’ says Levinthal.” [KCUR.org, 12/17/14]

Koch Giving To Universities Rose From Seven Schools In 2004 To 254 Universities In 2014. According to Forbes, “Brothers Charles and David, who are each worth $42.7 billion and are tied at No. 4 on the Forbes 400 list of America’s Richest, have poured nearly $50 million into 254 universities nationwide since 2005, according to an interactive database recently published by Greenpeace. A decade ago, the same database reports, the Kochs gave to only seven schools.” [Forbes, 11/4/14]

Charles Koch Foundation Program Officer: “When We Support A School’s Initiative, It Is To Expand Opportunity And Increase The Diversity Of Ideas Available On Campus.” According to Inside Higher Ed, “Groups affiliated with the Koch brothers foundations have repeatedly denied that financial support of colleges infringes on academic freedom and did so when asked for a comment on Monday’s campaign. ‘Academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas are cornerstones of our philanthropy,’ said John Hardin, a program officer with the Charles Koch Foundation, in an email. ‘When we support a school’s initiative, it is to expand opportunity and increase the diversity of ideas available on campus.’” [Inside Higher Ed, 11/4/14]

Read more after the jump.