Posts tagged ‘Bailouts’

Is Your Senator Representing Charles and David Koch?



Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch look like they’re easy graders. Their Tea Party group released its rankings this week of senators and congressman who toe the Koch line most, and it gave a total of 44 A+s for the 112th Congress.

Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party group funded by the Kochs, based its grades on opposition to affordable health care, clean air, alternative energy and net neutrality. Scores were also boosted if the elected official signed the tea party group’s anti-revenue pledge. 

In sum, the five senators who scored 100 percent on the Americans for Prosperity how-can-we-make-the-Kochs-richer test received $187,400 in campaign contributions from the Kochs and their allies. 

These senators are Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and potential Republican vice presidential nominee Marco Rubio, a freshman from Florida. Indeed, Rubio, Johnson and Coburn have a lifetime of A+ scores! 

Though the brothers are worth about $42 billion, a little political donation here and there goes a long way. Factor in the brothers’ self-serving “philanthropy” with the Kochs’ numerous other nonprofit foundations and academic think tanks and you’ve exposed a vast echo chamber of perpetuating myths and distortions designed to make the Kochs richer.


While the Koch brothers use their enormous wealth to influence democracy in the Capitol, they’re also funding or supporting groups that aim to replace the values of working families with policies that make the Koch brothers richer. At the same time, the Kochs are working to bolster their clout with influential members of the political and media elite to favor devastating environmental developmentsthat would boost the soaring profits of Koch Industries.

To complement their political giving, the Kochs are also working with partners to curb access to the voting booth. The Kochs fund the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has helped facilitate the proliferation of voter suppression laws across the country. These laws would have their most adverse effect on students, seniors, minorities and disabled citizens.

At a local level, a Americans for Prosperity chapter helped make a community North Carolina school board race the most expensive in recent memory and favored candidates who pledged to resegregate public schools. They were ultimately rebuked by voters last year.

Exposing the Kochs reveals a pattern of selfish and manipulative priorities that consistently favor the most fortunate among us. In an era of Patriotic Billionaires, Occupy Wall Street and a decaying democratic process, the Koch brothers and their allies continue to demonstrate their satisfaction obstructing progress and social justice.

What do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would have to say about it?

Robert Greenwald is the director/producer of “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” as well as many other films. He is a board member of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet’s parent organization.



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Tea Party Congressman Collects Disability From His Union Job

Representative Chip Cravaak of Minnesota was swept into office during the 2010 midterm election on the Tea Party platform. He has since voted for the Paul Ryan plan to kill Medicare, which would force seniors to rely on a voucher system which wouldn’t be likely to cover their vast health needs and costs. But did you know that he’s a raging hypocrite?

Even as he bashed unions during his election campaign, Cravaak enjoyed the benefits of being a member of one. He worked as a pilot for Northwest Air, now Delta, as recently as 2007 and being a pilot means that you are automatically a union member, thus receiving the benefits of union negotiated salaries, vacations and ultimately, disability payments. According to financial records released by Cravaak himself, the Tea Party Representative received $92,273 from disability payments in 2010 alone. So while Cravaak was busy bashing “big government” and unions, he was cashing disability checks.