The very rich funding political causes is not new, but the billionaire Koch Brothers are finally getting much deserved publicity-

That money is the “mothers milk of politics” is well known, but the identify of the mothers often isn’t. In recent years the role of really rich people funding their causes has mushroomed.  Rightwingers will point to George Soros, for example.

David and Charles Koch, the billionaires who own privately-held Koch Industries are not well known, however. A recent piece on their lavish funding of Tea Party organizations and various climate change deniers was profiled in the New Yorker magazine. Now many other media are investigating.

The Brothers have given a million dollars to advance prop 23 in California that would repeal the state’s landmark climate change legislation. Others tied closed to traditional oil and gas such as Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp are propping up the effort to kill off progress.  Story: Koch Industries Donates $1 Million To Kill California Climate Law. By Brendan DeMelle. Huffington Post.

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Added. Article about Koch Industries.The company was started in 1927 by Fred Koch, a charter member of the John Birch Society, with an oil delivery business in Texas.”

More on the long reach of the Koch Brothers. Is Nova Catering to Its Anti-Science Sugar Daddy? 09/08/2010 by Jim Naureckas. FAIR. It’s about the program NOVA and David Koch.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

21 Responses to Billionaire brothers are funding climate change skeptics and Tea Party

  1. avatar Maska says:

    Just imagine what these guys can do in the wake of the Citizens United decision!

  2. avatar william huard says:

    I can see the Brawny man running for cover. The two idiot sons would be safely aboard a private jet just as Manhattan falls into the ocean due to climate change!

  3. avatar william huard says:

    Boy those Texas boys really stick together. I think the dropping of 88 environmental crime charges pretty much summed up Bush environmental policy. After all it’s just the environment, always gettin the way of business.

  4. avatar Salle says:

    I bet they are probably friends of Rupert Murdoch as well. It seems almost as though the SC had them in mind when it made that ruling. Custom made best democracy money can buy… wait, that was a book that came out a few years ago…

  5. avatar Matt says:

    a much more in-depth article on the brothers Koch: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

  6. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Amazing how people can deny climate change. Do they think gravity exists as well?

  7. avatar Jon Way says:

    Yet the real kicker is that they probably are the first ones to get access to our advanced medicine and health care systems, which have their own roots in the same scientific method that supports human-caused climate change.

  8. Jon Way,

    In the same vein, one of the Koch Brothers is a big supporter of research in curing prostate cancer. He had prostate cancer. He has given a great deal of money to researching a cure.

    Is he really a selfless giver? I’d say this confirms his worldview that society and government should work exclusively for his self interest.

    Being a polluter, he doesn’t was government enforcing pollution laws; being a greedy person, he hates minimum wages; having had prostate cancer, he wants a cure discovered.

    • avatar william huard says:

      The shocking thing about that world view is that no one is entitled to anything but them. If you are unemployed you are lazy, if you don’t have health care you don’t deserve it.

      • avatar Jon Way says:

        And I wonder if his being a polluter helped cause the cancer. Now that would be full circle if I have ever heard of an example.
        Instead of cheaply cleaning up and not causing others to get toxic elements/waste, he would rather find a cure for the disease…

      • Jon Way,

        I doubt that the relationship between pollution and cancer occurred to the brothers, or perhaps they thought they could move to a clean place for billionaires.

        They are libertarian economic individualists. The trouble with these folks is they don’t see the organic interconnection among things.

  9. avatar Nathan Hobbs says:

    I read this year that 2010 elections are set to be the most expensive campaigns ever.
    What a waste of money just imagine if we put this money to work on causes all (or the vast majority of us) could agree upon!

  10. avatar Jimt says:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-bk_invisible_0118gd.ART.State.Edition1.4e735ff.html

    A so so review of a book called Invisible Hands that exposes just how strong the historic connection is between industrialists and the conservative political movements such as the John Birch Society, and the present Day Tea Party. Koch Brothers seem to be the latest, along with Murdoch, in a long line that goes back to Standard Oil days. Maybe worth a read…

    I think I would add “amoral” to your description above, Ralph.

  11. avatar WM says:

    If I recall correctly one of the Koch brothers turned on the others to file a whistleblower (aka qui tam) law suit for fraud against the federal government and certain Indian tribes back in the late 1990’s. It seems Koch systematically over a period of years under-represented the amount and quality of natural gas/petroleum they were extracting on public land and tribal sovereign land leases. This meant the government and tribal lessors got much less in royalties than they should have. It is, in effect, theft. At least one lawsuit resulted in a jury verdict against Koch, and a huge dollar verdict, which was later settled for something less while the case was on appeal.

  12. avatar RLMiller says:

    People interested in climate (including me) have known about the Koch Bros for a long time, but they’ve flown under the radar of the mainstream media. Now that they’re out in the open, I expect to see some organized boycott efforts. Among others, they own Georgia-Pacific and thus a lot of disposable paper products (Brawny, Angel Soft, etc), and some outdoor-enthusiast fabrics (Polarguard, CoolMax, etc).
    http://www.worldofkoch.com/

  13. I added another new link to the story on the Koch Brothers.

    “Is Nova Catering to Its Anti-Science Sugar Daddy?”
    09/08/2010 by Jim Naureckas

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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