'Koch Congress' Could Make Oligarchy Official

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'Koch Congress' Could Make Oligarchy Official

Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch have a combined net worth four times that of well-known Democratic donor George Soros, and one hundred times that of Tom Steyer. 

At a time when most Americans agree that the country has too much power in too few hands, the world’s two wealthiest men are only six seats away from seizing the Senate and consolidating their current control of the House.  The result could be a full “Koch Congress” that further rigs the rules in their favor.

Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch have a combined net worth four times that of well-known Democratic donor George Soros, and one hundred times that of Tom Steyer.  

This summer, participants in the Kochs’ secret billionaires’ summit pledged to raise $500 million to take the Senate in 2014 midterm elections. After four decades of funding front groups and an elaborate ideology they call “economic freedom,” the Kochs embody today’s emerging American oligarchy. No one else can even compare.

At risk are the rights of all Americans, especially women, workers, voters, veterans, as well as the protection of our rapidly warming Earth, since the Kochs’ end game is to defend their carbon based wealth by continuing to pollute politics and the planet for free. In all the noise of this election season, there has been little discussion of the fact that two billionaire brothers are about to have “power of the purse” over the world’s wealthiest nation.

Koch Capture of the GOP

Not even John D. Rockefeller ever managed to pull together a radical faction as powerful as Kochs have through today’s Tea Party.  Nor has anyone moved so many moderate conservatives toward the Kochs’ personal philosophical approach and hardline policy agenda.  

The Kochs’ core belief in “shrinking the state” drives conservatives’ manic brinkmanship in the nonstop budget battles that Tea Party types used to shut down the government and risk default over the debt ceiling. Along with entirely eliminating essential elements of federal government, such as the EPA, a Koch Congress would also squeeze other governments—from municipal to multilateral—who rely on federal funds for everything from disaster relief to fighting Ebola.

Around the 2012 election, Politico reported on the intra-Republican rivalry between Karl Rove and David Koch.  However, it now appears as if Rove’s powerful SuperPAC, American Crossroads, is carrying Koch’s message in elections ads about the Keystone XL pipeline.  Koch’s capture of GOP electoral operations may not be so surprising given that Rove himself is not rich and must raise money from others, whereas the Kochs draw from their own unparalleled personal fortune. 

Senator Mitch McConnell could become Koch’s top guy in government under a Koch Congress, waging unrestrained war against the President at every turn, if not impeaching him outright. And Obama could be left with no Attorney General if Republicans refuse to approve any replacement for outgoing AG Eric Holder.  

Voting rights would likely be rewritten by a Koch Congress, as mandated by a 2013 Supreme Court decision—brought to trial by the Koch-funded Center for Fair Representation—that rolled back the crown jewel of America’s civil rights struggle.  Another Koch-funded group, ALEC, has been advancing similar strategies at the state level, where America’s voting laws are forged.  Part of a plot?  Call it highly organized greed.

Average Americans Can Act Now: Connect at KochProblem.org

For the first time, anyone online can now “follow the money” from Koch’s fossil fuels fortune today’s political candidates at KochProblem.org.  Learn about candidates’ links to Koch’s financial interests and the growing network of grassroots groups working across America to expose the Kochs’ efforts to take over Congress. 

A full Koch Congress would weaken voting rights, minimum wage, pay equity, carbon regulations, and many other basic protections the American people have fought for, and won.  

Victor Menotti

Victor Menotti is the executive director of the International Forum on Globalization Action Fund

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