The Kings Koch

This headline — Koch brothers will offer audition to Jeb Bush — says a lot about our current state of political affairs. Their lordships seem to think politicians are just hirelings to be auditioned. Maybe they’re right. And, anyway, a multitude of sources say they’re going to support their boy Scott Walker. See David Koch Signals a Favorite: Scott Walker and David Koch: Scott Walker Would Defeat Hillary Clinton ‘by a Major Margin’. I guess all those years of being the Koch’s loyal poodle are paying off for ol’ Scottie.

See also Elias Isquith:

A subsequent report from Politico cast some doubt on whether David Koch’s claim that Walker should be the GOP’s nominee was as ironclad as the Times indicated. But that doesn’t matter, really. What matters is that because Kennedy illogically and unnecessarilyclaimed in the Court’s Citizens United opinion that “independent expenditures … do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” a cryptic remark from one wingnut billionaire can have major implications for a country of more than 300 million.

Despite how farcical such a state of affairs is already, it’s only going to get worse. One of the crucial assumptions Kennedy used to justify Citizens United, for example, was that a big-spending independent group could be barred from coordinating with a candidate. Kennedy reasoned that if a political nonprofit wants to pay for ads attacking Politician X, there won’t be corruption — or even its appearance — unless the nonprofit worked directly with X’s opponent. If the nonprofit were run by X’s allies, it would make no difference.

Opponents of the ruling thought the hypothetical was patently ridiculous. They figured that any wall built between a candidate and her allies would be highly permeable at best. But another recent development from the GOP primary, this time involving former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, suggests the pretense of non-coordination is falling apart even more rapidly than expected, and that we may be about to witness the birth of a whole new kind of presidential campaign.

Technically, Bush is not yet a candidate for president. But he’s fundraising indefatigablyfor his Right to Rise super PAC, which he can “coordinate” with so long as his campaign remains undeclared. That’ll be money well-saved, too, according to the Associated Press: Bush is planning to be the first serious candidate ever to “outsource” to the super PAC much of the work usually done by the official campaign. Thanks to Justice Kennedy, the super PAC won’t be constrained by fundraising limits.

So there we are.. But there is one faint ray of hope from Montana,  of all places. The Koch worked very hard to get Medicaid expansion blocked (why?) in Montana, but they failed. For all their money, they can be ham-handed oafs in politcs:

For the Medicaid battle the Kochs tried a new strategy, one that never works in the West. They flew in a bunch of high-priced young politicos from Washington to get the job done. These held “town meetings” in rural communities at which they showed up in slim-fit suits and pointy shoes, looking like they were heading to a nightclub, lecturing farmers and ranches on politics and the dangers of “more Obamacare” and publicly threatening moderate Republicans. It didn’t take long for them to get booed off the stage by their own partisans.

See, for example, Koch Brothers Group Shouted Down By Irate Citizens During Montana Town Hall Meeting.

Progressives played it smart:

They teamed up with hospital executives, doctors and business leaders. These are Republican-leaning types who wanted Medicaid expansion in 2013 but were let down by their own high-priced conservative lobbyists who failed to deliver Republican votes. This time, the progressives took care of business and pressured one in five Republicans to vote for it. Kim Abbott of Montana Human Rights Network, who coordinated the effort, says they banked a record 10,000 calls to legislators. They found citizens with life-ending illnesses who could not afford treatment, who are not eligible for Medicaid nor an ACA-subsidized plan, and paired them with hospital leaders for media appearances and to testify at hearings at the Capitol. The Kochs’ crew, meanwhile, testified at the same hearings that Americans “will no longer have an incentive to work hard” if Medicaid is expanded. …

… At the height of the debate two months ago, former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a rancher, wrote a letter to his local newspaper pointing out that Koch Industries owns a ranch in Montana that has taken $12 million in public grazing subsidies while spending their fortune to prevent someone who makes $11,000 a year from getting public help for medical care. The Koch team leader reacted by penning an angry opinion piece, attacking Schweitzer but leaving his accusation unanswered, thus spreading the bad news. It was a serious blow.

Maybe if the Kochs weren’t getting all those free goodies from the government they would have to work harder. Maybe they’d have less time to play politics.

The best part was that the Montana Americans for Prosperity chapter released a statement saying  that “the voices of millions of Montanans” didn’t want to expand Medicaid through Obamacare. Millions? The entire population of Montana is 1,023,579, according to the Census Bureau. There’s no such thing as “millions of Montanans.” Someone from Montana would know that, I suspect.

12 thoughts on “The Kings Koch

  1. The Koch Brothers, folks, are why we need to go back to the tax rates of the 1950’s on upper income.

    Let the uber-rich – who’ll still be uber-rich, compared to the rest of us – spend any money left over after taxes, to pay CPA’s to look for loopholes, and Tax Attorney’s to defend them.

    Right now, thanks to the “Five Fascists” on our SCOTUS, we’re getting ‘the worst representative democracy that money can buy!’

    The Koch @$clowns are great at making money in a rigged system, with a low tax rate for their insane income bracket, and corporate Welfare.

    I’m not even sure how great they are at business, because they have enough money, and enough CPA’s and Tax Attorney’s to cover any horrendous mistakes.
    Most of us blow a chance at opening a business, and we’re screwed.
    These two can afford to blow any number of them, and shake-off the losses, like a duck shakes off water.

    I don’t mean to say that they don’t know what they’re doing. The evidence shows that they probably do. But, they can afford to buy big eraser’s to cover-up any mistakes.

  2. former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a rancher, wrote a letter to his local newspaper pointing out that Koch Industries owns a ranch in Montana that has taken $12 million in public grazing subsidies while spending their fortune to prevent someone who makes $11,000 a year from getting public help for medical care

    And once again I am reminded why I have a big ol’ cowgirl crush on Brian Schweitzer. It isn’t just the string ties.

  3. Before the last presidential election, I read about the millions of dollars the Kochs were giving to Republicans and millions of dollars that Adelson was giving and other rich folk. However, it does appear that those of us in the 47 percent got out and voted the Democratic Presidential candidate into office. So, even when I think there is no hope for this country, I get surprised. I hope we get surprised in 2016; I just get so apathetic when the campaigning begins so early. I think our main advantage is that the crazy conservatives just do not live in the real world and are always overconfident in their dream world.

  4. The millionaire son and brother of presidents gets to audition for oil billionaires.
    What a great day for democracy.

  5. “If the nonprofit were run by X’s allies, it would make no difference.”

    How did Kennedy get through 6th grade much less law school? That is about the dullest statement I’ve ever heard from a supreme.

    The real impact of all this money is argued away by those who benefit the most, politicians and the media so who’s gonna complain (except the occasional superhuman mailman). Besides Hillary is gonna raise 2.5 billion so see everybody’s got the same chance!

  6. Sounds like the Koch Brothers are having a little sport similar to pitting gladiators against each other in the Colosseum. They’re giving all the GOP contenders several million bucks each just to watch them tear each other apart. It’s like entertainment for the super wealthy. I suspect that to the Koch Brother it’s just a big game. I mean, why would anybody give 10 million bucks to Marco Rubio if it wasn’t to see him get bloodied and humiliated in the arena of American politics?
    They’re probably to lazy to competitively hunt exotic animals on a private game reserve in Africa so they’re doing the next best thing to satisfy their sibling rivalry.
    They should throw some more money on Chris Christie…He’s the equivalent to taking down a bull elephant.

  7. I wonder if the Koch brothers are going to feature a swimsuit competition as part of their Presidential contenders beauty contest? I’d guess that Rand Paul would win that segment of the competition if speedo’s are the selected choice of swimwear. Huckabee and Christie might be at a slight disadvantage if that proves to be the case.

  8. Oy, Swami, what an image!

    The Huckster and Krispy Kreme would need GGGGGGGGGGGGGG-strings for the swim suit competition.

    No matter what he wears, and how much he preens, or how stiff the competition, Lindsey Graham would have a lock on “Miss Congeniality!”

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  10. Yeah, gulag… Lindsey could sing On the Good Ship Lollipop for the talent portion of the competition.

  11. In the last two elections, the GOP fielded, arguably, and pathetically,two of the strongest candidates in a pretty sorry “clown parade”. Now, the Koch’s want to inflate one of the weaker players? Walker is possibly even more of a liability as Prez candidate than Caribou Barbie was as McCain’s running mate. She at least finished a degree (such as it is) and was never put to a recall vote as Governor. And she wasn’t at the top of the ticket. Scott Walker is Dan Quayle. Bring it on.

  12. Doug, I have always enjoyed and learned from your comments. Will visit your go fund me sight in am.

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