by Max Brantley
The Koch brothers plan to spend $200 million on elections in 2012 to buy a majority for their anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-poor political agenda.
They've long been up and running in Arkansas, with a front group, Americans for Prosperity, busily working in effective coordination with the Arkansas Republican Party to win a majority in the Arkansas legislature and sweep congressional elections.
The Kochs and like-minded wealthy Republicans demonstrated what a fairly modest sum can achieve in Arkansas legislative elections in 2010. With $10,000, a candidate in rural Arkansas with a little voter ID work and some hot-button direct mail (Baby Killer Democrats! The Queers are Taking Over! Clean air rules will take your jobs!) can do wonders, particularly against a less-sophisticated good old boy riding his name recognition and little else. That seat representing the Yellville area (PETA is coming!) is worth exactly as much as a seat for a liberal warren of Fayetteville or Little Rock and much cheaper to purchase.
SPEAKING OF KOCHS: Why do they hate environmental regulation so much. Well, perhaps a look at their Georgia-Pacific operation would be instructive. Reporting here on a cancer cluster in the neighborhood, including a mention of the high risk of exposure to toxins experienced by Crossett school kids.