by Max Brantley
Good reporting in The Guardian on the Koch billionaires' financing of a vast database to organize their political base for the takeover of state and federal government.
The database will give concrete form to the vast network of alliances that David and Charles Koch have cultivated over the past 20 years on the right of US politics. The brothers, whose personal wealth has been put at $25bn each, were a major force behind the creation of the tea party movement and enjoy close ties to leading conservative politicians, financiers, business people, media figures and US supreme court judges.
The voter file was set up by the Kochs 18 months ago with $2.5m of their seed money, and is being developed by a hand-picked team of the brothers' advisers. It has been given the name Themis, after the Greek goddess who imposes divine order on human affairs.
... The database will bring together information from a plethora of right-wing groups, tea party organisations and conservative-leaning thinktanks. Each one has valuable data on their membership — including personal email addresses and phone numbers, as well as more general information useful to political campaign strategists such as occupation, income bracket and so on.
By pooling the information, the hope is to create a data resource that is far more potent than the sum of its parts. Themis will in effect become an electoral roll of right-wing America, allowing the Koch brothers to further enhance their power base in a way that is sympathetic to, but wholly independent of, the Republican party.