Government: The best the Koch Bros. can buy | Arkansas Blog

Government: The best the Koch Bros. can buy

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KOCH BROS: Atop a vast and opaque political junta.
  • KOCH BROS: Atop a vast and opaque political junta.
The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics have analyzed 2011 and 2012 tax filings and concluded the billionaire Koch brothers and their allies poured $400 million into political activities in the 2012 election cycle. There's every indication that there's more where that came from.

Here's a link to a graphic of the octopus-like web of Koch-driven front organizations and it includes a link to the reporting on the subject. Several of the organizations in the chart have reared their heads in Arkansas, most notably Americans for Prosperity, which has a full-time Arkansas payroll  that has included a state legislator's wife (Mrs. Nate Bell) and poured tens of thousands into electing legislators (Republicans all) friendly to the Kochs' anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-health care, anti-union  agenda. Their mill grinds fine. The Koch organization has even meddled in Pulaski County's water, lobbying against regulatory efforts to protect the Lake Maumelle water supply.

The reporting begins:

The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents.

The filings show that the network of politically active nonprofit groups backed by the Kochs and fellow donors in the 2012 elections financially outpaced other independent groups on the right and, on its own, matched the long-established national coalition of labor unions that serves as one of the biggest sources of support for Democrats.

The resources and the breadth of the organization make it singular in American politics: an operation conducted outside the campaign finance system, employing an array of groups aimed at stopping what its financiers view as government overreach. Members of the coalition target different constituencies but together have mounted attacks on the new health-care law, federal spending and environmental regulations.

The organizations are designed to defeat transparency and accountabilit

Expect Koch groups to play heavily in independent spending against Sen. Mark Pryor.


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