This week’s “Nail on the Head” op-ed comes from The Denver Post, written by freelance columnist and Denver radio talk show host Mike Rosen. Very eye-opening.
Is it only Democratic billionaires who are good?
Harry Reid has called them “un-American.” Democrats have put their political machine into overdrive to demonize them personally and tar Republican candidates whom they’ve supported. The Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC has launched a $3 million ad campaign in five key swing states attacking them. To radical leftist groups, they’re public enemy No. 1.
Who are these dastardly villains attracting so much attention and vitriol?
They’re the Koch brothers, Charles and David, billionaire American industrialists now in their 70s from Wichita, Kan., who earned engineering degrees at MIT. They control the second-largest privately held company in the United States, a worldwide enterprise with $115 billion in annual revenues. Originally founded as an oil refining business in the 1940s, it’s expanded into a multinational conglomerate that includes minerals, polymers, ranching, forestry, pollution control equipment and even consumer products such as Dixie Cups and Northern Quilted toilet tissue. Koch Industries pays billions in taxes and employs 60,000 American workers.
As philanthropists, the Koch Family Foundations in the last decade alone have contributed more than $1 billion to organizations that foster “entrepreneurship, education, human services, at-risk youth, arts and culture, and medical research.”
Unlike the infamous Bernie Madoff, the Koch brothers have never swindled anyone nor broken any laws. To the left, their unpardonable sin is that they’re successful capitalists who underwrite libertarian, conservative and free-enterprise causes. Even worse, they spend money to help elect Republicans to public office with the goal of — hold on to your hats — defending individual liberty and rolling back “progressive” policies.
In a recent Wall Street Journal commentary, Charles Koch presented his beliefs and mission. He observed that “the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government.” He quoted Thomas Jefferson, who said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
Koch explained, “I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs ─ even when we [Koch Industries] benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.” He spoke of politicians and regulators who believe they can run people’s lives better than the people themselves “More government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American,” he wrote.
To Harry Reid, these sentiments are “un-American.”
Embroiled in a tight re-election campaign in one of those five key swing states, Sen. Mark Udall has jumped on the anti-Koch bandwagon, declaring in a fundraising communication, “The Koch Brothers can’t buy Colorado.” This is in reference to media ads criticizing Udall’s voting record by Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded group. At the same time, Udall is the beneficiary of a $500,000 Colorado ad campaign from the aforementioned Democrats’ Senate Majority super PAC railing against the influence of “out-of-state billionaires.”
Who happens to be the largest individual donor to that Democratic super PAC? Michael Bloomberg, the very same out-of-state billionaire who spent millions in Colorado supporting anti-gun politicians and the bills they rammed through our legislature last year.
On the subject of hypocrisy, according to Federal Election Commission records, Udall’s list of direct campaign contributors includes George Soros, Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, David Giffen and a host of other out-of-state billionaires. Apparently it doesn’t count when your out-of-state fat cats are leftist billionaires who give money to Democrats.
Rosen added this additional analysis (starting at 16:17 of this podcast) during his radio show on May 9th:
“Regarding the numbers and relative ranking, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Koch Industries has donated more than $18 million to Republican candidates since 1989. That ranks them 59th among political contributors during that period.
“At the top of the list is ActBlue, a fundraising group that’s donated $97 million to Democrats since 1989…. Two union groups round out the top 3, with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees at $61 million, and the National Education Association at $59 million. They dwarf the contributions that the Koch brothers have made.”
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I studied the data from the Center for Responsive Politics, and created a summary table. Look for yourself. It illustrates the extreme dishonesty of any progressive politician that badmouths Charles and David Koch to deflect attention away from the much larger bankrolling of Progressive politicians by big-money leftist organizations like ActBlue and labor unions.
Top 59 Political Donors, 1989-2014
Click to enlarge