Koch brothers: The Medicis of libertarian politics

By Laurie Bennett

August 27, 2010 at 9:00am

The Koch brothers’ impact on Americans’ daily lives is immeasurable.

As Jane Mayer notes in the current New Yorker, Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the U.S., produces “Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products.”

David H. Koch is a major philanthropist, giving millions to the Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

He and brother Charles are also major patrons of libertarian politics, pouring more than $100 million into seemingly independent think tanks and political-action groups. The New Yorker goes so far as to say they are “waging a war against Obama.”

Mayer details the activities of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has trained Tea Party activists and taken a stance against corporate power. David Koch, who represents corporate power like few other Americans, founded and chairs the organization.

Despite foundation denials and Koch’s statement that he has never attended a Tea Party event, Mayer says Americans for Prosperity has worked closely with the Tea Party from the beginning.

The Koch brothers, she writes, have turned their private agenda, which corresponds to their business agenda, into a mass movement.

Carol Eisenberg wrote about Charles Koch for Muckety in 2008.

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  • #1.   frank murphy 08.27.2010

    why is it that there is more literature/copy about Lindsy Lohan personal life, who has very little to do with the shaping of the environment in which I live, than these guys? Failure of the press?

  • #2.   N. J. Ahrens 08.27.2010

    Jane Mayer and The NEW YORKER have done a service to American democracy, to expose these criminals, for the crimes they have committed and for their hypocrisy in trying to defeat causes that benefit human kind, all for the sake of personal gain, as 2nd generation leeches off the genius of their father, and the gullibility of institutions, like the Smithsonian, which they buy off with their inherited wealth. These corporate, oil baron giants are infantile in their ability to understand and relate to spiritually rich citizens who love their fellow human beings. They were not allowed play, as children, by a father who betrayed our country, to help Stalin, and they even turned against their own brothers, who abhorred their selfish ways. Idealistic Tea Party enthusiasts, spurn their tent, for it is infected with maggots that will eat out your hearts.

  • #3.   Ralph 09.01.2010

    The article comes off as an ill-researched piece. What this actually shows they give little to important Libertarian groups, nothing to core groups such as (which accepts no money to begin with), and does not highlight their major donations to e.g. the ACLU.

  • #4.   Margaret Wells 01.20.2011

    DO NOT confuse this Koch owed corporate tea party thing with the original article. These people are just RW, Anti-Obama. That is it. Koch is using all of you, if you support the TP party now.

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