Monday, March 28, 2011

The Koch Brothers - Things that I Learned UPDATES

There is a very extensive article on the Koch brothers in The Weekly Standard.  The article is based on what the facts are about them as opposed to how they have been portrayed by left leaning media outlets and blogs. 

Here are some interesting facts:

The Koch's do not drill for oil.  They are involved in refining. 

The Koch's are actually libertarians, not conservatives.  They were involved in the founding of The Cato Institute. 

Charles and David are painted as trust fund babies.  Neither of them worked for the company until after their father became ill.  Both had successful careers that had nothing to do with their father and the company has flourished under their leadership. 

In the late 70's many prominent conservatives believed that Charles Koch was working against them. 

David Koch ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 on the Libertarian Ticket.  Obviously he was not a fan of Reagan.  He was thrilled by getting 1% of the vote.  To him that meant a movement of liberty and limited government was forming. 

In 1983 they founded a non profit Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). While President Bush was in office the attendance to the seminars that they held were gaining more attention and increasing in size of attendance.  Due to internal shake ups, the now defunct CSE turned into two organizations; Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks.  Both of these formed well before Obama took office.  AFP is partially funded by the Koch's, but FreedomWorks is not.  (FreedomWorks is 96% by small private donations, they hope to be at 100% soon.)

After two near death experiences; one with prostate cancer and being the lone survivor of the first class passengers of an airplane crash, David became more involved in  philanthropy:

Most of his money went to medical research and cultural institutions. His multimillion-dollar gifts went to MIT, Johns Hopkins, Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and elsewhere.
Only a very small percentage of his philanthropic endeavors involve public policy or politics.

The Koch's have never met Gov. Walker of Wisconsin.  Less than 1% of the money raised by Walker came from the Koch brothers. 

During the 90's the Koch's businesses had some serious issues with EPA and other regulatory issues.  They have taken steps to correct those problems and the company policy is to be 100% complaint 100% of the time.
On July 25, 2000, Clinton’s EPA sent a letter to Charles Koch congratulating his company on plans to reduce emissions at the Pine Bend and Corpus Christi refineries. “I appreciate that Koch took the initiative to work with EPA to develop an agreement that would advance the common interests of Koch, EPA, and the general public,” wrote Office of Regulatory Enforcement director Eric V. Schaeffer. “The Koch representatives were outstanding in their cooperation throughout the negotiation process.” None other than Janet Reno said she was “pleased” with the agreement. Koch’s cooperation, said then-EPA administrator Carol Browner (now President Obama’s climate czar), was “unprecedented.”

Koch made Herculean efforts to get ahead of the regulatory curve. The engineers lessened the amount of excess gas burned at Koch refineries—a practice known as flaring. “We’ve reduced the flaring at our refineries to almost nil,” Dave Robertson, the company’s president and chief operating officer, told me. In August 2003 the EPA selected Koch subsidiary John Zink Company for its prestigious National Environmental Performance Track program. Koch employees traveled frequently to Washington for consultation with government officials. “I think we have a constructive relationship with EPA,” said Jim Mahoney.

Koch’s efforts continue to elicit notice. Since Obama’s inauguration, Koch companies have been recognized more than 280 times by local, state, and federal agencies for safety and environmental stewardship. In 2009 Invista voluntarily agreed to a huge settlement with EPA. “Invista is making a clean start in a settlement that achieves significant environmental benefits,” an EPA administrator said at the time. In October 2009 the EPA gave its SmartWay Excellence Award to Georgia-Pacific for reducing pollution in the freight industry. In October 2010 Flint Hills Resources agreed to a deal with the federal government over permitting rights at its Texas refinery. “The process we have agreed to with Flint Hills Resources is an excellent one,” said EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz in a press release, “and we look forward to working with the company to complete the work to transition their permits.”
The Koch's gave close to $200K to democrats in the 2010 election cycle, including Schumer, Nelson, Landrieu, and Lincoln.  Apparently, dems taking their money is fine, but Republicans are being manipulated by the evil puppetmasters. 

The harassment from the left is also affecting employees that have no family ties to the Koch's. 

The raw emotions and mindless smears left employees of Koch Industries hurt and befuddled. They kept searching for an answer. It was as if the universe had turned upside down. “All of us are given something, some more than others, and it’s up to us to build on it,” said Koch Minerals executive Steve Tatum. “Charles and David did. They built on what they inherited from their family. Hopefully, I have too. And I inherited nothing but a little help with college.

“What doesn’t seem right is when a person works to get through college, gets a degree, works for 25 years to become successful—and now you’re the bad guy,” Tatum said. “And I think, that’s the American dream, isn’t it?”

Tatum reclined in his chair and extended his hands, palms up. “Isn’t that what we want for everyone?”

It is very long article, but well worth the read. 


Even Politico understands how the left has gone around the bend when it comes to the Koch's.  What the progressive left is actually the one using the tactics that they are accusing the Koch's of:

Back in Washington last month, representatives from Common Cause, Greenpeace, Public Citizen and Think Progress huddled with researchers from the Service Employees International Union at SEIU headquarters to figure out how to make the most of the sudden focus on the Kochs. And meeting participants have continued to trade research about the Kochs and strategize via a Koch-related email listserv and a rolling series of conference calls. It’s amazed me frankly that other groups have gotten interested in what we’re doing” on the Koch brothers, said former Democratic congressman Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, which – partly through the Koch campaign – has transformed itself from a wonky campaign finance and ethics advocate into a feisty watchdog and boosted its fundraising.

“Maybe what we did is give (other groups) a little hope to explore the issues in a little more aggressive way.” Davies of Greenpeace But he also said “there are people shoehorning anything onto the Kochs. It’s a bit of a pile on, at this point predicted the Kochs “will continue to be a focal point as long as it’s an effective thing to do and as long as the left doesn’t yet have a candidate on the Republican side to talk about. It gives people something to focus on.”

1 comment:

Deekaman said...

I have to read this. With all the "Koch is the new Halliburton", it will be nice to have ammo to counter.


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