Posts Tagged ‘tea party’

Will Someone Please Come to the Defense of the Poor Koch Brothers?

September 13th, 2010 by Paul DeBenedetto

by Paul Pedersen

At the end of August, Jane Meyer wrote this fascinating (albeit long) profile on David and Charles Koch for the New Yorker. The piece isn’t incredibly flattering, essentially painting the brothers as the Dick Dastardly and Muttley of modern politics. The gist: the billionaire brothers have conspired to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on right-wing causes, mostly of the environmental variety. The piece also accuses them of funding the Tea Party Movement, and using their organization Americans for Prosperity as a tool for indoctrinating Tea Party activists, which would mean the largest political grassroots movement of our time is essentially being controlled by two men. (It also means the brothers are accessories to these amazing signs and should be given a medal.)

As you might imagine, the brothers aren’t entirely happy with this characterization. In comments to Elaine Lafferty at the Daily Beast, David Koch calls the New Yorker piece “hateful,” and promises to write the magazine a strongly worded letter (though, as the Atlantic points out, the brothers Koch have already released an official statement.) Meanwhile, it looks like the Kochs’ reach might even stretch overseas. The Guardian reports that Americans for Prosperity and the Koch-backed Cato Institute recently co-sponsored an event for the UK’s Taxpayers’ Alliance. The Guardian reports that the Kochs “have spent tens of millions of dollars supporting the Cato Institute,” which the Institute flat-out denies. Still, as Dave Weigel points out at Slate, whether the Guardian is sensationalizing that specific aspect of the story or not is inconsequential; the lineup for the UK event is stacked with American Tea Party players, including Americans for Prosperity’s own Tim Phillips.

On the lighter side, I’ll tell you what the Koch brothers don’t need “tens of millions of dollars” to do: pay real people to pose for photos on their website.