Search Results for: koch

New York Times OpEd Was Very Likely Written by a Koch Loyalist

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 6, 2018 ~ Last evening the New York Times dropped a bombshell just in time to dominate cable news programming for the next six hours. A “senior official” currently working inside the Trump administration penned an anonymous OpEd which the Times posted on its website last evening and is running in its print edition today. The anonymous writer explains that President Donald Trump is unfit to govern and that there is a coup taking place in the Federal government by unelected men but Americans should be comforted because these are “unsung heroes” and they are the “adults in the room” — even though we can’t know their names. To borrow a phrase from Bob Woodward’s new book on Trump’s reign in the White House, welcome to crazytown. Parsing the phrasing in the OpEd, there is a clear pattern of right-wing ideology – the … Continue reading

Is Sherrod Brown’s Senate Seat at Risk from Koch Industries’ Voter Operations?

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 5, 2018 ~ Koch Industries seems to have developed a secret sauce for winning elections. In January 2017 Time Magazine’s Philip Elliott reported that “In seven of the eight up-for-grabs U.S. Senate races last year, the Koch-backed candidate won. In all, Koch-backed candidates at all levels of races prevailed 96% of the time—a record any outside group would covet.” Now, despite polls showing Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown with a wide lead against his Republican challenger, U.S. Congressman Jim Renacci, there is reason to worry about what is going on in Ohio.  On April 21 The Australian published an intriguing news article by Michael Owen. It revealed that the South Australian Liberal party leader Steven Marshall (in reality a conservative party as opposed to how we think of liberals in the U.S.) had sent two of his key people to the U.S. state of … Continue reading

Trump’s Tweet Against Google Is Really about Boosting Koch-Funded “News”

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 29, 2018 ~ Yesterday, President Donald Trump accused Google in a Tweet of rigging its search results to suppress the “voices of Conservatives.” That’s the same complaint that the secretive Charles Koch network of super wealthy political operatives have been attempting to address with media front groups for more than a decade. Trump now appears to be using his bully pulpit in an effort to legitimize those Koch-funded media outlets. The billionaire fossil fuels magnate, Charles Koch, has a lot of balls in the air right now and some are at risk of falling to earth with a thud. He’s currently in a battle to beat out the National Republican Committee (RNC) as the go-to guy for voter database, data mining and targeted social media ads in the midterms and all future elections. (See our report: Koch Industries Is Staffing Up with Voter … Continue reading

Koch Advances Its Wall Street Playbook, Gutting the Office of Financial Research

Dino Falaschetti, Donald Trump's Nominee to Head the Office of Financial Research, Has Close Ties to Two Koch-Funded Front Groups

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 9, 2018 ~ As we have previously reported, there is indisputable documentation that Charles Koch, the fossil fuels billionaire who sits at the helm of Koch Industries, is in charge of the de-regulatory agenda in the Trump administration through a web of front groups. More proof came yesterday. Reuters announced that the Trump administration had “formally told” around 40 staff members of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) that “they will lose their jobs as part of a broader reorganization of the agency….” Reuters also reported that the agency’s budget has already been cut by 25 percent “to around $76 million.” Imagine having only $76 million to police an industry where just one of the big Wall Street banks, JPMorgan Chase, had profits of $8.32 billion in its last quarter. Charles Koch has long understood that if you can’t repeal the legislation that … Continue reading

Koch Industries Is Staffing Up with Voter Data Scientists to Tip the November Election to the Extreme Right

By Pam Martens ~ (Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at CounterPunch on July 23, 2018.) ~ For at least forty years, Charles and David Koch, majority owners of a sprawling fossil fuels multi-national company called Koch Industries, have been blurring the lines between tax-exempt organizations and their own corporate political interests. We can now report that the blurred lines have disappeared. Koch Industries is unabashedly advertising for IT professionals at Indeed, LinkedIn, and at its own website to staff a massive voter data operation, i360, for the upcoming election. For the last five years i360 has been widely reported to be part of the tax-exempt group called Freedom Partners. That is now being called into question by these ads and documents we have tracked down at government archives. More about that in a moment, but first some necessary background. There’s a rubric in law enforcement that if you want … Continue reading

Trump and Charles Koch in a Tiff? Don’t Believe a Word of It

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 1, 2018 ~ It only took one day for the so-called tiff between President Donald Trump and billionaire puppet-master, Charles Koch, to land on the front page of the New York Times after being widely reported on cable news last evening. In a tweet yesterday, Trump called Charles Koch and his brother, David, “a total joke” and said he had “beaten them at every turn.” Charles Koch is the Chairman and CEO of one of the largest private companies in the world, Koch Industries, a fossil fuels and chemicals conglomerate that has been a serial polluter of the air and water for decades. He and his brother, David, each have an estimated net worth of $51 billion according to Forbes, owing to their majority ownership of Koch Industries. In June, David stepped down from all management functions at Koch Industries as well as … Continue reading

How Did Koch Industries’ Law Firm Grab Control at the White House?

Don McGahn With President Trump and First Lady Melania

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 30, 2018 ~  Wall Street On Parade has previously reported that despite the majority of contributions from the Jones Day law firm’s partners flowing to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign during 2015-2016, an unprecedented 12 of its lawyers headed to important posts in the Trump administration in one fell swoop on January 20, 2017 – Trump’s inauguration day. Equally disturbing, in May of last year, the National Law Journal reported that the former Jones Day lawyers, now firmly entrenched in the corridors of power in the Federal government, had “received a blanket waiver clearing them of ethical conflicts,” and allowing them “to take up some matters they may have worked on in prior jobs.” That might come in handy for White House Counsel Don McGahn and his Chief of Staff, Ann Donaldson, both of whom hail from Jones Day. They previously represented Freedom … Continue reading

Could Technology Doom Facebook, Koch Industries and JPMorgan Chase?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Congress on April 10, 2018 on His Company's Technology Failings

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 26, 2018 ~ Remember the late 90s when the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street were bringing to market anything that smelled of technology or had a dot com after its name. That all ended  badly with the Nasdaq stock index losing 78 percent of its value from 2000 to 2002. This is how Ron Chernow correctly described what was happening for New York Times’ readers on March 15, 2001: “Let us be clear about the magnitude of the Nasdaq collapse. The tumble has been so steep and so bloody — close to $4 trillion in market value erased in one year —  that it amounts to nearly four times the carnage recorded in the October 1987 crash.” Chernow characterized the Nasdaq stock market as a “lunatic control tower that directed most incoming planes to a bustling, congested airport known as the … Continue reading

The Next Leg of the Koch Agenda Came Before a Senate Hearing Yesterday

Charles Koch, Forbes Puts His Net Worth at $51 Billion

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 19, 2018 ~ If Russia was the only major outside player to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, why are so many of the spoils going to Charles Koch and his network of political operatives? Koch is a mega billionaire (worth $51 billion according to Forbes) and sits atop one of the largest private corporations in the world — Koch Industries – with interests in fossil fuels, chemicals, paper products and commodities trading. For the past forty years, Koch has been at the helm of a stealthy network of front groups seeking to gut Federal regulations, downsize the government and give the wealthy and corporations more sway in deciding political races. Much of that work has been accomplished through dark money, where a donor can give tens of millions of dollars in just one year to a tax exempt front group and remain … Continue reading

Treasury’s Mnuchin Just Gave the Koch’s Dark Money Machine a Bonanza

Actress Louise Linton and Husband, U.S. Treasury Secretary  Steve Mnuchin

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 18, 2018 ~ The Trump administration has been the gift that keeps on giving to billionaire Charles Koch’s vast network of political front groups known as the Kochtopus. Its democracy-smothering tentacles have wrapped themselves around everything from the U.S. judicial system, to elections, to climate change, higher ed, news dissemination, and how laws are made in Washington and at the state level. (See related articles below.) Charles Koch’s wealth, and that of his brother, David, derives from their majority ownership of Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in the world with major interests in fossil fuels, chemicals, paper products, and commodities trading. Forbes puts their net worth at $51 billion each. The Trump administration, now packed full of Koctopus operatives, has been rapidly running a playbook for the Koch machine: withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord – check. Tax cuts for corporations and … Continue reading

Was that a Koch Brothers’ Agent Who Pounded on our Door after We Wrote a Critical Article?

Riverside County Sheriff Officers Guard the Entrance to a Rancho Mirage, California Luxury Resort Where the Koch Brothers Held their January 2011 Political Strategy Confab. Photo Courtesy of Michael Cline, ClineFoto.com

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 2, 2018 ~  Since 2010 we have been investigating and reporting on activities of the billionaire Koch brothers’ political funding network to subvert democracy in the United States. In 2011 we broke the news that Charles Koch had entertained sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at Koch’s private club in California. Thomas would later rule in favor of the Citizens United decision which opened the spigots to unlimited corporate money in U.S. political campaigns. In the same article we reported that while the Citizens United case was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Virginia Thomas, the wife of the Justice, created a nonprofit Tea Party advocacy group, Liberty Central, Inc., with a former lawyer for the Charles G. Koch Foundation, Sarah Field, acting as her General Counsel and a former Koch lobbyist, Matt Schlapp, serving on her board at inception. The nonprofit received over … Continue reading

Will Gary Cohn’s Departure Lead Trump to the Full Koch Agenda?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 7, 2018 Wall Street is losing its bedtime snuggly and comfort blanket in the White House. After a tortuous 14 months replete with crazy tweets from the President, Russia-probe indictments and guilty pleas, failure to talk Trump out of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, revelations of hush money paid to a porn star by Trump’s personal attorney, and news of Trump campaign aides’ murky meetings with Putin operatives, Gary Cohn has finally called it quits over tariffs. It’s not like Cohn, the former President of Goldman Sachs who became President Donald Trump’s first Director of the National Economic Council, didn’t understand Trump’s obsessive demand for loyalty. Cohn has watched for more than a year as those who didn’t show adequate subservience to the President were shown the door. In the case of the former FBI Director James Comey, he was not only … Continue reading

Kochtopus Wants the Little Guy to Buy Stocks as the Market Plunges

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 5, 2018 Last Friday, the stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, plunged 665.7 points. This morning, after just one minute of trading at 9:31 a.m. in New York, the Dow had bled another 307 points. You can expect a big push for the balance of the day by the shills who want to keep the dumb money in the market as a prop for the 1 percenters as they take profits and run. One member of the Kochtopus (short-hand for the secretive political network and nonprofit front groups backed by billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch) is Stephen Moore, who has somehow secured himself the position of Senior Economics Analyst on CNN, the 24/7 cable news network whose tagline is “The Most Trusted Name in News.” After the market plunge on Friday, Moore was on air at CNN by … Continue reading

Washington Post Drops a Bombshell on Trump’s Rise to Power but Forgets Two Words — Koch Brothers

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 5, 2017  After building the case for months that Russia was a major meddler in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, on Sunday the Washington Post connected the dots between a “shadow universe” of right-wing front groups domiciled in the U.S. with tax-exempt privileges who have a lot more to show for their efforts than does Russia. At the center of the Post article, written by reporters Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg, is lefty turned righty David Horowitz and his nonprofit group the David Horowitz Freedom Center. While sanctions have not been lifted against Russia as potential proof of a quid pro quo with the Trump administration, Horowitz boasts of at least six of his Freedom Center’s supporters who hold top slots in Trump’s administration to push for his long-held positions on a Muslim ban, border wall, school vouchers and ridicule of global … Continue reading

If Trump Nominates John Allison as Bank Supervisor at the Fed, It Will Be a Triumph for Charles Koch and the Loony Ideas of Ayn Rand and Greenspan

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 9, 2016  On December 4 the Wall Street Journal reported that President-elect Donald Trump was considering the following three individuals for Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve for Bank Supervision: John Allison, the long serving head of BB&T bank and a Board Member of the right-wing Cato Institute which was half owned by the Koch brothers for decades; Paul Atkins, a consultant, former member of the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Visiting Scholar at the right-wing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, which has heavy ties and financial backing from the Koch brothers. Also under consideration, and as far removed as one could possibly get from the other two, Thomas Hoenig, Vice Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Thomas Hoenig would deliver America from the stranglehold of the Ayn Rand lunatic fringe … Continue reading

Koch Fronted Regulatory Hit Woman Edges Closer to Seat on SEC

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 17, 2016  Democrats sitting on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing to take testimony from President Obama’s two nominees for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must have felt like they were having an out of body experience — listening to the human personification of billionaire Charles Koch’s money aping his Ayn Rand, anti-regulatory double-talk from a witness seat. What had to be particularly nauseating to them was that this nominee was sent to them by President Obama who ran as a Democrat on a platform of hope and change. While the political makeup of the SEC is prescribed by law, so that one of these two nominees had to be a Republican, why pick this particular Republican? On October 20, 2015, President Obama announced that his nominee to fill a Republican seat on the SEC would be Hester Peirce, … Continue reading

The Kochtopus Strikes Out at The Big Short Movie

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 4, 2016 Call them astroturf organizations or neoliberal think tanks or corporate front groups – it all adds up to the same thing: big corporate bucks are engaged in a vicious propaganda war to recast the 2008 financial crash and its depression-like aftermath as the product of big government meddling rather than corporate lobbyists strong-arming deregulation of banking and Wall Street. The corporate cartel simply cannot allow mandates for tough new regulations to gain footing in Washington, otherwise the multi-decade work of the Kochtopus goes poof. (Kochtopus is short-hand for the political and front group money machine run by billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.) The Koctopus now has its knickers in a twist over the release of the movie, The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay and based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, a former Wall Street insider. Prior to … Continue reading

Radical Left Wins in Greece, Leaving the Koch Brothers in a Cold Sweat

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 26, 2015 Just imagine what would happen in the United States, land of the billionaire Koch brothers’ well-heeled minions and their obsessive hysteria against the government helping those in need, if a political party called the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza is the Greek shorthand) took over the country in a landslide victory. Even though it happened in Greece yesterday, not the United States, it is sure to provide plenty of fodder for the Kochs to incite fear in their ranks and ramp up campaign spending by billionaires heading into the 2016 U.S. election. Just this past Saturday, Charles Koch was warning his Ayn Rand-worshiping followers at their annual confab in Palm Springs, California that “Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism.” In excerpts of his speech leaked to the media, Koch said his vision is … Continue reading

Koch Media’s Megaphone and the IRS “Scandal”

By Pam Martens: May 23, 2013  There are IRS scandals and then there are IRS Scandals – with a capital S. Last year, we reported on the capital S kind. For decades, billionaires Charles and David Koch had secretly owned shares giving them 50 percent ownership of the Cato Institute – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization subsidized by the taxpayer — while pushing a deregulatory agenda for big business. Today, Cato is functioning as a megaphone to spin the current flap over the IRS to advance its agenda.  Before the news broke in 2012 of the Kochs’ ownership in Cato, most of America believed that nonprofits could not be owned by individuals and were required under the law to have a freely elected Board of Directors. (Charles Koch had found a loophole in the law in Kansas where Cato was originally formed.) The Internal Revenue Service warns that charitable organizations like the … Continue reading

Billionaire Kochs Get Taxpayer-Subsidized Security Protection

By Pam Martens: May 21, 2013  Yesterday, DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy released a stunning report showing how counter terrorism units and the Department of Homeland Security gathered intelligence on the Occupy Wall Street movement for the benefit of the very corporations targeted by the protesters.  Titled, Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street, the year-long investigation is based on the collection of thousands of pages of records obtained from counter terrorism and law enforcement agencies. One of the revelations of the report is that Koch Industries, as well as billionaire Charles Koch and his son, Chase Koch, hired off-duty Wichita, Kansas police officers that served as their own private security force at the company and their personal residences in mid February 2012.  According to the report: “These dates coincide with Occupy Wichita’s  ‘Occupy … Continue reading

It Wasn’t Conservatives That Were Being Investigated by the IRS; It Was the Koch Brothers’ Front Groups

By Pam Martens: May 16, 2013  The President Obama of 2013 who is feigning outrage over the IRS adding extra scrutiny to nonprofit applications being filed with the words Tea Party in their title is not the same man who singled out Americans for Prosperity in a speech in 2010. Americans for Prosperity was founded and funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have funneled money into politics through front groups for over four decades to advance their corporate deregulatory agenda that powers their profits and personal wealth. The Kochs are majority owners of Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in the world. (According to Forbes, the brothers’ wealth has almost doubled in just three years to $34 billion each – while 46 million Americans without lobbyists and clever tax attorneys live below the poverty level, including one in five children.)  Americans for Prosperity is a front for creating Tea … Continue reading

Koch Brothers’ Wealth Grew By $33 Billion in 3 Years As America’s Schools Report 1 Million Homeless Kids

By Pam Martens: April 24, 2013  We used to be a country with a rich heart. Now we’re the land of the heartless rich.  In one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, the billionaire Koch brothers who habitually rail against government’s unfair burden on the wealthy, have almost doubled their net worth to a combined $68 billion. On March 10, 2010, Forbes listed the net worth of Charles and David Koch at $17.5 billion each. This year, Forbes says the Koch brothers are individually worth $34 billion.    During that same time period, some of the bleakest economic news has been reported for the rest of America. Just yesterday, the Pew Research Center released a study showing that between 2009 to 2011 the richest 7 percent of Americans increased their wealth by 28 percent while the remaining 93 percent of households lost 4 percent of their net worth. … Continue reading

The Koch Brothers as Newspapermen

By Pam Martens: April 22, 2013 Corporate media is abuzz with the possibility that the Koch brothers will use their majority-control of Koch Industries to buy eight daily newspapers owned by the Tribune Company, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, the fourth and ninth largest dailies in the country, respectively. If the Kochs’ bid is successful, it will signal a plan by the Kochs to stop hiding behind front groups and the launch of a full-scale, open assault on reshaping the country to fit their agenda: deregulation, privatization, and dramatically shrinking the Federal government. Tribune also owns two of the largest dailies in the battleground state of Florida: the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel out of Fort Lauderdale. Other dailies include The Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call and Daily Press.  According to the 2013 Forbes list of billionaires, both Charles and David Koch increased their wealth by … Continue reading

How Dangerous is the Charles Koch/Paul Ryan Ticket to Your Social Security

By Pam Martens: September 27, 2012 With Mitt Romney writing off 47 percent of voters, the Presidential race now comes down to the Koch brothers’ money and Paul Ryan’s ambitions.  According to the Republican political consultant, Roger Stone, David Koch played a key role in Ryan’s selection. Says Stone, “The selection was cemented at the July 22nd fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former’s sumptuous Hamptons estate. Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 and Super PAC efforts for Romney for Ryan’s selection.”  According to Forbes, the Kochs have budgeted to spend approximately $400 million in this election cycle, chump change to men worth $25 billion each according to the Forbes list of billionaires.   To understand the Koch motivation to get Paul Ryan a heartbeat away from the Presidency, it requires listening to this brief tape, featured at the libertarian Cato Institute web site.  On the tape you will first hear Herman … Continue reading

The Koch Method Versus Crony Capitalism

By Pam Martens: September 12, 2012 At first I thought someone had emailed me a piece from The Onion, the on-line satire magazine; Charles G. Koch lecturing Americans on business integrity and crony capitalism – what else could it be but satire?  So I went directly to the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal last Sunday evening and there it was – a piece by Charles G. Koch titled “Corporate Cronyism Harms America,” — the equivalent of  Mitt Romney lecturing Americans on  compassionate pet care.  Koch puts forth the premise that when businesses collude with government and receive corporate welfare, we all lose.  But along the way in this argument, he makes a number of highly hypocritical comments.  Koch tells us that the role of business is to “act lawfully and with integrity.”  Should someone with Koch’s baggage dare to make that assertion, and in a newspaper owned by … Continue reading