Charles and David Koch are the billionaire oil magnates who inherited their wealth and use it to support right-wing causes, including climate change denial, opposition to health care reform and union busting. Interest in the Kochs started with Jane Mayer’s must-read New Yorker article, "Covert Operations" (8/30/10). The Center for American Progress recently released a report, “The Koch Brothers: What You Need to Know About the Financiers of the Radical Right” (to read it, click on “report” in article) that details the ways in which the Kochs use their combined $44 billion to support policies that benefit their corporate interests, including:
• Grassroots organizing for big business. The Koch brothers use their considerable wealth to bankroll the right wing, including the Tea Party. This serves the purpose of furthering not only their right-wing ideology but also their bottom line. Koch Industries has a lot to gain from gutting government oversight and electing candidates who oppose government regulation, especially in the oil-and-gas industry.
• $85 million to 85 think tanks. Identification of at least $85 million the Koch brothers have given to at least 85 right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups over the past decade and a half.
• State organizing. The Koch brothers are active at the state level, spending $5.2 million on candidates and ballot measures in 34 states since 2003. They donated directly to 13 governors that won election last year.
• Over 70% of the GOP Freshman. The Kochs donated directly to 62 of the 87 members of the House GOP freshman class.
• 2012. The Kochs are not going away. In fact, they have already pledged to raise $88 million for the 2012 election and have started scheduling events for potential Republican presidential candidates.