Herman Cain’s ties to David and Charles Koch, billionaire oil magnates who are major supporters of right-wing causes that include the Tea Party, were made explicit in a New York Times article on Thursday. Cain and his top aide, Mark Block, were involved in the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. Is Cain an “outsider” candidate–or a Koch-financed corporate shill? Cain’s involvement with the advocacy group, co-founded and financed by David Koch, adds credence to the latter view:
…Mr. Block and Mr. Cain’s meeting of the minds was forged over small-government principles that both were paid to promote on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group that has roots in the libertarian movement and the Tea Party.
Mr. Block led the group’s state chapter in Wisconsin. Mr. Cain was hired in 2005 to lead its “Prosperity Expansion Project” to seed more state groups, using his gift for public speaking to advance goals like lowering taxes, slashing government regulations and curtailing unions.
…Because the Cain campaign’s core staff members are veterans of Americans for Prosperity — Mr. Block, his deputy manager, the senior economic adviser — some critics on the left suggest that despite Mr. Cain’s image as an outsider, his candidacy is in effect a mouthpiece for the corporate interests of the Koch brothers.
… Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a liberal advocacy group, mordantly credited Americans for Prosperity with “derailing a discussion about how we had to move to more clean energy, which is where the Koch brothers’ interests come in.”
He called Mr. Cain a “hand-picked corporate spokes-candidate.”
Cain has no problem being identified with the Koch brothers and their continued support. Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event this week, Cain said, "I am the Koch brothers' brother from another mother!" Watch: