David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, attends a meeting of the Economic Club of New York, Monday, April 11, 2011. (AP) WASHINGTON -- At a private three-day retreat in California last weekend, conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections. A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million. The semi-annual, invitation-only meeting attracts wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. Last year, hundreds of activists gathered outside the walled-off resort to protest the meeting .
At an EPA hearing last summer, representatives from Koch Industries argued that moderate levels of the toxic chemical dioxin should not be designated as a cancer risk for humans. When members of Congress sought higher security at chemical plants to guard against terrorist attacks, Koch Industries lobbyists prowled Capitol Hill to voice their opposition. And when Congress moved to strengthen regulation of the financial markets after recent collapses, Koch Industries — a major commodities and derivatives trader — deployed a phalanx of lobbyists to resist proposed changes. Charles and David Koch, the owners of the country’s second-largest private corporation, are libertarians of long standing, who contend that government regulations, taxes and subsidies stifle individual initiative and hamper American competitiveness. In recent years, the Kochs have played an increasingly public role as financial angels for conservative causes, politicians and foundations
This article is part of a Nation series exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council, in collaboration with the Center For Media and Democracy. John Nichols introduces the series. Hundreds of ALEC’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that were once at the fringes but that have been carved into “mainstream” policy through the wealth and will of Charles and David Koch. Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding. About the Author
By People & Power reporter Bob Abeshouse Charles and David Koch are each worth about $25bn, which makes them the fourth richest Americans. When you combine their fortunes, they are the third wealthiest people in the world. Radical libertarians who use their money to oppose government and virtually all regulation as interference with the free market, the Kochs are in a class of their own as players on the American political stage.
New Investigative Report Highlights Koch Brothers' Reach in Influencing Democracy | Center for Media and DemocracyShare this Charles and David Koch, each worth about $25 billion, could be the most influential duo in the United States. These brothers have accumulated their fortune through Koch industries -- an oil refining, chemical, paper products and financial services company with revenues of some $100 billion per year. A new documentary by Bob Abeshouse on the Kochs illustrates how these brothers use their billions to manipulate some in the public into voting for their right-wing agenda and to push policies that strip protections for people's health. Kochs Influences State Politics Through ALEC
David and Charles Koch, owners of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries, are among the most influential players in the conservative movement. The brothers have spent millions of dollars funding right-wing organizations, such as Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute, that rail against the government. Nonetheless, according to recent data, Koch-affiliated companies have received nearly $100 million in government contracts since 2000.