PR Watch Flushes Out the Kochs

Written by Elisa Lerner on July 21, 2014

In this PR Watch article posted on Monday, Brendan Fischer and Nick Surgey detail the immense power of the industrialists Charles and David Koch, the brothers who’ve become synonymous with big money in politics.  The post  explores how the brothers are able to legally give millions to political organizations every year.

Fischer and Surgey describe the complex system that allows the Kochs to influence politics by mixing different types of contributions.  The Kochs donate millions to an assortment of more than 12 politically-involved groups (including the American Legislative Exchange Council, a lobby that poses as a charity as it pushes corporate-friendly state legislation), super PACs, and political candidates.  They also control the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David Koch Foundation, and Koch Industries, the second largest privately-held corporation in the world. None of those entities disclose their political spending.

The Koch brothers’ spending makes a compelling case for disclosure and transparency in politics.  While their for-profit businesses fund ads that promote their favored candidates, and attack their adversaries, voters are kept in the dark about who is providing the money and what sort of return those donors expect on their investments. The Kochs should not be able to dominate politics because they have a big checkbook and a team of lawyers adept at hiding it.


Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Money in Politics

Tags: Exposing Corporate Power

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