Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Marcus Carey’s On the Marc: Summer of big spending aimed at autumn harvest of votes
A “loose network” of outside groups is how POLITICO referred to a number of extremely wealthy donors and SuperPACS that have lined up to put the White House and Congress firmly into Republican hands in November. According to the report, they plan to amass a billion dollars or more to fight the battle.
Among the bigger donors to this effort are the brothers Charles and David Koch. Here’s a little about them:
Koch-Glitsch is part of a global empire run by the billionaire brothers, who took a small oil company they inherited from their father, Fred, after his death in 1967, and built it into a chemical, textile, trading and refining conglomerate spanning more than 50 countries.
Charles, 75, and David, 71, each worth about $20 billion, are prominent financial backers of groups that believe that excessive regulation is sapping the competitiveness of American business. They inherited their antigovernment leanings from their father.
Fred was an early adviser to the founder of the anti-Communist John Birch Society, which fought against the Civil Rights Movement and the United Nations. Charles and David have supported the Tea Party, a loosely organized group that aims to shrink the size of government and cut federal spending.
These are long-standing tenets for the Kochs. In 1980, David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket, pledging to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve System, welfare, minimum wage laws and federal agencies – including the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.
The brothers have backed a foundation that has trained thousands of Tea Party activists. The Tea Party, a popular movement whose name stands for Taxed Enough Already, has grown into a potent force in national politics. Sixty representatives of Congress, out of a total of 435, identify themselves as Tea Party members. [Bloomberg]
Also chipping in will be Karl Rove’s group, estimated to have raised about $300 million, and the Restore Our Future PAC that helped Romney in the primary. They are hoping to add about $100 million to the pool.
Summer will be spent raising money so autumn can be spent harvesting votes. Feel better about democracy now?
Marcus Carey is a Northern Kentucky lawyer with 32 years experience. He is also a farmer, talk radio host and public speaker who loves history and politics. He is a prolific and accomplished writer whose blog, BluegrassBulletin.com is “dedicated to honest and respectful comment on the political and cultural issues of our time.” He writes a regular commentary for KyForward.