Scott Brown asks David Koch for Money!

(Too early for the blimp? - promoted by David)

via ThinkProgress, Original Post here. h/t Pat120 on Twitter

At the public dedication of MIT’s David H. Koch Integrative Cancer Institute last Friday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) effusively thanked conservative billionaire David Koch for supporting his election in 2010 and made a plea for help in his re-election campaign next year.

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80 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I hope the state party has this footage.

    If the message is woven together correctly this could be very damaging.

  2. I just ...

    threw up a little bit in my mouth.

  3. Scott Brown asking...

    A Republican for money a campaign contribution? I'm shocked, SHOCKED I say.

    • Hypothetical

      Brad, let's say you see a video of [Insert Dem Senate Candidate Here] asking George Soros to send some money their way. I imagine you'd write that off as nothing, too. Right?

      chrismatth   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • Well yes...

        One nice thing about the FEC is that they publish lists of all big donors be they the Koch Brothers or George Soros. Where I have a problem with Soros and presumably the Koch's are the undisclosed donations to organizations and/or interest groups many of which purport to be non-partisan.

        I assume I am more comfortable with big money being in politics than you are but I think full and public disclosure is key. Regardless of which side one is on I am disappointed when someone claims the free speech argument but then isn't willing to "speak" about to whom they have given what.

        • Agreed

          And I'd hope you're as outraged as I am at the congressional Republicans' successful efforts to kill the DISCLOSE Act in Congress. All of these donations need to be out in the open -- the David Koches of the world should not be allowed to hide behind layers upon layers of front groups like the American for Prosperity.

          • and the George Soros'

            • Are you outraged?

              Let me rephrase the question, since your answer ("and the George Soros") doesn't seem responsive:

              Are you outraged at the congressional Republican's successful efforts to kill the DISCLOSE Act in Congress?

            • Sure thing

              But there's a pretty simple reason why Republicans are against the DISCLOSE Act. It's because the wealthy class in America overwhelmingly donate to Republican/conservative causes, not the Democrats, regardless of how many times you invoke the Soros exception.

              And it should be pretty clear why they do so. After all, the very wealthiest have made out like bandits in the past 30 years since right-wing economics gained ascendancy.

          • No.

            I am with the ACLU regarding the the Disclose Act.

            And yes. I am a member.

            • speaking of members of ACLU

              "David Koch has also contributed $10 million to the ACLU in relation to crushing Parts 15, 16 and 17 of the US Patriot Act."

              Hmm... it's nice to know that the ACLU went out of its way to submit an amicus brief calling for first amendment protection of corporate political rights.  

            • So which is it?

              You stated above:

              Where I have a problem with Soros and presumably the Koch's are the undisclosed donations to organizations and/or interest groups many of which purport to be non-partisan.

              I assume I am more comfortable with big money being in politics than you are but I think full and public disclosure is key. Regardless of which side one is on I am disappointed when someone claims the free speech argument but then isn't willing to "speak" about to whom they have given what..

              You say this, and then you state that you're fully against the DISCLOSE Act in your very next comment, based upon on First Amendment grounds! Huh?

              Quite an impressive attempt to take different sides of the same issue at nearly the exact same time. I assume because of your apparent kinship in this regard, you must be a big supporter of Mitt Romney.

              • You're mis-stating my position

                You say this, and then you state that you're fully against the DISCLOSE Act in your very next comment, based upon on First Amendment grounds! Huh?

                I didn't say I'm "fully against the DISCLOSE Act." I said

                I am with the ACLU regarding the the Disclose Act.

                To be more specific...

                The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

                "Public discourse and debate is a cornerstone of our democracy and our Constitution ensures the right of individuals to engage in these conversations without being exposed to unnecessary risks of harassment or embarrassment. The only way to bring positive change to our elections is to promote reforms that respect free speech and do not limit it. We urge the Senate to vote down this well-intentioned but overly broad legislation."

                As for supporting Romney, I am assuming you missed my comment regarding the dismal job growth during his term as Governor in the other thread.

                • OK

                  But I don't see how I'm misstating your position. You've made it quite clear that you are against the DISCLOSE Act. But you also think it is "key" to have full and public disclosure of donations.

                  How do these positions mesh? Because the DISCLOSE Act allegedly does not adequately protect the anonymity of donors, as the ACLU claims? If that's your reason for opposing DISCLOSE, I don't see how you're in favor of "full and public disclosure" of political donations.

      • Um

        David Koch is a republican constituent of the Senators.  You know he lives in Massachusetts right.  

      • But you imply his giving is partisan

        for example, Bill Koch maxed out to Rob O'Leary in the primary, not because he was a Democrat but because he was a wind opponent.

        He's given to anti-wind Dems, and Scott is an anti-wind GOP.

    • Nope, not shocked

      I'm not shocked at all that Scott Brown was looking for money from one of the nation's most prominent union-busting, Tea Party-backing, right-wing billionaires around today. That's because I fully understand Scott Brown's lack of commitment to the well-being of the middle class.

      But maybe some of the voting public in Massachusetts will be surprised when they are introduced to the real Scott Brown, not the sympathetic, moderate, "regular guy" Scott Brown that he's so skillfully managed to portray.

    • Not shocked but still appalled...

      ...given that the Koch brothers definitely expect something for their money.  The implication is that Brown, like so many Republicans is in their pocket to de-regulate Wall Street, bust unions, or whatever else will further line their pockets at the expense of the rest of us.

  4. Koch $$$

    According to open secrets, Koch industries gave $5,000 to  Senator Brown. Covering about 30% of toal contributions from oil and gas industry.  

    Just wondering how much did Mass Gop get from Koch to funnel to Brown

    • No more than 15,000

      That would have been the limit.  Or it might have been $30,000 if he gave in December and January.

      How much did Cleve Killingsworth give to Martha?

      • The $$$ that started the Tea Party

        Koch funded the start of the tea party, taking full credit in orchestrating the movement which supported Brown.  Now Scott says:

        BROWN: Your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again.

        Yup, that must be for the 5K.

    • Don't know about Mass GOP but NRSC received @ $45,000

      David Koch directly gave the National Republican Senatorial Committee $30,400 in November 2009, and the Koch Industries PAC threw in $15,000 to NRSC plus $5,000 more directly to Brown right before Brown's special election.

  5. Interesting

    I guess the good news is that he has to ask. For some, it's a given, no pun intended.

  6. scott brown Asks David Koch for money

    Did anyone not see this coming? Seriously?

    I hope everyone who has read this will pass it along to everyone they know who lives in MA.

    The last thing we need is another corporate prostitute in our senate.

  7. Just another corporate wh*re

    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not surprised at all.

    I have emailed this video to other friends in MA. I hope all readers of this did the same thing.

  8. Ironic

    Isn't it somewhat ironic that an organization funded by George Soros, did a gotcha video on David Koch?

    Just askin' ....  

    • it's a ....

      black fly in your Chardonnay.

      But the facts are it Brown's words and actions.

    • Good

      I'm glad that somebody with at least a little bit of financial muscle has the courage to call out this sleazebag.

    • Technically, no

      Not ironic.

    • What's the problem with George Soros?

      At least with Koch we can point to some very greedy and selfish motives to be favored by GOP policy makers.  I don't see the equivalent for Soros.

      • George Soros

        Maybe we can start with him breaking the Bank of England. While Koch Industries employees 80,000?

        • How are Soros' political contributions attached to his interests?

        • not sure what you are refering to

          • Here you go


            In politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after they were unable to keep sterling above its agreed lower limit. George Soros, the most high profile of the currency market investors, made over US$1 billion profit by short selling sterling.

            In 1997 the UK Treasury estimated the cost of Black Wednesday at £3.4 billion, with the actual cost being £3.3 billion which was revealed in 2005 under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI).[1]

            Similar to what it is rumored he did to gasoline prices in the 2008 election to help Barack Obama win the presidency.

            • Not an expert on monetary matters

              I would, however, like more than a rumor regarding 2008.  People as rich as Soros are better served by Republicans being in charge, so when someone becomes a "traitor to his class" as FDR was labelled I'm less likely to be suspicious of his motives.

              • cite

                People as rich as Soros are better served by Republicans being in charge

                Hey we can get into a citing war...

                • Except citing doesn't apply to common sense

                  Come on, certainly a talking point generator such as yourself knows his party's policies as well as anyone.  The GOP constantly talks about policies that have the effect of making things better for the wealthy.

  9. The Globe's recent puff-piece is more nauseating

    I expect Scott Brown to (metaphorically) kneel in front of Mr. Koch and do whatever it takes to obtain campaign funding.

    I have (or used to have) higher standards for the Boston Globe. I found their puff-piece from last Friday far more nauseating than anything from Scott Brown (emphasis mine):

    The magnificent mile of science in Kendall Square greets its newest tenant today: A $211 million, glass-enveloped cancer research hub built with a major gift from David H. Koch - the billionaire MIT alum, prostate cancer survivor, and noted backer of conservative causes.

    The phrase "noted backer of conservative causes" is the only clue that this is the same David H. Koch who is working so hard to destroy unions, working-class America, the environment, and of course the presidency of Barack Obama.

    A Newsweek piece from last August is more forthright:

    ... In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

    With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch-who, years ago, bought out two other brothers-among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

    The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry-especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers' corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a "kingpin of climate science denial." The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies-from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program-that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

    • Koch Industries is one of the top ten polluters in the United States
    • The Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving monto to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change

    What's next, a Khadafy School of Diplomacy at Harvard?  

    • Tom - of topic -

      Did you know that there IS an Adnan Khashoggi Rec Center at Washington University?

      After the 'nature' of his philanthropy was unveiled, the school tried to remove the name and was sued.  Court ruled that he had given the money, that he had been assured the center would be named after him, and the school couldn't remove the name merely because he was a terrorist gun runner.

      So be sure to vet your donors.

    • The Globe article was extremely disappointing

      The Globe article was extremely disappointing.

      Especially because you don't need to go very far to come up with a specific connection between the Kochs' cancer research and their politics.  They're working both sides of the street.

      Koch Industries, through its paper and wood-products company Georgia Pacific, is a major producer of formaldehyde, used to produce plywood and laminates.  Georgia-Pacific can produce 2.2 billion pounds of formaldehyde annually.

      As Jane Mayer reports in her New Yorker profile of the Koch brothers,  

      Scientists have long known that formaldehyde causes cancer in rats, and several major scientific studies have concluded that formaldehyde causes cancer in human beings-including one published last year by the National Cancer Institute, on whose advisory board Koch sits. The study tracked twenty-five thousand patients for an average of forty years; subjects exposed to higher amounts of formaldehyde had significantly higher rates of leukemia. These results helped lead an expert panel within the National Institutes of Health to conclude that formaldehyde should be categorized as a known carcinogen, and be strictly controlled by the government. Corporations have resisted regulations on formaldehyde for decades, however, and Koch Industries has been a large funder of members of Congress who have stymied the E.P.A., requiring it to defer new regulations until more studies are completed.

      Last December, Traylor Champion, Georgia-Pacific's vice-president of environmental affairs, sent a formal letter of protest to federal health authorities. He wrote that the company "strongly disagrees" with the N.I.H. panel's conclusion that formaldehyde should be treated as a known human carcinogen. David Koch did not recuse himself from the National Cancer Advisory Board, or divest himself of company stock, while his company was directly lobbying the government to keep formaldehyde on the market. (A board spokesperson said that the issue of formaldehyde had not come up.)

      If the Koch Brothers are working to produce cancer victims at the same time they're working to cure them, that's worthy of a mention in an article about their largesse.

  10. It's Brown's expression that gets me the most

    I'm getting a whiff of Bob Cratchet asking permission to leave early on Christmas...  

  11. Standard Republican Response

    As is typical the Republican or Conservative line is to try to find some alleged point of inconsistency--why should we care if Scott Brown wants Koch money if someone rich has ever given money to a Democrat?

    The problem is, as some have pointed out, that Koch Industries and the Kochs are leaders both in pollution and in trying to block any cation to curb destructive climate change.

    Here's the Koch Industries pr department responding to criticism from Greenpeace in the recent Times puff piece: "it is Greenpeace that is the denier here - denier of any rational and honest dialogue on the underlying scientific debate regarding climate change."

    Why is it acceptable to deal with the Kochs at all?

    It's also good to know that I rally am a chump for even bothering to call you the People's Senator to ask if the Senator believes that global warming is real when the Senator is out there hanging with David Koch.

  12. this is what plutocracy looks like!

  13. The obsessive hatred towards Senator Brown on this site is becoming

    humorous.  If you guys don't lighten up some of you will have nervous breakdowns after his convincing reelection.:) How about mentioning the real enemies of the working, middle class like certain labor leaders who are ripping us off by consorting with HMO's to tuck it up our asses?  No, that would mean we would have to criticize one of our brothers in the party.  Yugh!

    • More about David Koch than Scott Brown

      I think the target of this thread is David H. Koch, not Scott Brown.

      I'm unaware of any "labor leader" who has done or is doing anything remotely comparable to David H. Koch when it comes to "real enemies of the working, middle class". I invite you to please enlighten me (and us) with specifics.

      • GEORGE SOROS!!! AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

      • Gee I seem to recall

        ducking reporters for two days??(, Tom, please don't resort to that "conflation" bs that certain people on this blog resort to when they don't like another point of view.  There are as many crooks and con men who pretend to be progressives as not.  

        • I said nothing about $quot;conflation$quot;

          I observed that the target of the thread is David H. Koch.

          I also have no doubt that there are many "crooks and con men who pretend to be progressives". I don't know Robert Haynes. I do know that he has nowhere near the wealth, and therefore power, of Mr. Koch. Yes, I get that he collected $72 K from BCBS last year. Yes, I understand the optics.

          I'd like to remind you that the current net worth of Mr. Koch is estimated at about twenty billion dollars. That's "20" followed by NINE zeros. At a conservative growth rate of, say, 4%, that means that Mr. Koch gains about $800 M per year by simply continuing to breath.

          In each hour that Mr. Koch continues to breath, he receives more than Mr. Haynes collected in a year.

          Are you seriously making the claim that this stupendous difference in wealth is not also accompanied by a similar difference in power?

          I repeat my invitation to cite any who compare to Mr. Koch in the real damage they do to the "working, middle class".

          • Yes he only

            Has 80,000 employees across the united states, many of them union who get paid fair wages for a fair day's work.  Yep that really sucks.

            • Well stated, EaBo. What Tom doesn't seem to understand is that if you

              disincentivize or eliminate those with wealth, then there are no wealth or job creators left, except the good old government.  A short residence in the old Dustbin (Sovok) would have been a good education for the so-called progressive minds.  What totally baffles me, however, is their willingness to overlook all of the so-called friends of the working class who are tucking it to them on a daily basis.

              • Somehow...

                ...I don't remember hearing or reading that jobs were disincentivized during the postwar boom when he had better policies.  Your veiled reference to a communist system reminds me that that theory and what you espouse are mirror images.  Both sound good but fail miserably in practice.  We've tried your way for thirty years, with even Democrats accepting those assumptions, and what we have to show for it is an obscenely immoral wealth gap.  If those wealthy that got all the breaks actually did use that extra money to hire new people and keep jobs here I'd be on board.

                • Two points, Chris:

                  1) "Sovok" is not a veiled reference.  It is the term that most Russians used to refer to their country during Communist times. It is a play on the words for dustbin and soviet in Russian.  Our CIA never knew how much the average Russian hated the evil empire, so how could the naive Americans ever know? 2)  You can't compare the utter economic wasteland which exists to this day in Russia to the standard of living which we have in the US. We are hardly a mirror image of the opposite of communism.  I agree that our taxes should be more progressive, but it is the Bill Gates of the US that create new jobs and opportunities. Think Evergreen Solar--a politician's folly, not a viable business, to see the difference.

                  • I don't think I was comparing...

          's Putin Russia with the US in terms of standard of living.  Russia hasn't been communist in 20 years; now it's just obscenely corrupt in it's form of capitalism and shows how where I fear we are heading looks like.

              • There you go again...

                There is a huge difference between "eliminating" those with wealth and restoring the wealth distribution of America to the more balanced equilibrium it had during the fifties, sixties, and early seventies. Once again you jump to some indefensible extreme rather than deal with the awkward reality of the present and what is actually being said.

                I don't know whether or not you intend to include me in your drive-by slam about "so-called progressive minds". I'll assume that you just got carried away and forgot that you are responding to real people here, not some faceless audience someplace or other.

                You wrote:

                What totally baffles me, however, is their willingness to overlook all of the so-called friends of the working class who are tucking it to them on a daily basis.

                You still have not responded to the invitation I offered above (and neither did EaBoClipper):

                I'm unaware of any "labor leader" who has done or is doing anything remotely comparable to David H. Koch when it comes to "real enemies of the working, middle class". I invite you to please enlighten me (and us) with specifics.

                Are you or EaBoClipper making the claim that Mr. Haynes has wrought more harm on the "working, middle class" than Mr. Koch?


                • Philip Johnston (former chair of the DemParty in Mass); Paul Guzzi

                  (political hacko supremo); Ralph Martin ("progressive" lawyer), Gloria Larson (republican political hack), the whole crew along with Haynes and another union guy.  Tom, I thought that Kerry was a phony when he tried to evade state taxes on his boat, but this crew takes the cake.  If these clowns aren't your enemies, I hope that you have good friends. :) Now, obviously these characters can't compete with a billionaire, but a whole army of blood suckers can.  Whether you want to admit it or not, that is what they are: bloodsuckers.

                  • I fear your emotion is overwhelming your analysis

                    Edgar, I really don't think you're paying attention to the enormous spread between the wealth of David H. Koch and the names you mention.

                    Let's stipulate for the sake of discussion (I disagree, but that will distract us) that the names you mention are hacks. Let's stipulate that they are my "enemies" (again I disagree, but that distracts us from the point)

                    If you agree that power is roughly proportional to wealth, then even if there are ten of them, they still simply don't touch Mr. Koch. Are you making the claim that each of these "enemies" brings $2B of muscle to bear against you and me? The combined net worth of Mr. Kerry and Ms. Heinz is estimated at about $0.75 B — not even CLOSE. I really don't think you're paying attention to the numbers.

                    I understand that you are accustomed to viewing American politics through the lens of your history in Russia. I suggest to you that the "enemies" at the top of the wealth distribution in "the old Sovok" have far more in common with those like Mr. Koch at the top of the wealth distribution in today's America than they have differences.

                    Maybe the crew you mention are "bloodsuckers" (I don't agree with that characterization, but so what) — they are fleas next to the vampires like Mr. Koch.

                    • Fleas vs. vampires. LOL. I like your analogies, Tom.

                      Yeah, I'm probably a little emotional about it, but I think that the immediacy is more striking to me, that is to say that the clowns on the BCBS board are our pols, our neighbors here in our state--there is a closeness to this foul play.  Billionaires like the Kochs may be as nasty as you say, but I don't feel the immediacy as I do with these locals.

            • Cite?

              I'm sure the Kochs are working on a political climate where they can deunionize those those employees.

              • I'm not your google monkey. It's readily known information found

                at multiple sites.

                • Nor do I expect...

         go check everything myself.  The standard here has always been that if you assert something the burden is on you to cite it.

                  • I'll stick to the standards of citation I learned in College

                    If it's readily available and common knowledge there's no need to cite it.  If I can find the same information from 10 sources do I really need to cite it?

                    • The standards I learned...

                      ...were cite every verifiable fact.  There was some leeway for common knowledge, but the number of unionized employees of Koch Industries hardly qualifies.

                    • I gave you total employees and said many were unionized.

                      I never gave you the number of unionized.  Re-read what I wrote.

                    • Fair enough...

                      ...but I still would have to verify it, not rely on my "common knowledge".  In case you're wondering, yes given your track record with talking points I do push you a little harder than I might others.

            • And your point is?

              I'm sure there's some content in your comment, but I don't see it.

              What's your point?

        • Edgar, if you're implying

          that BMG'ers give Bob Haynes a free ride just because he's the head of the Mass. AFL-CIO, see here and here.  

          • Ernie and lightiris deserve kudos for their direct condemnation of this

            guy's shenanigans. And let's not forget Phil Johnston (once chair of the DemParty here in Mass)who has to rank up there as one of the all-time, all-star phonies.  Thanks for pointing out that BMGers are getting wise in the ways of the world. :)

        • You're kidding me

          As I noted earlier, RMG needed quite some time to even notice the Tuscon Massacre, much less express anything resembling discomfort with it, yet we're supposed to be on some union guy not talking to reporters within 48 hours?  

          sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • Pardon us

            for not jumping on the Conservative rhetoric caused Gabby Giffords to get shot bandwagon.  Maybe people wanted to wait for some facts.  ANd the facts show that to the contrary conservative rhetoric had absolutely nothing to do with Gabby Giffords being shot, and most probably Loughtners dimensia was fueled by the types calling Bush hitler in the 2000s.  

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