Letters to the Editor

Koch causes

April 9, 2012


To the editor:

The March 31 Saturday Column was published one day too soon. It should have been an April Fools’ joke on April 1. To espouse that the Koch Brothers (Charles and David) are examples of what is correct (not right!), takes too many liberties with the editor’s pen.

True, Kochs give to cancer research (maybe as a result of a guilty conscience — they use cancer-causing chemicals, formaldehyde, for one — in Koch industries and have been rated in the top ten polluters in industry). Their contributions to universities have been in return for hiring ultra-conservative professors.

However, the Kochs support ultra-conservative, out-of-the-mainstream causes and people who would: 1) devalue women and their power to make decisions in their lives; 2) defund arts and cultural programs; and 3) deregulate most all business/industry, taking us back to the dark ages in dealing with the environment and worker rights. If the Koch brothers have their way, income taxes, the most non-regressive tax we have, would go away as a funding source for government. The Koch brothers’ (and those they contribute to) idea of less government is actually no government — except when dealing with abortions or gay rights.

An old adage “you are known by the friends you keep” should be adjusted to “you are known by the causes you support.” They have every right to do this. They just need to be exposed so people know what they are actually doing and judge accordingly.


JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

Like I said yesterday...you can't add. This opinion is right on!

cato_the_elder 6 years, 1 month ago

The Kochs have the same right to put their money where their beliefs are that George Soros and other filthy rich liberals have.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

Of course they do.

As the letter says "They have every right to do this".

And, the public has some sort of right to know about it as well, so that we can make an informed judgment about them and the causes they support.

Brock Masters 6 years, 1 month ago

The question is if the accusations by the LTE writer are true. I'd like to see citations from reliable sources. Seems to me I recall that they've received awards from EPA.

As for cancer causing chemicals many businesses use them gas stations for example. Carpet companies. Farmers too. Question is if they use them properly or not.

The LTE is very biased and should not be taken as fact.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, you could do a quick google search and find out.

Also, somebody posted some links on the question recently.

If I remember correctly, they were doing business in an area with formaldehyde, and the cancer rates of the population there were quite high - they fought against classifying formaldehyde as a carcinogen so that they could continue using it without liability.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

Sure they do. But their motives should be questioned just like fox news/entertainment tv questions the motives of soros. The difference is soros is a news guy who doesn't rape the planet like the Koch brothers.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 1 month ago

"Soros is a 'news guy'?"

That's a new one. Good to see that you're so well-informed.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

George Soros is an advocate for media independence and diversity, believing those traits to be important aspects of open societies. With his support, the Open Society Foundations have worked to protect freedom of the press, expand public access to information, and promote high-quality, independent journalism.

The Open Society Foundations play a crucial role in supporting investigative journalism, as well as providing emergency legal aid and making safety training available to journalists working in dangerous or oppressive environments.

Most of the Foundations’ media-related grant making goes to organizations outside of the United States.

For more details on this issue, consult:

Open Society Institute Media Program

cato_the_elder 6 years, 1 month ago

Tell it like it is, please. Soros funds Media Matters, one of the most virulently biased purveyors of internet snake oil plying its trade today.

Geiiga 6 years, 1 month ago

Yeah! Let's all get behind the Koch Brothers attempt to cover up the fact that they're giving people cancer! Let's let them buy out politicians to make sure that we can't regulate their cancer-producing factories! Let's MAKE THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT A PROFIT-MAKING VENTURE FOR DAVID AND CHARLES KOCH!

Because that's what they're going for. Their daddy didn't have any trouble making his money off helping Stalin, and his kids believe in even less.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

Good points. I am amused by those who claim money from one group is good and from another evil. Money is the milk of politics and all who choose to participate have a right to promote their causes. The Kochs are looking out for their best interests, as should we all. The people will sort this all out at the polls....if they bother to vote in August and November. Shanti.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

It is not in the best interests of the Koch brothers to pollute the environment with impunity as they live on the planet too.

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

Then why have they paid so many fines for polluting? I would think the planet they share should be enough, but even losing money hasn't stopped them. How about jail time next time? That might make them think twice.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

I think that preventing them from operating a business might work well - fines don't seem to be enough of a deterrent.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree that they are polluters on a massive scale. I just don't think it is in their best interest or anyone elses to pollute. I think they are so stupid that they just don't realize that...

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

And therein lies the problem - it isn't even in our own best interests to continue destroying the environment (assuming you don't care about it for other reasons), and yet we continue to do so.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 1 month ago

How The Kochs Are Fracking America

The October 2011 issue of Discovery, the in-house Koch Industries newsletter, explains how the Koch Industries empire is profiting from the “really exciting” fracking boom:


rtwngr 6 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

rtwngr 6 years, 1 month ago

All of you that fear Koch have no qualms about a European who bought the 2008 election for Barack Obama, namely George Soros. You have no moral high ground to stand on so please just shut up.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

Like all right wing nuts, you prefer to make outlandish claims but fail to back them up. I also like the inarticulate way you say "shut up." You could be a guest on the Rush Limbaugh show or on Sean Hannity.

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

ask the Osage Nation of Oklahoma how honest and not deceptive the Kochs were in measuring oil production. Theft....the old fashioned christian way.....

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

Because people of all political stripes want cheap stuff made by near slaves. What's new about that?

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

Who said they aren't up in arms? But Apple is putting their money into fixing the problem, instead of paying off people to cover up the problem. And I know a lot of conservatives who use Apple products too. Do you make everything political?

james bush 6 years, 1 month ago

Mean ole white rich conservatives from Kansas should not be free to use their money to influence others unless the liberal left approves.

Clickker 6 years, 1 month ago

"True, Kochs give to cancer research (maybe as a result of a guilty conscience — they use cancer-causing chemicals, formaldehyde, for one "...of course..they run REFINERIES and chemical plants. If you say plastics cause cancer, then yes they are guilty..but then so is everyone on this board because last I looked ALL computers use plastic. Do you not drive? Seems like everyone uses gasoline. Those calling out the Kochs for this are hypocritical. They are libertarians. They feel that the free market, not heavy handed command and control regulation is best for human growth. It is fun to speculate that they are some puppetmaster, but in reality, they are just funding causes that they beleive in, even in cases where it would behoove financially to be silent.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

+1 I don't agree with the Kochs on many points, but this is the "American Way," no? Money talks and b*llsh#t walks, eh?

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

yeah, I'm not steering this boat... I'm just 5,000 times stronger than anybody else rowing. Give me a break!

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

I am troubled by the national debt and deficits.

However, unlike many partisans (I hope that doesn't include you), I am troubled by it regardless of which party is in power.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

What about the groups that you mention is "destructive"?

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, I'm sure others have a different view of those organizations.

And, since you offer no sources, I conclude that these are just opinions.

Also, your use of smear words doesn't help your cause.

NAGS instead of NOW, for example.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

Either you watch way too much Fox News or you are suffering from paranoid delusions...or both!!!

Geiiga 6 years, 1 month ago

Really, these two things generally go together.

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

I'll hate Soros if you hate the Kochs. Deal?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

No deal. Soros hasn't committed any crimes like polluting the environment. To quote you right-wingers, criminals should be in prison.

Jim Williamson 6 years, 1 month ago

I suppose I'm a weak person for hating what the Kochs and Soros are doing to our country and our democratic process.

ThePilgrim 6 years, 1 month ago

Politics make strange bedfellows.

Koch is well known and well published, with his "Market Based Management", as being the "anarcho-capitalist" version of Libertarian. They could not give a rat's patootie about the conservative religious right's causes. In fact, Sunday gets in the way of work, as many of the workaholic Koch upper echelons know.

We unfortunately have a two party system. My first exposure to Lawrence came when people were protesting on 9th and Mass about how Obama was not far enough Left. And the Honk for Hemp guy was on the corner. All of these folks will vote for Obama, even if he is not far enough left for them.

Same with the Kochs. They are consistent in their MBM approach to everything. They were prominent Libertarians, but must have realized that they would have to buddy up with the GOP to get anything done, and not lose more ground.

But "devalue women, etc?" Ridiculous.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, if they "buddy up" with the GOP, and it's trying to devalue women,...

Linda Endicott 6 years, 1 month ago

I read a lot of stuff online about the Koch family yesterday...pretty interesting and scary stuff...

David Koch contributes to cancer research, IMHO, because he's been living with it off and on for 20 years...he knows his remission could be over at any moment...he's looking for a cure for himself...I don't think he much cares about whether anyone else gets a cure...or could afford one...

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

We will never drill our way to lower gas prices no matter what they claim. We've been down this road before.

Big Oil spends more than $400,000 a day on Washington lobbyists to push their "pollution and profits" agenda.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

More on ALEC from the 4/12/12 morning news:

Amidst a movement to overturn "Stand Your Ground" gun laws after the Trayvon Martin shooting, we look at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded group that worked with the National Rifle Association to pass the measures across the country.

On Wednesday, the fast-food giant Wendy’s became the sixth corporation to publicly cut ties with the secretive right-wing group for backing the laws.

Over the past week McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Intuit have all announced that they have decided to not renew their membership with ALEC.

We speak with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which runs "ALEC Exposed," a website that published more than 800 "model" bills and resolutions secretly voted on by corporations and politicians. "We’ve seen ALEC, which is really a corporate bill mill, push legislation on all sorts of issues to make it harder for Americans to get justice, to make it harder for Americans to vote, to make it harder for Americans to have their day in court if they or their loved one is killed or injured by a corporation, by corporate greed, by a bad drug, by a product," Graves says.

She notes many of the draft bills outline the privatization of Social Security, schools and prisons


Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Dang, the disappointed progressives just can't get enough of this hate-fest.

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