Advertisement

Archive for Saturday, March 31, 2012

Koch Industries and Koch brothers are assets to state

March 31, 2012

Advertisement

What is it, or why is it, that the name Koch, particularly here in Lawrence and Kansas, seems to trigger such angry, passionate and negative responses from a certain segment of the community, particularly among some at Kansas University?

Charles and David Koch operate Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned company in the United States. They have two brothers, Fred and Bill, and, in the 1980s and ’90s, the four brothers were engaged in a long, bitter and costly legal fight to determine who would take control of the company that had been founded and nurtured by their father, Fred Koch. Eventually, Charles and David assumed control of the giant firm. Fred now lives elsewhere and concentrates on art collecting and philanthropy; Bill also lives elsewhere and focuses on other businesses, sailing and being a collector.

Since Charles and David assumed leadership of the Wichita-based company, Koch has enjoyed phenomenal growth throughout the United States and in at least 60 other countries. Today, the company employs approximately 67,000 people.

In Kansas, Koch has close to 3,000 employees, pays millions in taxes and supports a wide variety of charities.

The answer to the question at the beginning of this column is that the Kochs are conservatives, some would say “ultra conservatives.” They support organizations such as the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. Their critics have been quick to try to fault them for supposedly funneling money to the tea party movement. Some say the brothers have given more than $100 million to these conservative organizations.

Charles and David Koch have been the lightning rods for liberal, anti-conservative forces in this country, and it is that likely liberal-leaning faculty members and administrators at KU, as well as at many other universities, have been critical of the Kochs in order to keep peace with their staffs.

The sad, phony or hard-to-understand part of this situation is that the two Koch brothers attribute the success of their family-owned business to the guiding principles espoused by their market-based management philosophy.

These principles are: integrity, confidence, value creation, principled entrepreneurship, customer focus, knowledge, change, humility, respect and fulfillment. They are pretty good principles to live by and to use when owning and operating a business — also pretty good principles for teachers and school administrators to keep in mind.

Some say it is wrong for a company such as Koch to spend so much money supporting conservative causes, but why should they be criticized or silenced when so many other groups such as organized labor, ultra-liberal environmentalists, teachers unions, the American Medical Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Obama forces, George Soros and others are spending millions upon millions supporting their own causes, usually diametrically counter to the conservative efforts of the Kochs?

It’s likely that in a company as large as Koch Industries, there have been causes in which there have been violations of some kind, even fines, but Koch runs a clean operation and offers good jobs.

In fact, one of their ranch operations, Beaverhead in Montana, has received numerous environmental awards. Yes, the company owns and operates giant refineries, but they operate safely and with a goal of 100 percent compliance with emission and environmental standards.

In Kansas, some of the Koch companies include Flint Hills Resources LLC, Koch Pipeline Company, Invista B.V., Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC, Koch Supply and Trading LP, Koch Glitsch LP, Koch Nitrogen Co. LLC, Koch Carbon LLC and the Matador Cattle Company.

Koch financial contributions to Kansas programs are generous, covering many interests throughout the state and benefiting thousands of individuals.

Since 2000, David Koch and the David Koch Charitable Foundation have pledged or contributed more than $750 million to further cancer research, enhance medical centers, support educational institutions, sustain arts and cultural institutions and conduct public safety studies. These contributions have gone to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Smithsonian and numerous other medical and educational programs.

Charles and David Koch have championed limited government, economic freedom and personal liberty and they have challenged excessive government spending. Their financial giving efforts — political and charitable, both personal and through their company and foundations — all have been lawful.

This being the case, it would seem KU officials, as well as other state officials, should be trying to work with Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch and their foundations on ways to benefit the university and the state. They should be trying to embrace the Kochs rather than acting as if they were pariahs.

The Kochs are a tremendous asset for the state!

Comments

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

LOL, thinkprogress. That's like Tom Shewman linking to fox news.

But seriously, I'll give two of your sources the benefit of the doubt, and agree that people leading subsidiaries of this huge corporation did shady things. But you can't blame that on the Kochs just as we don't Obama (or Truman, or Kennedy) if one of his battery commanders orders the killing of civilians.

I'll even accept that some Koch manipulated the market. That's illegal, and I believe he was punished appropriately. I have a problem with continuing to condemn a man after he has been punished for his crime.

I won't bother clicking on your other links as they would be as partisan as "rednecksforguns.org".

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Right. Don't bother to investigate on your own to find links you find credible either. Paying fines and penalties is just a cost of doing business to these crooks. As the fifth and sixth richest Americans (last time I checked) they clearly aren't suffering for their crimes. And it isn't enough to be that rich; they and their ilk want it all.

pinecreek 2 years, 9 months ago

March 31, 2012 Dear Mr. Simons:

Koch Industries acknowledges receipt of your application and resume for the position of Public Relations Director for the company. We also accept and note your fine example of editorial production in defense of the company and the cause. We shall give your application serious consideration and will provide our response soon.

Sincerely, Charles and David

pinecreek 2 years, 9 months ago

April 01, 2012 Dear Mr. Simons:

Koch Industries acknowledges receipt of your application and resume for the position of Public Relations Director for the company. We also accept and note your fine example of editorial production in defense of the company and the cause. We shall give your application serious consideration and will provide our response soon.

Sincerely, Charles and David

cowboy 2 years, 9 months ago

Think there is a misspelling in the headline , assets should be.....

scott3460 2 years, 9 months ago

Hmmmmm, a slavish bit of sophomoric pandering, even by Dolph's standards. Liberals telling the truth about the agenda must be getting under the right winger's skin.

pittstatebb 2 years, 9 months ago

Hmmm. I happen to read quite a few newspapers and critism of the Kochs is in no way limited to Kansans. I have found their names being scorned in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Washington Post, and the list goes on. Critism of the Kochs' environmental record and political dealings is not a Kansan problem. Maybe, just maybe it is a Charles and David problem.

One last point. The correct term for the political leanings of the Kochs is "Libertarian" or LIARs (Libertarians Imitating a Republican). Libertarians are closer to an anarchist than a historical Republican. I say historical because I do not believe the current Republican party represents a good picture of the party's true identity.

grammaddy 2 years, 9 months ago

Nobody likes folks who have more money than God.Nobody.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Wisconsin residents have serious reservations about the Koch political empire make no mistake about it. And they put Sam Brownback into politics.

More:

3 Shady Things the Koch Brothers Have Been Up To That the Media Ignore

To the corporate media, the machinations of the 1 percent's most infamous poster boys might look like old news. But for regular Americans, it's a fight for their lives. March 27, 2012 |

On an October evening in 2011, a tall, older man stood before a floor-to-ceiling glass window on an upper floor in the massive, modernist Washington Convention Center, surveying the scene in the street below. Protesters had blocked access to the building where David Koch, shielded by the massive panes, was hosting a political gathering of right-wing activists, and were now massed at an intersection, chanting "We are the 99 percent!" It was Koch the protesters had come to castigate -- Koch and all he represents. For if David Koch is nothing else, he is most definitely a member of "the 1 percent" -- the top tier of income-earners in the United States, as is his brother, Charles.

Together, the pair have used their wealth not merely to assure its continuance, but to advance an ideology designed to secure the dominance of American politics and, indeed, the control of global capital, by themselves and a very few similarly endowed individuals. So, as David Koch, benefactor of both the New York City Opera and a horde of angry Tea Partiers in Congress, gazed upon his scruffy detractors, he did so as a lead figure in the latest installment of the epic drama that began in America's Gilded Age, a drama that might be called the Capitalist Assault on Democracy.

With their WASPy good looks (either sibling approximates Central Casting's idea of what a patrician billionaire should look like), roots in the high-polluting energy sector and virulently anti-labor attitudes,

Con't: http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/154714/3_shady_things_the_koch_brothers_have_been_up_to_that_the_media_ignore

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government

Hundreds of state legislators from all 50 states have gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC.

Critics say the Washington-based organization plays a key role in helping corporations secretly draft model pro-business legislation that has been used by state lawmakers across the country. Unlike many other organizations, ALEC’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on model legislation.

In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to: attack workers’ rights roll back environmental regulations privatize education deregulate major industries * passing voter ID laws.

Nonetheless, this year’s annual ALEC meeting boasts the largest attendance in five years, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. We go to New Orleans to speak with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. Last month, her organization released 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

http://www.truth-out.org/publicopoly-exposed/1310660473

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

More ALEC:

The Koch Brothers, big tobacco, insurance companies, and the drug industry: all behind the shadowy corporate front group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). On the surface, ALEC is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators, each paying a nominal fee to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation.

In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC's pro-corporate, anti-consumer mission is clear.

Few have ever heard of it, but the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is the ultimate smoke filled back room.

On the surface, ALEC’s membership is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators. Each pays a nominal membership fee in order to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation. ALEC’s corporate contributors, on the other hand, pay a king’s ransom to gain access to legislators and distribute their corporate-crafted legislation.

So, while the membership appears to be public sector, the bankroll is almost entirely private sector. In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC claims to be nonpartisan, but in fact its free-market, pro-business mission is clear.

The result has been a consistent pipeline of special interest legislation being funneled into state capitols. Thanks to ALEC, 826 bills were introduced in the states in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law.

Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.

ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:

  • Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents;
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs;
  • Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband;
  • Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules;
  • Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid;
  • The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases; and,
  • Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.

http://www.justice.org/cps/rde//justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

WI is facing a recall election of it's governor in June. Charles and David are sinking millions (and I mean that literally,millions) of dollars into Walker's campaign. They don't even live in that state. One wonders why. (I'm being facetious.) It must be irritating the hell out of the Grimm Brothers that the peasants are revolting.

Phillbert 2 years, 9 months ago

All of the radical things that Dolph complains about Brownback doing are the things that the Kochs not only want to happen, but have made possible through their bankrolling of groups like Americans for Prosperity.

Just wait until the Kochs team up with Brownback to buy the Kansas Senate this year, then you will really see what a plutocracy looks like.

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

Neo-Nazi Tea Party KKK Koch Industries two bossmen-owners Charles & David Koch created the Tea Party.

David is a twin, and his twin brother has called him and Koch Industries "Organized Crime" on CBS TV without getting sued for slander. Well with over $55,000,000 in CRIMINAL FINES for polluting six states water, air and soil, you can call Koch Industries "Organized Crime", not to mention the $293,000,000 jury award to the parents of Danielle Dawn Smalley for her being killed by Koch negligence while the brothers played politics.

http://neo-nazi--teaparty--kkk.blogspot.com/2011/04/koch-industries-two-...

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

Gov Brownback puts tea party tenets into action with sharp cuts

The Kochs “have been handed the keys to the governor’s office,” said state Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Democrat. “They have a tremendous amount of influence in Kansas politics and nationally.”

Critics say that the Kochs have too much say about what is happening in Kansas. Brownback appointed one Americans for Prosperity consultant to be his budget director and hired the wife of another leader as his spokeswoman.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-kansas-gov-sam-brownback-puts-...

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

Koch brothers fund the Tea Party make billions lay off workers.

However, at a time when the Koch brothers were enjoying spectacular financial gains, Koch Industries laid off well over 2,000 people. Using the same approximate “jobs multiplier” Koch Industries used in its study last week, that means Koch Industries extinguished nearly 8,000 jobs in recent years:

http://www.dirtandseeds.com/the-koch-brothers-fund-the-tea-party-make-bi...

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

The Koch teapublicans "Republican Tea Party Contract on America"

"Republican Tea Party Contract on America" as the blueprint for how they would govern.

  1. Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance Reform)
  2. Privatize Social Security or phase it out altogether
  3. End Medicare as it presently exists
  4. Extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil
  5. Repeal Wall Street Reform
  6. Protect those responsible for the oil spill and future environmental catastrophes
  7. Abolish the Department of Education
  8. Abolish the Department of Energy
  9. Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency
  10. Repeal the 17th Amendment http://my.democrats.org/page/content/tpgop

Once again, Teapublicans are trying to end Medicare Social Security and Medicaid to pay for more tax breaks for billionaires and Big Oil. It’s time for us to speak out and tell the Gop what this means to seniors & families.

dinglesmith 2 years, 9 months ago

Care to point out even one thing on the list that is not supported by the Kochs or the Tea Party? Maybe number 6, but the others could be taken directly from the Tea Party platform. Heck, most of them are in the Republican Party platform.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

Care to point out why it is of any concern of yours what political bent other American's have? I'll just accept that all of them hold all the beliefs listed and simply say it is just as much their right to forward their agenda as it is for you.

Are there any specific parts of the first amendment you dislike the most?

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

It's only our concern when they're buying politicians.

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 9 months ago

Koch Brownback and the Teapublicans

Business lobby, aided by $36,000 from Koch Industries, targets eight Republican incumbents in state Senate for defeat Two business heavyweights — the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries — have targeted eight state senators for defeat in the Republican Party primary.

“During the difficult economic downturn, while businesses were tightening their belts to survive, some in the Kansas Senate opted for tax increases instead of responsible spending cuts,” Chamber Political Action Chairman Ivan Crossland said Tuesday.

“Bloated state budgets, increased taxes and growing union and trial lawyer support are not the ingredients for private sector job creation. The candidates we have chosen to support are willing to do what it takes to turn things around in Kansas,” Crossland said.

The Chamber said a majority of Republicans in the Kansas House and Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, support a pro-business agenda.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/jan/10/business-lobby-targets-eight-republican-incumbents/?utm_campaign=ljpgtweet&utm_source=ljpgtweet&utm_medium=ljpgtweet

blindrabbit 2 years, 9 months ago

What galls me is seeing the David Koch Foundation fund and sponsor programming on PBS and NPR (which I watch /listen all the time). All four Koch brothers are collectors of Art and especilly David is a bon vivant and gadfly in the New York City culture scene. In reality he could likely give a "fig" about supporting the Arts; his sponsorship is a means of accruing his private collection and a means of access to the NYC bluebloods as well as appearing to be social benefactor. Brother Charles is the :"brains" behind the Koch Industries holdings and cloistered in Wichita. Billy is a sailor and one-time winner of America's Cup with the "Jayhawk", the most altruistic of the brothers is Frederick. I, like Cowboy assumed there was a misspelling in the story heading of "asset" to should have been "ass#^$@"!

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

"All four Koch brothers are collectors of Art and especilly David is a bon vivant and gadfly in the New York City culture scene. In reality he could likely give a "fig" about supporting the Arts; his sponsorship is a means of accruing his private collection and a means of access to the NYC bluebloods"

You smell that? What? Jealousy, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that.

Free Internets to whoever knows what movie I sorta plagiarized.

tomatogrower 2 years, 9 months ago

I watched the latest movie version of Atlas Shrugged, you know the bible of the Libertarians. I would put the Koch brothers in the role of the rich business man who made puppets out of lawmakers, not the innovative guy who was the "libertarian hero" of the story. I'm real sure if someone came up with an idea to run cars without gasoline, these brothers would do what they could to suppress it, including buying politicians.

The Koch brothers may now be in compliance with pollution standards, but they have been fined in the past. And they make no secret of the fact that they think the government has no right to set these standards. In their "ideal" libertarian world they could do what they want and pollute whenever they want.

I would admire the Koch's more if they took the money that they use to influence politics and either gave all their workers a good raise or hire more workers. You know - the thing that the 1% is suppose to be famous for - creating jobs.

What is really funny is they are fighting against a system that has allowed them to amass the wealth they have. I fail to see their problem. Boohoo, they have to pay taxes for roads and bridges they use to move their products. Boohoo, they have to pay taxes, because bleeding heart liberals want to help the guy with cancer survive and take care of his family. Boohoo, how are they suppose to get even more money, if they have to pay those taxes. Pity the poor billionaires.

tomatogrower 2 years, 9 months ago

I do not hate the Kochs or anyone else for that matter. But I don't like their actions. They are trying to manipulate a system that has already allowed them to get rich, so they can get even richer. They would use their wealth to suppress innovation and competition. It's another case of "I've got mine, and I want to make sure you don't get yours." Why don't they set up a loan company to encourage small businesses? Why don't they hire more workers and give their present workers more benefits? Instead they want to buy the government, so they can control things instead of empowering others.

Lane Signal 2 years, 9 months ago

This is the point exactly. The Kochs are the poster children for the biggest problem with politics today. They are buying the government. On behalf of industry and the hyper rich, they are creating a system that exploits the middle class to foot the bill in the form of a greater tax burden than other groups and plays races, classes, religious beliefs against each other all in the name of consolidating wealth in the hands a small number of people and companies. Saying this is all part of the Republican agenda misses the point. Democrats are just about as guilty in this drive to give all the money to the one percent as Republicans. Abortion rights, birth control, immigration and others are important issues, but they are often used by the political machine to distract us all from real political agenda of the Kochs and other super rich, stealing the little money out there that they do not already have. They want all of it and they will not be happy until they have it all.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

Hatred is what the leftist does second best, right after hypocrisy.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Mmmm, projection. It's not just for the movies. It's for faux libertarians and neo pseudo populists who need defense mechanisms to deflect the shame they feel in the hatred and hypocrisy they see in themselves.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes the Koch brothers are an asset to Kansas, along with the Phelps clan, our former State board of Education, the current governor (sorry, Sam) and some other wingnuts of the political right.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 9 months ago

It appears the writer of this editorial has not spent much time reading the news or gathering the facts.

woodscolt 2 years, 9 months ago

"What is it, or why is it, that the name Koch, particularly here in Lawrence and Kansas, seems to trigger such angry, passionate and negative responses ......................" says the right wing "after all god is on my side" radically fanatic dolphster.

Well because you right wingers are so blinded by your fanaticism and insatiable quest to force all people to live life according to you including imposing the government into everyones personal life that you believe propoganda like this,

"These principles are: integrity, confidence, value creation, principled entrepreneurship, customer focus, knowledge, change, humility, respect ............................................"

The Kochs are the threat the right wing fake christian wackos have always made the communists out to be. But as long as the demons are on your side its ok.

Heres to laughing out loud at the dolphster yet again. Its easy for you to be confused when your so far right that facts looks like fanaticism to you.

chicago95 2 years, 9 months ago

It's time for readers of the LJW to exercise their own market-based philosophy by cancelling their subscriptions to the Journal-World.

KEITHMILES05 2 years, 9 months ago

Too bad the bias against Koch's has them giving their $$$ to outside medical concerns instead of Kansas University Medical Center and the heavy cancer research going on there. Of course I can't blame them for not endearing themselves to KU as they are constantly lambasted in the media here in Kansas. Talk about cutting off yourself off.

KEITHMILES05 2 years, 9 months ago

Too bad the bias against Koch's has them giving their $$$ to outside medical concerns instead of Kansas University Medical Center and the heavy cancer research going on there. Of course I can't blame them for not endearing themselves to KU as they are constantly lambasted in the media here in Kansas. Talk about cutting off yourself off.

woodscolt 2 years, 9 months ago

The Koch brothers contributions to medical concerns have helped to find the causes of medical concerns and it was them.

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

Koch bros operation is shoddy. If they put as much effort in clean operation and really just simple accounting as they do in corrupting the government and selling plain lies in giant ad campaigns then they might not be a plague on Kansas and the country. Plenty of good information of their stretch of harm. I first became aware of them a couple of decades ago when a widow couldn't get her money from her late husband shares. Look at the Ks state treasuries office unclaimed property list, The reason so much money due to investors ends up there is because their commitment to anyone else is almost zero. They pay taxes a penny on the dollar , they also pay their stock holders pennies on the dollar. One would not want to do a signed contract with them much less a handshake deal.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

but....but...but... it's the party of tolerance and compassion you're talking about

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Alinsky would approve of your use of mockery to deride the enemy. Well done, Armstrong. You followed his tactics well.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

That's the lefts view of themselves. We all know what a crock that is

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, but you'll need at least two pieces of punctuation in order to make the "I'm rubber and you're glue nghyaaaahhhh!!" argument grammatically correct.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I really think that none of your post is factual.

There are extremists on both the left and the right, but most people are in the middle somewhere.

As such, they want what they think is best for the country as a whole.

That may differ a bit from person to person, of course, but generally includes some sort of combination of efficient government, lower deficits/debt, a less extreme concentration of wealth at the top, and a society that cares about the less fortunate.

Conservatives and liberals seem to both be afraid of the other, and afraid of what direction they'll take the country, which is unfortunate.

But blaming this problem on one side or the other seems off to me.

I think we should start from the assumption (which I think is true) that most people have good intentions, and want what's best for all of us. Then, we can discuss how best to achieve that, and what compromises need to be made.

But, demonizing the "other side" is not only not helpful to that discussion, it's completely counterproductive.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

And a health economy and environment.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Let's not forget the fallacy of the golden mean, either. Just because there are two sides to an issue does not mean that the correct answer lies down the middle of it. The earth is not a squished sphere between the positions of being flat and being round.

There used to be a time when people would suck it up and do what needed to be done for the good of the country. Now we've got crazy people who would rather see the country default than let the other side get their way - even if they know the other side has a position with which they also agree!

I agree that most people probably have good intentions, but I'm no longer convinced it holds true for most politicians.

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

"The earth is not a squished sphere between the positions of being flat and being round. "

Actually, it is. The earth bulges at the equator.

But more to your point, America has always been full of internal strife. We fought a war over it, we shot college students over it, we lynched our fellow Americans over it. As a country, we hold far too diverse beliefs to do for the "good of the country", because everyone has a different idea. We only truly unite against non-Americans, and even that is waning as moral relativism gains popularity.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

So it is a spheroid that is precisely half flat and half round to the point that flat earthers should be credited as being "half right"? I think not.

And while we've had moments of violent upheaval, that is not the whole of our history, nor is it the point to which most of us wish to return.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

You are cute when you get frothy. But not original. I have to admit I tune it out after the third or fourth reference to "lamestream media." Snort.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Is that for me?

If so, I think you're missing some key facts - there are both left and right biased media - the right biased media seems much more likely to stir people up in the way you describe.

And, there are right wing extremists who post here regularly as well.

Simply calling somebody "far left" doesn't make that true - that's a matter of perspective.

And, I don't watch mainstream media (or Fox news), and question pretty much everything.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't see it that way.

As I said, both sides have extremists who stir the pot.

And, what looks like a far left extremist to you may look like a moderate to me.

But, my point stands - I think it's important for us to come together rather than continue to get more polarized into extremes.

What good does that do anybody?

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Ironically it's the right who are currently studying the methods of Saul Alinsky, but nice try. In fact, I'd never know who he was if right wingers weren't so obsessively studying his tactics in order to use them, as one right winger recently put it, as "a how-to manual for political organizing."

The rest of your talking points vomit? TL;DR

Orwell 2 years, 9 months ago

Self-unaware much? Pot, meet BornAgainKettle.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 9 months ago

Excellent column. All of the goofball, moonbat, and sophomoric left-wing comments are entirely expected, and as usual are eminently risible.

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 9 months ago

Except these crazy Liberals are talking about actual facts about the Koch brothers that conflict with Dolph's glowing lover letter.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm surprised he could type it all with one hand.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Your post speaks volumes about how far left leaning the media you are exposed to is

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, and the left is fair and balanced ha ha ha

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

Democrats, teachers, the elderly, people who pay fair tax, the poor, children, the retired, labor, women, other religions, liberals, they are all to blame to the rich getting richer. They are the reason banks are corrupt, the economy suffers, that gas is so high, that congress is inapt. The Koch bros are innocent and they have fools and high dollar ad campaigns to stand up and say that.

brewmaster 2 years, 9 months ago

A disgusting piece of selective journalism to beguile the public and divert attentiion away from the egregious wrong-doing that the Koch's have committed for decades. In fact, it is not journalism.

This is a shameless and deliberate public display by someone with unearned, inherited wealth acting as an ingratiating, pandering shill to someone else with even greater unearned, inherited wealth.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Popcorn anyone ? The left is about to melt down in 3 2 1.....

Orwell 2 years, 9 months ago

A virtual Palincopia of word salad. Well done, sir/ma'am. Your book contract from WorldNet Daily is in the mail.

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

While your stats are wrong. It isn't wrong for educators, liberals, women, handicapped people, minorities and liberals to be millionaires, unless they are crooks and liars and run large ad campaigns denigrating their victims and funnel money to buy governors.

Orwell 2 years, 9 months ago

Tried to read the article but couldn't get past the ad for the diamond-encrusted wristwatch with the sapphire-accent stem. I think there's a message there.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

"...and it is that likely liberal-leaning faculty members and administrators at KU, as well as at many other universities, have been critical of the Kochs in order to keep peace with their staffs."

This makes no sense.

"These contributions have gone to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Smithsonian and numerous other medical and educational programs."

Notice none in Kansas. I guess Kansas universities are too liberal, more liberal than MIT, Hopkins, etc.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

I have no problem with people who are market innovators and earn a lot of money. I have a problem with people who earn more money than they can spend in a lifetime and yet pay a lower effective percentage of income tax than I do. I have a problem with people who buy a lot of politicians and have them write laws to make them even more money and paying even less in taxes to support the economic system that allowed them to accumulate obscene wealth. I have a problem with fetishizing "job creators" while ignoring that they laid off tons of workers when they were reaping record profits for themselves. I have a problem with that same group insisting that they'd be able to employ more people if only they had more tax breaks. They get more in tax breaks than most of the state earns in an entire year, combined. I have a problem with libertarians that are more than willing to suckle off the government teat when it makes them even more money but want to tell school children and the disabled to go bootstrap it.

In short, the Kochs deserve every ounce of their soiled reputation, and their attempts to Rockefeller themselves out of it with philanthropy aren't going to work. Your attempt to lick their bootstraps, however, is amusing.

guess_again 2 years, 9 months ago

I did not know Dolph supports the John Birch Society.

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 9 months ago

Here's an editorial from the guy that just released "Koch Brothers Exposed", that includes a lot of good information. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-greenwald/kochs-lies-and-videotape_b_1393617.html

excerpt;...

"2) Voting rights. The Kochs have given over $1 million to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that's trying to pass severe voter ID restrictions in states across the country. These bills disenfranchise the poor, the elderly, the young, people of color -- in short, people who are likely to oppose a 1% agenda. The Kochs won't explain why anyone should believe that ALEC's pro-corporate, anti-99% agenda is somehow detached from its billionaire funders. Onerous voting restrictions are already impacting people's ability to vote in the 2012 election."

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Showing a valid ID, whoa that's restrictive. Scared me from voting in the next election

Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 9 months ago

It kept more people from voting in a local referendum election in Wichita than the total number of suspected voter fraud cases over the last 10 years.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

How are the Koch brothers going to be assets to the state when they don't have to pay taxes anymore?

Just wondering.

The right wing libertarian utopia is like all utopian dreams. They always end up to be abysmal failures.

Brownback will do to Kansas what Bush did to the federal government. You and I will be left with a huge debt and the Koch brothers will be even richer than they are today. Dolph will go to his grave believing he was a crusader for all that is noble and good.

It seems that the more things change the more they stay the same.

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

In the 1980s, Charles Koch was found to have pilfered about $3 worth of crude from Stanlee Ann Mattingly's oil tank in Oklahoma. Here's the weird part. Koch was (and remains) the 14th richest man on the planet, worth about $14 billion. Stanlee Ann was a dirt-poor Osage Indian.

Stanlee Ann wasn't Koch's only victim. According to secret tape recordings of a former top executive of his company, Koch Industries, the billionaire demanded that oil tanker drivers secretly siphon a few bucks worth of oil from every tank attached to a stripper well on the Osage Reservation where Koch had a contract to retrieve crude. Koch, according to the tape, would, "giggle" with joy over the records of the theft. Koch's own younger brother Bill ratted him out, complaining that, in effect, brothers Charles and David cheated him out of his fair share of the looting which totaled over three-quarters of a billion dollars from the Native lands. The FBI filmed the siphoning with hidden cameras, but criminal charges were quashed after quiet objections from Republican senators. The quashing led to the CBS 60 Minutes report, "What Wouldn't Bob Dole do for Koch Brothers Oil Money?" If you remember Dolph....I submitted a letter to the editor for print when the Dole Center was dedicated to give the unknowing public an idea of the backroom deal politician they were dealing with. Guess which paper didn't run my article? The LJW. Nice job running interference in the name of censorship Dolph on behalf of Bob Dole.

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Ummm Dude, Tusch is one of your ilk. Are ya sure ya wanna go down that road ?????

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

booyalab 2 years, 9 months ago

The main arguments against Koch, judging by this thread, seem to be 1. ad hominem catchphrases and 2. ridiculously long posts of articles that no one in their right mind would want to wade through. Looks like you've got your best men on it.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

If you read a Tusch post and it sounds logical, you have bigger issues my friend. Just sayin

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 9 months ago

Good point, if you don't actual read the opposing information, then it doesn't count.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Heroes who fired about 3000 people between 2010 and 2011 yet increased their personal self worth by about 7 billion dollars in that same period of time. Heroes who buy politicians and even supreme court justices and actively work to suppress voter turnout in order to sway outcomes in their favor. Why would anyone have anything bad to say about them?

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

I want to thank the Nation for doing this investigative article which I stumbled onto a while ago and gleened for the letter to the editor that the LJ World refused to print back in the day during the Dole Center Dedication. Math or Tom Shewmon loves to clown people with baiting comments and little or no fact. People like this celebrate the power and manipulation of ignorance and never learn anything or research for that manner. Don't let facts get in the way of your denial. I have a friend Ryan RedCorn, whose ancestor was murdered by William Hale.....the supposed King of the Osages who had his hand in the murders of numerous Osage Oil headright owners who had tribal allotments worth millions a century ago after the 1906 Osage Act. This tragic situation was one of the first that the forerunners of the FBI was involved in. In the end, William Hale didn't get near the jailtime he deserved for the murders of Osage people for their oil lands. Sadly he set the precedent for the Koch oil scheme and the defrauding that made oil theft and a laudible and defensable act to the GOP seeking oil campaign money. Defending criminals....the math way.

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

conservatives don't research long articles.....they recycle the garbage pillboy and faux news spew just like archie bunker did back in the day....once a dinosaur always a dinosaur.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

Your posts are getting shorter, does that mean you're almost done ??

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm pretty sure these millionaire "educators" are not public school teachers. But there are a lot of positions at Colleges and Universities that that pay a ton of money.

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

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

brewmaster 2 years, 9 months ago

The Koch's are a manipulative, uncontrollable disease that will spread through our institutions until democratic society is replaced with a greed obsessed corporatocracy. A corporatacracy that knows only one rule - profit - profit above all else.

The conservative Koch addicts are in denial because they are fooled by their own disease. They refuse to see the obvious and ultimate harm of a Koch induced corporatocracy.

globehead 2 years, 9 months ago

Dear Dolph,

Thank you for your editorial. My bird has made great use of it.

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 9 months ago

Dolph, if you've read these comments, have you learned anything yet? Are you related to the Koch brothers?

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Much easier to marry a rich woman and spend your day typing incoherent nonsense at the keyboard.

kochmoney 2 years, 9 months ago

Nah, he's just got brotherly love for someone else who earned money the old fashioned way: inheritance.

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

nice subject change to educators done by mental midgets in the true strawman change the subject fashion. lowering the bar to dumb on a reliable basis.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Is it a Godwin when it's the truth? Because Fred Koch, the daddy of Charles and David, got the foundation for the family business from Nazi Germany. See, Fred was banned from doing business in the US for a certain period of time as part of a law suit settlement for patent infringement. (The family was up to it's "tricks" even then.) Unable to do business at home, Fred began dealing with Nazi Germany. After Germany fell at the end of the war, Fred started doing business with Communist Russia. He became so frustrated dealing with all of the Soviet's regulations (and the fact that Stalin was the reincarnation of Vlad the Impaler) that when he was finally able to do business in the US he moved back home and started the John Birch Society, the forerunner of today's Cato Institute. Only when the Koch's became rich enough to actually start buying governments did they attain any degree of respectability. In the 1960's, my own father, who was about as bigoted of an Archie Bunker as you could get and an old school Republican, laughed at the John Birch Society and called them "crazy, paranoid fools". These are sleazy people, guys. There is no doubt about that whatsoever.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

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

Paul Decelles 2 years, 9 months ago

Since Mr. Simons mentioned Koch support for the Cato Institute, perhaps people would be interested in this little spat between Cato and the Koch's: http://www.cato.org/SaveCato/

FlintHawk 2 years, 9 months ago

The second I saw the editorial headline, I knew what had happened. For weeks, poor ole Dolph has been attacked by "conservative" readers for his "leftist" opinions, editorials and newspaper. My own reaction was surprise at what I thought were neutral, fact-based editorials. After 30+ years, I thought that he had finally decided to be a real journalist.

But I guess he didn't like being painted as a commie/progressive/liberal/crazy.

So he wrote this PR piece praising the fine, upstanding Koch brothers. I've known Bill, Dave and parents since 1957. Charlie and Dave merely carry on the family fascist (I use the term literally, not as an insult) political ideals. Fred Koch founded the Birchers, and I imagine that he supported many conservative causes. But politics were very different in the 50s and 60s, as some of you know. That was a time before we all accepted smear campaigns, swift-boating and lying as just part of the game. The Brothers have increased their profits, and they are using some of that money to support, very publicly, causes across the US that I, personally, find abhorrent. I certainly believe they have a right to express their opinions, however different from mine, But they are crudely and loudly buying and manipulating people and events to create a U.S. that is one-percent friendly. Don't kid yourself: They don't give a hoot about any of us. They are no longer Kansans, if they ever were.

They are multinationals. They live(d) in Wichita in a house that was built with huge stones transported to Kansas from a castle in Germany. They never attended school at any level in the state. Boarding schools, Deerfield, Yale, MIT. To consider them loyal Kansans is to fool yourself.

And to those of you who claim that it's the fault of "Liberal Lawrence" and the commies at my alma mater that the Kochs don't put more money into Kansas infrastructure (like medicine, education) — I say: Look at Phil Anschutz (another former Wichitan), an extremely conservative billionaire who continues to support the University. He puts the Kochs to shame in so many ways.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. My punchline: it's hilarious to see my liberal cohorts so riled at Dolph. Maybe instead of being neutral, he'll totter back and forth, pi***ng off the right wing one week, the left the next. We'll all get good workouts. RCJH!!

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

It's interesting that the Kochs are very much fascists in the classic sense. Fred Koch was a huge admirer of Benito Mussolini ( who said, ""Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." ) This is a link to a great paper on fascism and it's influence today. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4113.htm

And one last quote for the road: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

Bacal123 2 years, 9 months ago

Very good article --direct & to the point. You liberals should use some class & get your act together before you start to criticize the conservative minded people who have contributed so much in a number of ways to all walks of our society.

JLB

Gregory Newman 2 years, 9 months ago

– 1990-1992: Koch, along with several oil companies and Wall Street speculators, form a coalition lobbying group to deregulate oil speculation. A coalition called “The Energy Group” is organized to press the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to allow oil derivatives to be traded off the NYMEX or any other regulated exchange. Participants in the coalition include Koch, Enron, Phibro (a powerful commodity speculator firm recently sold from Citigroup to Occidental Petroleum), J. Aron & Co (a commodity trading division of Goldman Sachs), BP, and other companies.

– January 21, 1993. Wendy Gramm makes first major move to deregulate oil speculation. “On the final day of the [George H.W.] Bush administration, January 21, 1993, [CFTC chairwoman] Wendy Gramm … approved the rule exempting key energy futures contracts from government regulation and returned a great chunk of the energy market to the grand old days of unregulated futures trading,” writes author Antonia Juhasz in the book Tyranny of Oil. The move mirrored the demands made by Koch’s lobbying coalition, The Energy Group. Gramm, the wife of then-Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), leaves the Commodity Futues Trading Commission and a month later joins the board of directors of Enron.

– December 12, 2000: Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), after being lobbied by Koch and Enron, creates the infamous “Enron Loophole” vastly deregulating the oil speculation market. On the night of December 12, 2000, Gramm attaches a 262-page amendment to the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, which is then attached to an omnibus spending bill that is signed into law by President Clinton before leaving office. The Gramm amendment, which received absolutely no public scrutiny or committee hearings, radically expands and codifies the energy deregulation agenda began by Gramm’s wife during the first Bush administration. The Gramm amendment allows so-called “over-the-counter” energy derivatives not only to be traded outside of regulated exchanges, but for private unregulated exchanges to deal in these sorts of financial products. Thus, massive “dark” oil speculation markets are born, including Enron’s platform for trading energy futures, and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — an online speculation exchange founded by BP, Shell, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other firms. Private e-mails reported by the New York Times reveal that members of The Energy Group, led by lobbyists at Enron but including at least two lobbyists from Koch and several more from Goldman Sachs and Sempra Trading, wrote Gramm’s amendment and pressured him to slip it into the bill.

Hate Obama for a cause; not because he's Black

sourpuss 2 years, 9 months ago

If the Koch brothers are so great for the state, why are only 3000 of their 67000 employees in Kansas? Seems like they are great for somewhere else, not here.

Mike Ford 2 years, 8 months ago

did I say that....when paranoid fascist control freaks are paraded in an area of educated people....they're usually not that well liked.....kind of like darth vader, darth cheney, herr kobach, and george steinbrenner.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.