Archive for Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Charles Koch plans $200,000 media ad campaign in Wichita

July 10, 2013


— Wealthy businessman Charles Koch has launched a $200,000 ad campaign in Wichita focused on political and economic issues.

The chairman of Wichita-based Koch Industries told The Wichita Eagle that the four-week media campaign that began Wednesday will laud economic freedom and warn about government overreach. It is funded by his Charles Koch Foundation.

If people like it, he might take the campaign to other cities, Koch said.

The campaign promotes the idea that countries with economic freedom have the most wealth. Koch told the Eagle that he believes his ideas will help disadvantaged people, saying government regulations, including the minimum wage, tend to hold everyone back.

“What we’re saying is, we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency,” Koch told the newspaper in a phone interview.

He acknowledged the move will likely draw fire from people who criticized his campaign spending last year.

“The people who are more interested in power and their own interest rather than the general interest are threatened by these ideas,” Koch said.

Chapman Rackaway, a former GOP consultant political consultant and a political science professor at Fort Hays State University, says the campaign signals a new strategy.

“For a long time now, the Koch brothers preferred to act very quietly, and you had to be really in the game to know who they were funding, who they were allied with, what their motivations were,” Rackaway said. “... But the thing about politics is, it forces people into the public eye. In their case, they were turned into a kind of shadowy bogey man.”

Larry Jacobs, a politics professor at the University of Minnesota, said many of Koch’s ideas about government regulations are contentious and probably won’t go anywhere.

“But I understand his frustration,” Jacobs said. “It’s really quite striking, you get a sense of a guy who feels mystified as to why he’s become demonized to some extent, as someone selfish, out for himself. There is a kind of caricature of the Koch brothers — obviously the Democrats and liberals do a lot of fundraising based on demonizing him.”

In an unrelated matter, Koch also said his company might bid on buying the Tribune Co. newspapers, which includes the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.”

“It’s not on the front burner, but it’s possible,” Koch said.


jafs 9 months, 1 week ago

I recommend checking out the study mentioned above. There are actually seven separate studies, conducted nationally and locally by U Cal Berkeley.

They show consistent results that in a variety of ways, higher income folks are more likely to lie, cheat, steal, withhold important information, cut people off on the road, etc.

Also, attitudes about greed are a strong predictor of such things, in other words, people who believe that "greed is good" are much more likely to engage in unethical behavior. When primed to consider greed as positive, even lower income folks become more likely to do that as well.

It sort of explains how and why the divide between rich and poor has widened so much - as people get more money, they're likely to engage in unethical behavior that increases their wealth, and so on.

In one particularly troubling scenario, people are engaged in role playing where they play the part of an employer with a candidate seeking long term employment - they know that the position will soon be eliminated, and can reveal that information if they choose. Many higher income folks withheld the information.

That sort of thing undermines the "win-win" possibilities of capitalism, and turns it into a "dog eat dog" system wherein everybody's just out for their own interests. Is it any wonder that employees don't feel any sort of loyalty to employers anymore?


Liberal 9 months, 1 week ago

The Koch brothers inherited the business from their father, Fred C. Koch, and have since expanded the business to 2,600 times its inherited size.

Originally involved exclusively in oil refining and chemicals, Koch Industries has expanded to include process and pollution control equipment and technologies[citation needed]; polymers and fibers; minerals; fertilizers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching. The businesses produce a wide variety of well-known brands, such as Stainmaster carpet, Lycra fiber, Quilted Northern tissue and Dixie Cup.


Richard Heckler 9 months, 1 week ago

What if the Koch positions are not based on fact? What if their propaganda are simply lies?

Simply political rhetoric for Sam Brownback? Is the local media going to challenge the propaganda ?

What if that which is being published is simply a group of assumptions coming out of ALEC?


Robert Burnham 9 months, 1 week ago

For all you liberal idiots who want to disparage this man, maybe you should look at billionaire George Soros and Mayor Bloomberg in the same eye....both these jokers have used their wealth to influence elections and politics all over America. you see, you dummies can't think for yourselves, to look at events and issues with a fair mind. Instead you gang up and try and bully the uninformed readers on this and other issues. so my message to the readers of these articles is keep an open mind, do your due diligence and find out the true facts. Then vote for those politicians who MOST represent your opinions and beliefs.



verity 9 months, 1 week ago

McDonalds now has a budgeting tool on their website so their employees can figure out how to live on their salary.

Of course, you have to have a second job, not eat and not heat your home.

Does McDonalds pay all except $20 of their employees health insurance----because that is all that is budgeted. Maybe they're counting on ACA?

Apparently budgeting can fix all our problems---surprised the Kochs didn't get the message and put that in their ad.


verity 9 months, 1 week ago

I just saw the ad. Have no idea what the point is. Confusing gobbledy ( LJW won't let me say the rest of that word?). Only thing I picked up was that if you're making $32,000 you're part of the 1% in the world or was it 2%? Wow, makes me feel so much better than I'm better off than other really wretched starving dying people who are lucky if they can find a job in a sweatshop that may fall down on them.

I think they must be getting desperate if they're resorting to this. They've won in Kansas, why do they feel the need to do this? Are they afraid of something? Why didn't they buy a decent ad agency who could make something coherent?


Kate Rogge 9 months, 1 week ago

Libertarian populism is bunk, and the Kochs are trying to sell it anyway:

and this comment from that thread by reader Montreal Moe -- WestPark, Quebec

"I don't understand why the myth of what constitutes the wealth of nations isn't refuted by what has happened here in Quebec in the last 50 years. Quebec's quiet revolution saw the flight of of head offices of most Canadian head offices from Montreal to the lower tax havens of Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary. Along with the corporations the stock exchange and the upper echelons of Canadian Moneyed elite as their top corporate functionaries left for more business friendly climes..

Quebec went from the lowest taxed and least regulated corporate environments to one of the highest with the devastating result of having a better educated, healthier, wealthier and better informed population than it did when it was a socially conservative and business libertarian society. It is America's diversity and natural resources that have made it the wealthiest country on the planet. It is having mothers that were literate and empowered and past on that legacy that was the real wealth.

The political and economic policies of Paul Ryan led the way to the Irish Potato Famine, the Great Depression and untold human anguish and hardship. Unfettered capitalism is what Dickens, Steinbeck and Swift wrote about. What made America the greatest nation on Earth was a belief that when everyone does better the nation does better.

Populism is what we in Quebec call democracy and democracy is not a synonym for freedom and much of the time it puts the shackles on libertarianism.

Bravo Professor Krugman"

July 11, 2013 at 10:45 p.m. Recommended by 579 readers


blindrabbit 9 months, 1 week ago

And the Koch's were originally from the Netherlands!, and they want the rest of to go "dutch", while they rest on daddy's questionable past!


Patricia Davis 9 months, 1 week ago

As someone just posted on Huffington Post:

Note the Koch lie.. the most regulated socialist countries are those that have the higher GDP per capita and wages. the most unregulated are at the bottom.

1) Denmark - 48.3% - with a GDP per capita of $62,100 (#8 in the world)

2) Sweden - 47.1% - with a GDP per capita of $51,950 (#14 in the world)

3) Belgium - 44.3% - with a GDP per capita of $47,090 (#19 in the world)

4) Austria - 42.9% - with a GDP per capita of $49,600 (#17 in the world)

5) Finland - 42.8% - with a GDP per capita of $51,320, (#15 in the world)

6) Norway - 42.1% - with a GDP per capita of $94,760 (#2 in the world)

7) Luxembourg - 38.3% - with a GDP per capita of $109,900 (#1 in the world)

8) The Netherland­­­­­s - 37.5% - with a GDP per capita of $52,960 (#11 in the world)

9) Australia - 30.8% - with a GDP per capita of $47,330 (#18 in the world)

10) Switzerland - 29.4% - with a GDP per capita of $64,330 (#6 in the world) .

31) United States - 27.1% - with a GDP per capita of $46,350 (#20 in the world) and we are 15th in wages(much lower in RED states), a drop since Reagan from number one.

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit 2011 World Book In Figures


yourworstnightmare 9 months, 1 week ago

"Earn your money the hard way: BY WORKING FOR IT."

Agreed. This is why in the past, inheritance taxes were extremely high (~80-90%), to prevent a monied hereditary oligarchy. The Kochs seem to be just such a monied hereditary oligarchy, paritally because inheritance taxes have been slashed in the last 50 years.

The Kochs did not work for their money. They have certainly worked to keep it and expand it, but inheriting millions of dollars it not exactly boostrapping your way to the top


SouthernMan 9 months, 1 week ago

More power to Mr. Koch. Earn your money the hard way: BY WORKING FOR IT. And spend it however you choose. I know that's not the mentality in the Socialist Republic of Douglas County, where income distribution is the predominant mentality.


ChuckFInster 9 months, 1 week ago

And because Obamacare is going to work so well it has been postponed a year !


fiddleback 9 months, 1 week ago

A new article in the NYTimes offers a preview of the ad:

100% pure misleading demagoguery.


jwljpm 9 months, 1 week ago

Remindful of the Batman movie wherein thieves and crooks are exploiting an already strangled and corrupt Gotham to jack ever more illicit profits from the system. I mean, how much is enough, Kochies? You're already kazillionaires. Why are you using your resources to destroy both our state and nation? Granted, you're doing a great job of it, but is easily attained power that absolutely addictive?.


ThePilgrim 9 months, 1 week ago

"A PR campaign in Wichita? Isn't that like sleeping with the choir?" Not really. He is really aiming it at union workers in Wichita.

But I don't see the impact - everyone either works at Koch, has worked at Koch, or knows someone who works at Koch (Ok, maybe not the poor folks). Koch Industries favors hiring and keeping employees that will be, or act like they are, true believers in his Market Based Management. If you managed to get through their screening and get hired, any whiff that you aren't a true believer and "out the door with you". No justification needed.


Trumbull 9 months, 1 week ago

Once you make your buck, its easy to call things government overreach. Things that actually aid your economic freedom. Things like infrastructure, law and order, highways and roads, railroads, an educated workforce, public universities and research centers, NASA, the military, etc.

Almost like they'd have you believe that they were born in the woods and through shear survival technique and freedom became very rich.


Scut Farkus 9 months, 1 week ago

The Koch brothers epitomize all that is wrong with unrestricted capitalism. Concentrated wealth and no protection for the masses.


blindrabbit 9 months, 1 week ago

jayhawklawrence: Maybe you are correct about the Koch's headed in the wrong direction. Heard this morning that 200+ conservative Christian leaders here in the US have petitioned Congress to take the Climate Change story seriously. This is a group that in the past was willing to take the Jim Mountain Inhofe (Okie Senator) " ostrich with head in the sand" approach to this subject. Seems like this group has found biblical passages that find that God did not intend for "man" to screw up his creation. In the past, conservatives took the approach that the earth was created (by whatever means) to be exploited by man as he saw fit. Maybe some sanity at last!


akuna 9 months, 1 week ago

I wish I could buy a 2 second commercial to air right after their commercials. All it would be is a black screen with NOT in white type, cause surely everyone will want the punchline to their joke.


jayhawklawrence 9 months, 1 week ago

"As a result, in the public’s evaluations of divisions within American society, conflicts between rich and poor now rank ahead of three other potential sources of group tension—between immigrants and the native born; between blacks and whites; and between young and old. Back in 2009, more survey respondents said there were strong conflicts between immigrants and the native born than said the same about the rich and the poor."

The trends show that Koch and his crowd are in trouble with the American people. Their ideas are not selling. Just the opposite.


blindrabbit 9 months, 1 week ago

As an avid watcher of nature programming on KCPT, I am wretched every time I see the sponsor credits roll and see David Koch's name and foundation listed. This is his advantage of "giving" something back to the populace, all the while doing and profiteering from Koch Brothers Industries and disregarding the environment.


patkindle 9 months, 1 week ago

I am sure most of the whiners would feel differently if they were born into wealth,,, but they were not, so there you go ,,,koch spending 200k is like most of us blowing 20 bucks, so dry up and quit crying for gosh sake, grow up


viva_la_revolucion 9 months, 1 week ago

"The campaign promotes the idea that countries with economic freedom have the most wealth. Koch told the Eagle that he believes his ideas will help disadvantaged people, saying government regulations, including the minimum wage, tend to hold everyone back."

Does Mr. Kock realize that most of the richest countries are socialist gasp and wait for for it, have more government regulations and a higher national wage?


blindrabbit 9 months, 1 week ago

Rummy and Koch-a-Kola! Yea, and some of that "inherited wealth" was "obtained" by Papa Koch from stealing oil revenues and mineral rights from Native Americans in Oklahoma. Of the 4 sons, Charles and David are the most dangerous, Frederick is a legitimate art collector and Billy sails boats and other relatively harmless adventures.


Budgets_Smudgets 9 months, 1 week ago

Koch Industries has a history of shipping American jobs overseas, and sheltering income through overseas tax havens, saving themselves billions of dollars.


dinglesmith 9 months, 1 week ago

The Kochs are the children of inherited wealth. They have created a little fantasy world just like Michael Jackson's Neverland where they can live without ever dealing with reality. They don't pay rent or a mortgage, they don't have jobs - particularly jobs they can be fired from, and no one around them will ever disagree with then even for the sake of vigorous discussion. Nothing wrong with Neverland, nothing wrong with the Koch's version. I just don't think they should be in charge.

There's nothing wrong with having tons of money, but it should be earned. The Kochs, Kennedys, and other American Royal Families have created little subcultures where privilege is inherited rather than earned. The Kennedy's original money came from bootlegging. The Koch's money came from building oil fields for Stalin in the old Soviet Union. Their wealth was generated in an anti-competitive, brutally regulated environment and enriched the regime of one of history's most horrific dictators. I prefer bootlegging. To be fair, watching Stalin is what pushed them towards Ayn Rand's philosophies. But comparing themselves to Rand's heroes is not much less disingenuous than comparing themselves to Robin Hood.


jayhawklawrence 9 months, 1 week ago

A lot of interesting comments here. I agree about much of the problem with Libertarianism. There are also problems with the current state of our politics. There is a lack of balance in the way government is dealing with a lot of issues. Ignorance is what drives people toward fundamentalism and Koch is promoting a form of right wing fundamentalism that, typically, profits the leaders and rewards their ability to brainwash a lot of naive people.

Regarding propaganda:

I believe that Congress relaxed restrictions concerning the government and military distributing propaganda in the US. This was done quietly unless I am mistaken. There are grave concerns with allowing the US government to create propaganda targeting its own people.

While the Republican Party campaigns against overreach by the governmen, they are just as involved in this as the Democrats. Might this be more an indication that the power of average Americans and by far the majority is giving way to the power of money which is concentrated in a select few.

In this way, Democracy and our American ideals are not being made stronger by our current politicians on either side of the aisle as they fight over more money and more tax cuts.

"On 12/29/12, President Obama signed HR 4310, the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1078 (thomas.loc. gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.4310:) of the bill authorizes the use of propaganda inside the US, which had previously been banned since 1948 when the Smith-Mundt Act was passed."

Don't mean to sound like an alarmist but maybe we need to be more concerned about a lot of things and since we are not getting invited to the expensive dinners or to the secret and illegal Brownback meetings, perhaps everyone should be concerned.


tomatogrower 9 months, 1 week ago

“But I understand his frustration,” Jacobs said. “It’s really quite striking, you get a sense of a guy who feels mystified as to why he’s become demonized to some extent, as someone selfish, out for himself. There is a kind of caricature of the Koch brothers — obviously the Democrats and liberals do a lot of fundraising based on demonizing him.”

Really? I was involved in the Libertarian movement for awhile. It's a utopia that would end up as a society of a few haves and a bunch of have nots. Even this believer has already been fined several times for violating pollution laws. He would love to get rid of those horrible government regulations, but of course he has enough money to live in the places he hasn't polluted. Libertarians believe in a world that celebrates greed. They think that all people would rise to that goal of greed and everyone would be successful. They think that businesses will pop up to help the disabled and that somehow those disabled will afford to pay these companies. They think that education should be made private and that somehow working poor will find the money to pay for it, and if they don't - well we need someone to dig ditches and to be our slaves. They believe that everyone will compete on equal ground, but the Koch's are just like many rich people. If they have 5 million, they want 10, if they have 10 they want 20. It's never enough. Libertarians think that trickle down will happen, but if trickle down works, why don't the Koch's give their workers more money, instead of buying politicians?

The Koch's consider themselves the poor, put upon "productive" citizens that Ayn Rand considered heroes in her philosophy. But these "productive" citizens would be nowhere without their workers. Are they going into the factories and making toilet paper? Are they going to do what they can to destroy their competition, including underhanded practices? Libertarians think this is ok, but it is not capitalism. In the Kochs utopia there would be a bunch of rich, royal robber barons who get most of their money through inheritance who treat their poor working class like dirt and suppress competition, except when they donate a library or open a poor house to get good publicity. Libertarianism is the ultimate in the me, me, me culture.


Pastor_Bedtime 9 months, 1 week ago

Government overreach? Koch must have selective memory, considering the nanny-state agenda his minions at the state house have promoted the past couple of years.


boiled 9 months, 1 week ago

The left's sugar daddy George Soros gives much more to left wing causes----much more.


boiled 9 months, 1 week ago

Good news! Maybe they should consider funding right wing groups more and more generously......maybe more on the level at which George Soros, the left's Sugar Daddy, funds left-wing organizations.


cowboy 9 months, 1 week ago

“The people who are more interested in power and their own interest rather than the general interest are threatened by these ideas,” Koch said.

Sigmund Freud would have marveled at this statement.


Bob Reinsch 9 months, 1 week ago

Child labor laws are a nuisance. If workers can't stay healthy, we'll replace them with someone else - that's opportunity!. Formaldehyde is perfectly safe for use in FEMA trailers... and despite the evidence, there's no real proof that it's toxic and causes cancer. Living in poverty with no opportunity for a decent education is freedom. You too can be just like the Koch brothers - just inherit a few billion dollars from dad, and buy yourself a few congressmen.


kansas_cynic 9 months, 1 week ago

So the the Koch's are a hosting a comedy show in Wichita?


question4u 9 months, 1 week ago

Who, in principle, believes that control of the media for political ends is consistent with American values? What difference does it make whether that control comes from the government or corporate interests? Who believes that influence by wealth is consistent with the American idea of democracy?

The Kochs are welcome to argue that Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower were dead wrong about unions and the minimum wage. Freedom of speech guarantees that anyone should be able to express whatever opinion he or she likes.

Ideas expressed in a free exchange made America great. That process is the backbone of democracy. American democracy was meant to arrive at the best society for everyone. That can only come about through compromise, because American ideals recognize that everyone is not the same. The idea that democracy means that whatever political party is in control can exercise tyranny over everyone else is new. It has clearly caught on in Kansas, but it is not what America was built on.

Is spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars to ram your opinions down peoples' throats in Wichita consistent with the ideal of democracy? Is buying newspapers so that you can select what people read consistent with American ideals? What difference does it make what your position is? Isn't a free press that presents all sides of issues more consistent with democracy and American ideals that a press that is deliberately slanted? Shouldn't truth be the aim?

If an idea is convincing why would anyone have to resort to a $200,000 ad campaign in one city alone just to get people to buy it?


fiddleback 9 months, 1 week ago

Yes, why would they start an ad campaign in a town already so inured to their machinations that it practically amounts to a mass lobotomy?

But I guess it never hurts to further pacify the already-subjugated. Maybe Walmart should start forcing its employees watch an inspiring documentary about Sam Walton, and Tyson Foods should show a video loop to its chickens, pigs, and cows exploring the wonderful worlds of electrical stunning and captive bolt pistols...


Stuart Sweeney 9 months, 1 week ago

What a laugh when Mr. Koch says--The people who are more interested in power and their own interest rather than the general interest are threatened by these ideas,” . He has more wealth and power than most ever dream of but still wants more. He forces wages down and straps his accumulated riches on the backs of those he pays so much less than they should be. The way to grow the economy is to spread the wealth so other can support our comsumption based economy!


chootspa 9 months, 1 week ago

"The campaign promotes the idea that countries with economic freedom have the most wealth." What it doesn't include is the pesky detail of how all that wealth is concentrated at the top.


Kate Rogge 9 months, 1 week ago

A PR campaign in Wichita? Isn't that like sleeping with the choir?


Commenting has been disabled for this item.