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Archive for Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Column: Why do Koch contributions trigger such scorn?

April 5, 2014

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that changes the law on how much money an individual can give to political candidates. The decision maintains the previous $123,000 limit to a single candidate but allows an individual to give the same amount to any number of candidates.

This decision is sure to heat up the debate about the role of money in this country’s hyper-active political campaign efforts with Democratic and Republican political leaders trying to give their spin as to how the court’s decision will impact upcoming campaign and election efforts.

As might be expected, Democratic leaders immediately used the court’s decision to demonize Wichita’s Koch brothers, claiming the decision provided the highly successful Kochs an even greater opportunity to buy elections.

It is difficult to understand why the Koch brothers are the target of Democratic politicians and many in the media when, according to the OpenSecrets.org website, the Kochs are ranked 59th on the list of Heavy Hitters: Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2014.

The website does not include “politically active dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors.” The site also notes “certain organizations such as ActBlue and Club for Growth are included although they function for the most part as pass-through entities … individual donors give to them with the contributions earmarked for specific candidates.”

ActBlue is the largest donor during the 1989-2014 period, with 100 percent of its $100,887,828 going to Democratic efforts. The next largest donor is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ union, followed by the National Education Association union.

Again, the Kochs are listed as 59th among the largest political donors, with the country’s six largest union donors spending 15 times more than the Kochs during the period.

Do the Kochs draw the fire and criticism because of their conservative views or because they are big financial contributors? If it’s based on money, then there are many who top the Kochs in their financial giving. Why isn’t there the same intensity and the mean-spirited criticism of unions and individuals such as George Soros?

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently called the Kochs America’s most “un-American” citizens.

Earlier this week, Charles Koch outlined his beliefs in a Wall Street Journal article. Here are some of his thoughts:

“I’ve devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles — the principles of a free society — that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

“Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for these principles. …

“A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism … instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.”

The Kochs have been highly successful in their business activities. Their companies provide jobs for more than 60,000 individuals and have received a large number of awards from conservation and environmental organizations. They also have given millions and million of dollars to medical, educational and art programs. And yet, the senior Democrat in the U.S. Senate calls them “un-American.”

In the Wall Street Journal article, Koch said, “Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves.”

It is interesting, as well as disturbing, that some universities, Kansas University included, look upon the Kochs as poison ivy, something to be avoided, when, in fact, Koch funding could be of tremendous help to the university in so many ways.

By the way, on the list of “Heavy Hitters,” the University of California is ranked 92nd for its giving to Democratic political efforts, and Harvard University is ranked at 138th. These were the only universities listed.

But, again, do leaders, whether it’s chancellors, regents or professors, think Koch money is bad or wrong or comes from illegal actions? Or is it because the Kochs are conservative rather than liberal? Would money from Soros, Bloomberg or other liberals and unions be much more acceptable?

Unfortunately, close to 50 percent of Americans depend on some degree of federal support. And this percentage is growing. What does this say about the future of this country and its free enterprise system, the government’s role and control over American lives and the pledge of President Obama to bring about fundamental changes in America?

Is this why there is such criticism directed at the Kochs as they are out front in promoting and defending a “free society”?

Comments

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"It is difficult to understand why the Koch brothers are the target of Democratic politicians and many in the media when.... Kochs are ranked 59th on the list of Heavy Hitters" and then you go on to explain exactly why that ranking wasn't valid because it didn't list dark money, and how the other groups t like unions and ActBlue are actually pass-through entities that represent thousands and thousands of donors instead of just two. It doesn't seem that difficult to understand to me, but maybe I'm just better at math.

Ya think maybe that dark money might be some of the reason they're a target, Dolph? And could you clarify for me, since you mentioned him, where exactly does Soros rank on that list of heavy hitters?

Are you really curious about why people are upset about the outsized influence of a small number of really rich dudes on our political process? Did you really wonder why people might get angry when a small number of people are able to write laws that give them even more of an advantage in wealth accumulation to the disadvantage of everyone else? Or did you just want to spend your time drooling all over the Kochs' WSJ op ed?

Bob Forer 8 months, 3 weeks ago

James, once again you are spot on. And I need to thank you. Not only do you generally express my sentiments, but you do it better than I. Saves me time from pecking out my opinions on the keyboard when someone does it better.

Seth Peterson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

James is quite the eloquent individual - he is also much more patient than I when explaining things, I tend to get too angry and frustrated at the intentional ignorance of many who post.

MerriAnnie Smith 8 months, 2 weeks ago

That "59" number has been proven to be bogus. It's like saying you made $50,000 last year when in fact that's only what you made on your job. Add to that all the other income you and it might total one million.

The Koch boys gave openly, not laundered through their political groups, enough for the 59th spot.

But they gave far far far more than that. They laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through their political groups like Americans for Prosperity. Whoever put out that 59 number snowed a lot of people badly.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"Unfortunately, close to 50 percent of Americans depend on some degree of federal support." Irony, irony. You see, the Kochs also depend on some degree of federal support. Quite a bit more than what the poors get. Last I heard, it was $88 million worth of government handouts. That's a lot of food stamps or subsidized medical care. That doesn't even count all the sweet tax cut deals they got, such as the one they have in Kansas, where they pay NO state income tax at all, yet still get to enjoy all the services that we middle class citizens are providing for them.

So there you pretty much have it in a nutshell. The Kochs depend on suckling the taxpayer teat as part of their business model, yet pretend to be free market champions. They amass more wealth than they could possibly spend in a lifetime, yet persist in further entrenching their advantages. They're not the only ones who do this, and they're not the only source of corrupting influence in politics, but they are a powerful symbol of all that is wrong with the system right now, and they deserve every ounce of scorn that they've received for it.

Carolyn Simpson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

This editorial is right on the mark. The escalating personal hatred by "liberals/progressives" of anyone who disagrees with them is shameful. Now we are starting to see this hatred move from talking to hateful action such as forcing the President of Modzilla out of his job for his political views. That is UnAmerican.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Right. It's un-American for companies like Mozilla (note spelling) to pressure a CEO to resign when it is clear that his personal beliefs are at odds with the corporate image the company represents and consumers are indicating that they'll stop using the product if things do not change. Responding to markets = not the American way. Gotcha.

Belinda Willhite 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, James! I just about choked on my tea (yes, I drink tea) when I read about the "escalating personal attacks" on Conservatives. In the real world that I inhabit, the "escalating personal attacks" have been directed at this president and anyone who supports him. I have followed Fox (not) News website daily and have yet to find a positive news story on the Democrats, no matter how good it is for the country. Not one. They have managed to put a negative spin on any good news. So, did they really think we wouldn't stand up and fight back eventually? If they looked at history, they would see that we have and we will again. How the heck do they think we got Social Security, Medicare, 40 hour work week and so on. Add ObamaCare in there and it's obvious who cares for the American people now. Throwing a hissy fit and stomping their feet, won't change a thing. We are not that America, never will be because we do care about the general welfare of all citizens. Citizens=Humans.

Gary Anderson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes... we progressives are just showered with love from the right. How dare we start to stand up for our and others basic human equal rights! Bad, bad liberals!

Chris Golledge 8 months, 3 weeks ago

First, Dolph misleads the reader by confusing individual donors, the Koch brothers, with incorporated entities, like Koch Industries and AT&T Inc.

But then, AT&T donates about equally to both parties, and Koch Industries donates more than 90% to Republicans.

The answer to the question about the private individuals is that it is jealousy, jealousy over the fact that they have so much money that their best investment is buying influence to help them get more. Their individual contributions are a much more modest $3 million. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/topindivs.php?id=D000000186&Display=SC&ContribID=U0000003477

My own two cents: I can't find fault with an individual spending their own money on whatever they want. I have a problem with corporate spending on political influence. I think that leads to some form of plutocracy or corporatocracy.

Mark Rainey 8 months, 3 weeks ago

AFP have outspent both parties this cycle. The Koch money is being spent in city council and state house elections around the country. Good, or bad, they are changing our system. Since the middle 60's, we are seeing an esclation of private money in our sytem which weakens our individual vote. Advertising works.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

They're both figuratively and literally weakening our individual votes. They have access and influence to politicians at all levels, making our individual vote count less, and they're also backing groups that introduce voter ID laws - making fewer people able to cast their now-weakened votes in the first place.

Phil Minkin 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Reason for scorn could be that the Kochs spend vast sums of money to prevent any mitiagating of the disasterous effects of climate change. This is due to there holdings in gas, coal and oil, which are major contributors to the problem. Through their support of ALEC, state legislatures have passed stand your ground laws, promoted the privitization of prisons and schools and curtailed the right of women to make their own decisions about health issues. These are not altruistic benefactors, they have a vested self interest in every dollar the spend buying politcians eager to do their dirty work.

Mike George 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Is this a current example of progressive spelling and grammar?

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Is this a current example of a substantive criticism from someone on the right?

Kathleen Ammel 8 months, 3 weeks ago

You just scorned Carolyn above for misspelling Mozilla. Pot meet kettle.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

No. I noted the correct spelling but did not scorn her for it. My scorn was reserved for the substance of her post. She may not have even been aware that it was Mozilla not Modzilla, which is why I told her by saying "note spelling." That's about as gentle of a correction as you can get. They certainly sound the same when you sound them out loud, and my guess is that she only heard of the story through some talk show.

Bob Smith 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The dead hand of Saul Alinsky is still directing the leftists in America.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I suspect you don't even really know who that is, but I also suspect Charles Koch is more familiar with Rules for Radicals than most of the "leftists" in America. It seems to be an obsessive reference from the tea party crowd, (see example: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/alinsky.asp) but I never ever hear anyone actually mention anything from it on the left other than to roll their eyes at the suggestion that we're all having Saul Alinsky book club meetings.

But you know, it wouldn't be a terrible idea if we did start studying ourselves a little Alinsky. We'd probably be more effective. Thanks for the suggestion!

Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

you really drink the kool aid of misinformation and it shows.

William Weissbeck 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm disappointed. I know Dolph's views. They have evolved in the least. But can't he write his own stuff? I read most of this same editorial on the web over the last two days. Yes, unions may be in the top 10 or 20, but what are their totals compared to the other 40-50 GOP leaning PACs? And much of the union money goes to local candidates to run against self funded more affluent candidates. The bottom line still is - is there more GOP money or Democratic money? Seeing that the Kochs have money to burn this early on in states like Michigan and Arkansas running far less than truthful anti-ACA ads, it clearly appears that money is no object. I believe that Dolph, much like the Arkansas man in the Koch ad, is confused.

Arnie Bunkers 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Charles is for lower taxation and less Government intrusion in our lives. He gives accordingly. He sees increasing government handouts as a drain on productivity and motivation. Like someone said earlier , just do the math on that one.

I have no doubt that "dark money may be some of the reason they are a target". So we must KNOW that they are behind this evil "dark money". Interesting.

As far as tax breaks, Kochs are opposed to all tax breaks. But I'm not sure how rational that is for anyone do renounce a tax break given to them. $88 million worth of tax breaks..."Thats alot of food stamps..." Yes it is. Although I wasnt aware that the people have a decision to make: Tax breaks for Koch Industries or food stamps? Or I guess Tax breaks for ADM or food stamps? and on and on. The Kochs, as one of the largest employers in the state recieve some breaks for just being here. They do virtually no business in Kansas except for having thousands of employees mostly at thier headquarters in Wichita. There is no strategic business decision for them to remain there. They could do what Pizza Hut and others have done, and simply move the company to Texas, and take thousands of taxpaying families with them. Brilliant idea. Like I said, Kochs give to repubublican causes because those are most alligned with thier economic beliefs. They are however, Libertarians, not Republicans. Interesting they are labled as "conservative". I'll bet most conservatives are not Pro Choice, Pro de criminalization of Marijuana, Pro Gay Rights like the Kochs are. They are actually very socially liberal.

The whole debate, outside of simple class envy, is whether we as a country would be better off with less taxes and less government intrusion in our lives.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Charles? You on a first name basis now? How nice. He's for lower taxation on the Kochs, but he isn't for lower taxation on everyone else. When he stopped having to pay Kansas state income tax, it shifted the burden regressively onto the middle and lower classes.

Yes, we do know they use dark money, and quite a lot of it. Sometimes not even legally. Did you want to position yourself as willfully ignorant, or would you like to do some reading? http://www.propublica.org/article/the-dark-money-man-how-sean-noble-moved-the-kochs-cash-into-politics-and-ma http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/koch-backed-political-network-built-to-shield-donors-raised-400-million-in-2012-elections/2014/01/05/9e7cfd9a-719b-11e3-9389-09ef9944065e_story.html They're by far not the only billionaires funding dark money political influence networks, but there's really no point in pretending it doesn't happen.

The Kochs both gobbled up subsidies and got themselves permanent tax breaks (such as the change in KS law). They whined about some forms of subsidies (like ethanol) even as they still gladly took them. Georgia Pacific still gladly takes advantage of federal tax breaks and subsidies for forestry, and Matador Cattle even uses a New Deal program to graze on federal lands for free. Koch Industries has gotten tons and tons of lucrative government contracts for the strategic oil reserves, and if the Keystone Pipeline goes through, they'll get a special $50 million tax break from the deal. Haven't heard a peep of objection from "Charles" on those. Have you? Even if you eliminated all their corporate welfare, they still have shaped the laws to give themselves an outsized advantage.

Is it really a choice between supporting the Kochs with corporate welfare and supporting programs that help actual poor people? Not in theory, but the Kochs have certainly prioritized their spending to reflect which of the two they'd prefer to eliminate first. For all the "pro choice, pro gay rights" etc views they profess to have, they don't put their money where their mouth is at nearly the same level. Talk is cheap, especially when they've got money to do some very, very loud talking. They're happy to donate to some very anti-gay, pro-forced-birth candidates so long as those candidates profess to favor libertarian economic policies.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ah yes, and then there's the whole "class envy" accusation. The truth is that I don't really want to be a billionaire. No, really. I'm good with a basic standard of living, good schools, potential upward mobility if I choose it, and the confidence that if I were to fall upon hard times I wouldn't suddenly be destitute. I do want to have an voice in how my country is run, however, and I don't want national policy to be decided solely by a handful of wealthy heirs. I don't envy their class. I resent their influence. They can have nice things. They can't have the government. It belongs to the people.

Seth Peterson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"He sees increasing government handouts as a drain on productivity"

If this were true he wouldn't be accepting millions of dollars a year on behalf of his companies. He believes government handouts are amazing, he just wants his company to be the only one getting them.

Sarah Busse 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Concern that lawmakers grant preferential treatment to individuals because they have contributed to political campaigns has long occupied jurists, scholars, and the public. However, the effects of campaign contributions on legislators’ behavior have proven notoriously difficult to assess. We report the first randomized field experiment on the topic. In the experiment, a political organization attempted to schedule meetings between 191 Members of Congress and their constituents who had contributed to political campaigns. However, the organization randomly assigned whether it informed legislators’ offices that individuals who would attend the meetings were contributors.

Congressional offices made considerably more senior officials available for meetings when offices were informed the attendees were donors, with senior officials attending such meetings more than three times as often (p < 0.01).

Influential policymakers thus appear to make themselves much more accessible to individuals because they have contributed to campaigns, even in the absence of quid pro quo arrangements. These findings have significant implications for ongoing legal and legislative debates. The hypothesis that individuals can command greater attention from influential policymakers by contributing to campaigns has been among the most contested explanations for how financial resources translate into political power. The simple but revealing experiment presented here elevates this hypothesis from extensively contested to scientifically supported."

http://freakonomics.com/2014/04/04/some-evidence-on-whether-money-buys-political-influence/?sc=1#comments

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Perhaps it is because the Koch Regime donates 90% to the radical right wing tea bag Republicans.

Perhaps is because there are still enough people living who can remember what happened in Europe in the 1930's when a beloved leader brought down the Weimar Republic and replaced it with an extreme right wing dictatorship.

Perhaps it is just because people don't like rich people with extreme prejudiced opinions who try to buy politicians. Who knows??

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months, 3 weeks ago

And maybe it is because, like the Westboro Baptist Church, they are located in bleeding Kansas.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Koch/Walton’s/ALEC One Party Agenda at this point represents several state legislatures. Koch and associates are donating to campaigns throughout the USA.

The Washington D.C. GOP delegation also receives their "agenda" and talking points by way of Koch/Walton’s/ALEC One Party Agenda. Koch/Walton’s/ALEC One Party Agenda has a new partner named Aegis Strategic

The firm, named Aegis Strategic, is run by a former top executive at Charles and David Koch's flagship advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity.

Aegis says it can manage every aspect of a campaign, including advertising, direct mail, social media, and fundraising.

The consulting firm Aegis Strategic plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Koch/Walton’s/ALEC One Party Agenda politics.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic

Richard Heckler 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Waltons' and Wal-Mart's Charitable Giving Acts as Façade for Conservative Political Agenda & Personal Financial Gain

NCRP report profiles Walton family and Wal-Mart corporate philanthropy that furthers personal and corporate bottom lines

http://www.ncrp.org/news-room/press-releases/422-waltons-and-wal-marts-charitable-giving-acts-as-facade-for-conservative-political-agenda-a-personal-financial-gain

http://walmart1percent.org/issues/distorting-our-democracy/

Richard Heckler 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Meet the John Birch Society long time donors. http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/10/242334/john-birch-society-celebrates-koch/

Koch/Waltons/Alec/ Aegis Strategic/Third Way/Tea Party are working against
blue and white collar workers of America, small business and democracy.

The USA does not need Koch/Waltons/Alec/ Aegis Strategic/Third Way and their politicians who want to takeover local,state and federal government = one party facist system.

Their targets are:

Owning public Education

Owning Medicare Insurance

Owning Medicaid Insurance

Owning Social Security Insurance

Killing the USA wage scale union or not

Owning the New World Order Global Economy

All financed with OUR TAX DOLLARS = no risk and profits guaranteed

http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures#Voter

BEWARE http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic

William Weissbeck 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Since the Walton were mentioned, and not the ones on Walton Mountain, is it right for them to have skewered candidates who opposed repeal of the Probate/Estate tax? They were the ones who first used Frank Luntz to come up with the phrases Death Tax, for which GWB made such a cause celeb. Repeal of the estate tax directly benefitted them being the super wealthy. It's one thing to engage in public debate. It's quite another to engage in political character assassination to benefit yourself monetarily. That's what we hate about the very rich.

Bob Forer 8 months, 3 weeks ago

In think you need to rethink your last sentence. As for me, i don't hate the rich. I do, however, despise the beliefs, tactics, and character of specific persons of wealth. There is no comparison, for example, between the Koch boys, on one hand, and Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, George Soros, etc, on the other hand. The latter are certainly not sociopathic.

By using the word "hate" and by characterizing all people of wealth as the same, you are playing into the absurd "class warefare" nonsense that Faux News enjoys repeating.

William Weissbeck 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Please note "hate about." It's what some of them do to promote their own self interest that is hated.

Bob Forer 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry. My post directly above doesn't make any contextual sense as i was responding to a post that was subsequently removed by the LJW censors. Under past LJW practices, when a comment was censored a notation was placed stating that the comment had been removed because of violation of editorial policy. Recently, that protocol was modified, and now, all evidence of the censored comment is wiped out, including the basic fact that editorial pregorqative through censorhsip had been impleemented.

The problem with this new practice is that comments made in response to the censored comment before the comment is censored no longer have any context, and appear irrelevant and terribly out of place.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Seems the JW doesn't want anyone to even know that someone posted something that JW didn't agree with, much less what it was.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It's a little unusually heavy-handed today. It doesn't lend any credibility to an editorial if the writer can't withstand criticism of his ideas.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It seems that the latest management people Dolph has will not allow anyone in any way to disagree with Dolph's extremely biased views.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It had gotten better for a while. It's too bad that didn't last.

Bob Forer 8 months, 3 weeks ago

In some fascist countries, political prisoners "accidentally" lose their life falling down five flights of stairs. In regimes which are even more repressive, the prisoner simply disappears off the face of the earth without a trace.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I have no idea why your comment about Saul Alinsky was removed. It was respectful, factual, informative, and didn't engage in any personal attacks.

Bob Forer 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for calling my attention to the cenorship. I hadn't noticed. The substance of my argument was that Alinksky's tactics have been knowingly borrowed by the contemoprary religious right to advance their agenda. I failed to see how those comments were violative of the LJW's editorial guidelines.

In my humble opinion, it appears that the LJW has recently unleased a bunch of junior high school students, and with no guidance, have given them carte blanche to censor at will.

Bob Smith 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It appears that certain posters are above reproach.

Bob Smith 8 months, 3 weeks ago

What is it about mentioning the "two minute hate" from 1984 that violates the terms of service?

Grégoire Guillaume 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Who needs the "commons" when you have your own security detail, private jet and so on. It simply comes down to greed pure and simple. Privatize the profits and socialize the collateral damages that their companies wreak upon us!

Bob Smith 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The thousands of people who work for the various companies owned by the Koch brothers might not agree with your judgement, greg.

William Weissbeck 8 months, 3 weeks ago

They might not have a real choice. It's not like the vast majority of us can walk of our jobs. Wal-Mart people are happy too, but it must be something in the lunch room. Respond to this point that Greg does make. Have you traveled to other parts of the world? Places I've been, the well off live behind high walls with gates. Why is that?

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

That is a good point. It's rumored that the remaining employees at Koch subsidiaries are very well informed on how they should think. http://www.thenation.com/article/160062/big-brothers-thought-control-koch

Arnie Bunkers 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Who cares. Unless they are sitting there looking over your shoulder, they have no clue how anyone votes. Every major corporation does this, they "inform" thier employees to vote for candidates that ultimately benefit thier corporation and thus the livelyhood of the employees.

James Howlette 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I've worked for quite a few major corporations that never told me how to vote, let alone went to such efforts to give me propaganda. In fact, such things would have been completely illegal pre-Citizens United, and it's still pretty unusually aggressive to this day.

Note that their propaganda doesn't seem to list all the pro gay marriage, pro choice, pro marijuana stances that you mentioned earlier. When given a choice between principles and profits, they go for the option that lines their pockets.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Simple fact is the Kochs have earned every bit of scorn that is being heaped on them.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The scorn towards the Kochs is that they have made all their money, after their huge inheritance working within the very system they want to change. And most of the changes they support will make it more difficult for others to simply make a nice living. They want to destroy public education which has lifted many people out of poverty. They want to eliminate minimum wage, which could be done in an ideal world, but which will allow a return to working slaves. They are anti union which has helped workers from being abused by business. I think of all the good things they could be doing with their money, and it makes me sad. Why not make grants to small businesses, so people can become entrepreneurs. Do all of their employees have the best insurance money can buy? What about hiring more people so your people don't have to work overtime. Do their companies have child care on site that is free to their employees?

Kathy Saving 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I think the Kansas legislature bought and paid for by the Koch brothers might be the answer to your question, Dolph. By threatening the moderate Republicans with primary opponents, they "convinced" them to vote for the education funding bill that stripped tenure and due process from teachers. Since the goal of the Kochs and ALEC is to destroy public education, they succeeded quite well. When the lawsuits pile up as they will, we will again be paying for the influence of the Kochs. Stop defending them as they destroy Kansas and every other state that they pour their money into.

Bob Smith 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The role of ALEC in the Permian Extinction has never been fully investigated.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

That line gets funnier and funnier the more often you repeat it. Though not for the reason you think.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What's up with the weird inverse chronological order of comments instead of the threading?

Thomas Bryce 8 months, 2 weeks ago

James, all of the Replies to original posts are gone too. I called LJW desk. They are looking into it. They said they had no planned change in Programming or Format.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What it amounts to is they are totally clueless as to what is happening. No competent IT department doesn't know when they make changes. But then we are talking about Journal World, not a competent IT staffed organization

Julius Nolan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

No competent IT department doesn't know when changes are made. Understand that we are referring to a normal, well trained staff, not what is on Journal World staff. But then this is what we've come to expect since Dolph sold out Sunflower Broadband for his retirement money. Bet Dolph Senior is spinning at supersonic speed is his grave. Maybe at same time, Dolph should have spent some money on upgrading hardware, software and high speed connections. If this was the IT department I run, there would be some unemployed people immediately.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Bet my previous comment of 13minutes ago won' t last 13 more minutes.

Thomas Bryce 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Julius, you are not being censored as far as I can tell. All Replies and any conversation there in are gone from all of the articles online. The Chronological order is now newest First. Not sure what Happened. Only Original first posts remain. No ability to reply to Posts. You can only enter a new post to communicate. Hope this is not permanent.

James Howlette 8 months, 2 weeks ago

And in mostly unrelated news, Bob pops into the discussion late because he's found a link to some obscure blog post. Yawn. Less than a million dollars. That's so 1985.

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