The Kochs Visit Colorado


The Koch Brothers, owners of Koch Industries, have made a name for themselves over the years supporting libertarian and conservative causes. For being some of the few of such wealth to actively oppose the progressive agenda, they have earned themselves a level of venom pretty much unprecedented for private citizens.

Recently, as outlined over at Powerline, “filmmaker” Robert Greenwald has been producing a series of agitprop shorts designed to get out the left’s talking points about the vast conspiracy to undermine America as we know it, that the Kochs supposedly fund.

Today through Thursday, the Koch brothers will be holding a series of private meetings in Vail. Colorado’s Local Looney Left has decided to use it as a rallying point and fundraising tool (not necessarily in that order), and so has sent out an email soliciting for both. Naturally, it too, repeats most of the tropes that have been levelled at the Kochs:

Two of the biggest right-wing money men in America have organized a secret conference of top conservative donors, pundits, and elected officials this weekend near Vail. In January, more than 1,500 people protested a similar event held in Palm Springs, California–just before the Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, launched their war on teachers and public employees in Wisconsin.

The Kochs’ association with Governor Scott Walker and his budget reforms exists almost entirely in the fevered minds of the Left. The Kochs’ contribution to Walker’s campaign comes to less that 0.1% of the total money raised.

The Koch brothers have provided millions of dollars to fund recent attempts to privatize Medicare and Social Security.

Privatize Medicare? Hardly. Maybe having established that the Kochs own Wisconsin, and the fact that Paul Ryan comes from Wisconsin…? Oh, hell, who knows. Ryan’s proposal doesn’t come close to turning Medicare in to a service voucher system, anyway. It would make most of Medicare look like Medicare Part B already does, but I don’t think anyone’s counting that as “private.”

As for Social Security, while a proposal for personal accounts would be most welcome, I don’t know of any serious legislation on the table to that effect, and there’s reason to doubt that the excellect idea of individual government accounts, no matter how personalized, are actually “private.” In the meantime, raising the retirement age and means-testing benefits are eminently bi-partisan ideas, and even the AARP has seen the handwriting on the wall on this one.

In the aftermath of the Citizens United decision, unprecedented amounts of corporate money is expected to be funneled into the political process next year.

The Kochs’ personal fortunes run into the billions. Koch Industries is privately held, but even if they were inclined to spent other investors’ money on politics, there’s no reason to think they need to. They’ve been doing so long before the Citizens United ruling, and the only way to stop them from doing so now would be to severely limit individual political speech – not that Democrats or the Left are above that.

Citizens United is mostly a boon to small- and medium-sized businessmen, who pay themselves last, but who find their ability to do business hamstrung by regulators and legislators. If lobbying is a legitimate business expense for them, why not political advertising? Especially as corporate money tends to split far more evenly than the union dues spent almost exclusively to support Democrats.

The irony of an astro-turfed group, seeded almost entirely by the money of four Colorado “progressive” billionaires complaining about the secretive influence of money in politics would be comical if anyone in the MSM actually bothered to call them on it from time to time.

While Vail seems to have been chosen for its picturesque setting rather than for Colorado’s possible centrality in the upcoming presidential election, perhaps the best hope is that we can get some of the local money off the sidelines and into the fight.

If they do, in fact, meet with the locals, they’ll probably be disappointed (if not already so) at the early, near-universal support for Mitt Romney by the party establilshment.

In the meantime, the Local Looney Left is planning a protest today through Tuesday outside the hotel (and probably inside, if they can manage it) to embarrass and disrupt a private meeting. It would be very interesting and revealing to see exactly how ill-informed those folks are with regard to their chosen bete-noir.

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