Koch companies' products are everywhere we look- In our offices, homes and backyards. We walk on them. Wear Them. Eat off them. We use them to clean spills or to keep spills from staining. Chances are, nearly every store you walk into sell a Koch company product. Next time you shop, be on the lookout for these familiar brands:
-By Clare O'Connor
May 14, 2013- In her keynote speech at last year’s annual Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea to the thousands of bloggers and web developers in the audience. The former Microsoft programmer and congressional candidate proposed a smartphone app allowing shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch were behind a product on the shelves.
Burner figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to Koch Industries through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont).
At the time, Burner created a mock interface for her app, but that’s as far as she got. She was waiting to find the right team to build out the back end, which could be complicated given often murky corporate ownership structures.
-By Tarini Parti
May 11, 2013- The GOP lost big nationally in 2012, but may have found the key to future success in one southern state.
Cash from groups backed by the Koch brothers and others helped North Carolina Republicans build a robust conservative infrastructure and fundraising network, leading to the GOP winning both the governor’s mansion and the state legislature in the same year for the first time since Reconstruction.
That takeover didn’t come overnight, but it caught Democrats by surprise, especially since Barack Obama carried the state in 2008 and lost only by 2 percentage points last year.
The hope, say conservatives, is to replicate their successes elsewhere.
Rolling Stone: Who Can Stop the Koch Brothers From Buying the Tribune Papers? Unions Can, and Should
-by Matt Taibbi
May 10, 2013- A few weeks ago, we did a story about hedge fund king Dan Loeb's plans to address a conference of institutional investors and perhaps solicit new clients among the public retirement funds in attendance, despite his involvement with a political lobbying group that campaigns against those very types of defined benefit plans. When stories by Rolling Stone, Washington Monthly and the New York Post came out about Loeb's affiliations, Loeb canceled his scheduled speech at the Conference of Institutional Investors and fled the event, reinforcing the simple idea that powerful interests can be forced to choose between taking the public's money and involving themselves in regressive politics.
Huffington Post: Koch Brothers' Ownership Of LA Times, Tribune Papers Met With Protests, Ads, State Leaders' Opposition
May 9, 2013- The fight is on against possible Koch Brothers ownership of the Tribune papers, which include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.
Unions and liberal advocacy groups are planning protests and running ads (see photo below) on the Los Angeles Times and New York Times websites starting Thursday, according to liberal groups Courage Campaign Institute and Forecast the Facts.
-by Brendan Fischer
May 2, 2013- The right-wing network funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers is being revamped after the 2012 elections, starting with a new nonprofit called the "Association for American Innovation" that will act as a hub for funnelling undisclosed spending towards the Kochs' political projects. With ambiguous IRS rules and a deadlocked Congress, they might get away with it.
-By Ruth Conniff
April 30, 2013- It's "the most powerful organization in America that no one seems to know about."
Unlike David Koch of the Koch Brothers, whose cover was blown when a gonzo blogger named Ian Murphy (editor of the Buffalo Beast and a frequent contributor to The Progressive), impersonated him in a prank call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
The Milwaukee based Bradley Foundation operates off the mainstream media radar. Yet the group has made more than $530 million in grants and awards since 1985, making it a much, much bigger giver to rightwing causes than the Koch brothers. With more than $290 million in assets, Bradley is one of the biggest foundations in the United States.
-By Kathleen Miles
April 30, 2013- At a Los Angeles Times in-house awards ceremony a week ago, columnist Steve Lopez addressed the elephant in the room.
Speaking to the entire staff, he said, "Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Austin Beutner's group." No one raised their hands.
"Raise you hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Rupert Murdoch." A few people raised their hands.
Facing the elephant trunk-on, "Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by the Koch brothers." About half the staff raised their hands.
Recent owner of the LA Times, Sam Zell, has been painted as the devil incarnate for slashing the editorial staff and for his vulgar demeanor.
Media Matters: Tribune Company Scribes: Koch Brothers Purchase Could Turn Papers Into "Conservative Mouthpiece"
Hard-Right Ideology, Lack Of Experience Drives Reporters' Fear Of Koch Takeover
-By Joe Strupp
April 23, 2013- New reports that the politically conservative Koch brothers are interested in buying the Tribune Company's eight regional newspapers -- which include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune -- are sparking concerns from newspaper staff members that attempts to influence the editorial process in favor of their far-right political views may follow.
Among those concerned is Clarence Page, a top Chicago Tribune columnist, who said he would oppose a takeover of the paper by David and Charles Koch because of "the fact that they seem to be coming in upfront with the idea of using a major news media as a vehicle for their political voice."
Mother Jones has obtained a copy of the billionaires' agenda for their next confab.
-By Andy Kroll
April 23, 2013- Next week, hundreds of business executives and wealthy conservative donors will arrive in Palm Springs, California, at the behest of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and older half of the Koch brothers duo. The occasion is the latest Koch donor retreat, dubbed the "billionaires caucus" by some, an exclusive, two-day confab with a speaker list that features governors, senators, and members of the House Republican leadership. It is the first Koch retreat since the 2012 elections.