Monday, October 25, 2010

The Kochs' Spending on Political Influence

Through a wide range of groups and organizations, the Koch brothers have used their extraordinary wealth to influence the levers of power.

In the third quarter of 2010, Koch Industries spent more than $2 million on federal lobbying efforts. Since January 2010, they have spent $6 million on lobbying. In all they have spent more than a hundred million dollars on right-wing causes that have arguably contributed to the Tea Party movement.

Public tax records show that between 1998 and 2008 the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation spent more than forty-eight million dollars. The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, another Koch controlled organization, spent more than twenty-eight million. In total the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation spent more than a hundred and twenty million.

Since 1998 Koch Industries has spent more than fifty million dollars on lobbying. Separately, the company’s political-action committee, KochPAC, has donated some eight million dollars to political campaigns, the vast majority of which went to Republicans.

So far in 2010, Koch Industries leads all other energy companies in political contributions, as it has since 2006. In addition, during the past dozen years the Kochs and other family members have personally spent more than two million dollars on political contributions.

In the second quarter of 2010, David Koch was the biggest individual contributor to the Republican Governors Association, with a million-dollar donation.

It is impossible to provide a complete summary of the Kochs use of money to influence politics, because much of the money is untraceable as federal tax law permits anonymous personal donations to politically active nonprofit groups.

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