koch industries

Let me begin by saying I bit off more than I could chew with these people.  I had originally planned to finish this series on Friday but the amount of information on each of these foundations and their potential impact on each of us, deserves more attention.  As of now I am not sure how many more articles will be necessary.  So, the series will be ongoing for a while, perhaps three days more than the original 4 planned.  I hope that it will keep your interest, but at any rate it can stand as a reference point for future review by anyone who is interested.

As is expected, the Koch family has either started or contributed funding to many organizations.  It could be said that they only fund organizations where they feel they will get the most bang for their buck as well.  One reason it is important to know these organizations is because the MSM is not going to help you.  On the cable shows they always have guest panelists and it would behoove us all to know who and what is behind any given panelist.  Take Ali Veshi on CNN or Bill Maher (they are both guilty of this), they both have had Stephen Moore on their show, Bill more than once.  Each of them introduce Stephen Moore as a financial journalist for the Wall Street Journal.  Well he is that but he is also an officer with ALEC.  So I would ask, if you saw him on either show and you were aware of his background, wouldn’t you pay a bit more attention to what he is saying and wouldn’t it be nice to know he has an agenda?  By being aware of these organizations, or any for that matter, it is much easier to separate the bullshit from the real thing and to know that person’s agenda on any given subject.  Too many blindly watch these shows and take for granted that everyone that Chris Matthews has on is a good guy or girl because he is with MSNBC.  Even MSNBC is guilty of having guests that they know will agree with the subject at hand.

I have always tried to memorize as many of these organizations as I can in order to understand where they are coming from when they speak.  It is not easy and sometimes you can mix it up, but I still keep trying.  So, now I am going to review organizations the Kochs either fund or support in other ways.  You will notice these organization all have patriotic sounding names or benign names you  would think are part of a patriotic group who has nothing more on their minds than making sure the American people have the best opportunities.  In reality, most of those organizations are set up only to benefit the Kochs and their buddies, you can be sure.

Charles and David are definitely not newcomers to right wing ideology as their father before them was an original founder of The John Birch Society.  In 1977, Charles Koch co-founded the Cato institute and after the 1980 Presidential election when Ed Clark and David Koch lost, David created Citizens for a Sound Economy as an agency to pursue the Koch agenda.  Citizens for a Sound Economy later split into what is now known as Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works.  An examination of the Koch nonprofit organizations records show they have given at least $89.5 million to more than 85 different right wing organizations hoping we would never expect their ultimate goals.   This list of organizations is long but they have one common thread: promoting an antitax, antiregulatory ideology that will ultimately gut government’s ability to ensure markets function properly for everyone and protect consumers against abuses in the system. In addition to promoting this right-wing ideology, some of the groups on this list, such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, seek to undermine the science behind climate change. Indeed, many of the policies these organizanizations promote profits for the Kochs industries, but of course.

Koch Family Foundation  This is the family foundation and includes; the David H Koch Foundation, the Charles G Koch Charitable Foundations, The Claude R Lambe Foundation and the Knowledge and Progress Fund.  David leads the foundation that shares his name; Charles leads the foundation that shares his name; and Charles and his family sit on the board of the Lambe Foundation, which is led by one of the brothers’ long-time confidantes in advancing their ideological agenda, Richard Fink. Charles leads the Knowledge and Progress Fund, and Fink is the President.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) We all know that ALEC is behind the voter suppression efforts and stand your ground laws.  And we all know that many businesses dropped their affiliation with ALEC after it all came out in 2012.  Doesn’t mean ALEC is dead and it does not mean they won’t continue to try.  They have Senators, Congressmen and women, State politicians and still some businesses that are supporting their efforts.  And anything they are supporting cannot be good for the greater population.

Americans for Prosperity (formerly Citizens For A Sound Economy) THIS IS THE TEA PARTY.  No matter what any Tea Billy tells you, this is the Tea Party.  Freedom Works is just the wing of this group that is run by Dick Army.  Charles and David Koch used Americans for Prosperity to stimulate the Tea Party movement.  The organization helped to organize the first Tea Party and funded bus trips across the country.  So you see, Rick Santelli was no spontaneous rip of the situation at the time, he most likely was a plant.

American Highway Users Alliance  Sounds like a great idea, right?  Well this is a very old organization that keeps a very low profile.  From Streetsblog.org,  “Its members are not listed on its website, and interested parties are asked a few questions: “Are you outraged by the deaths of 120 people each day on our roads? Are you pro-environment AND pro-highway?” Average commuters might be lulled into thinking they could join with the click of a mouse. But the Alliance has a specific agenda — which is on full display in the lobbying filings of Greg Cohen, its president and CEO. During the first half of this year, Cohen reported working to “support additional supplies of domestic oil,” “oppose the placement of tolls and congestion pricing on existing toll-free roads,” and “support maximum funding for highways,” among other goals. That maximum cash for highways, in the Alliance’s view, should continue to relegate transit to 20 percent of federal aid. If Congress’ upcoming six-year transportation bill “starts looking more negative on highways,” Cohen warned last month, “there is potential that the whole bill could be slowed down here.” Moreover, the Alliance mobilized to oppose the climate bill passed by the House last month and lobbied against Senate legislation that would set national transportation priorities such as emissions reduction and transit expansion.” Just another group that is named well but their agenda does not fit their name.

American Energy Alliance  This group was founded in 2008 by Thomas Pyle who previously lobbied on behalf of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Assoc and Koch Industries.  He also previously worked for Tom Delay when he was Whip and before he stepped down.  AEA states that its aim is to “create a climate that encourages the advancement of free market energy policies” and in particular ensure drilling for oil is allowed in the Artic National Wildlife refuge and in US coastal waters.

On its website it lists the Institute for Energy Research as a “partner org and states that it is the “grassroots arm” of IER.  AEA states that, by “communicating IER’s decades of scholarly research to the grassroots, AEA will empower citizens with facts so that people who believe in freedom can reclaim the moral high ground in the national public policy debates in the energy and environmental arena.” Big sigh here, why do these groups use words like freedom, reclaim their rights or moral high ground?  Because it sounds good and hides the group’s real agenda.  And of course it is listed as a 501c4 organization without disclosing who funds the group.  Some funders that are known, Exxon Mobil, Brown Foundation, Brown and Root, Searle Freedom Trust, Claude R Lambe Charitable Foundation.  This would also be two of the climate change deniers groups.

American Future Fund   Is an Iowa based 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization affiliated with the Center to Protect Patient Rights which in turn has reported ties to billionaires Charles and David Koch.American Future Fund was founded by individuals who worked for Mitt Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign.  Nick Ryan, an adviser to Republican US Representative Jim Nussle, founded the organization in 2007, with Nicole Schlinger, a GOP leader in Iowa as its president. Its current president is Iowa Republican state Sen. Sandra Greiner. According to SourceWatch, The fund “advocates conservative and free-market principles”and energy positions that include support for drilling offshore and in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.  In 2010 the American Future Fund reported over 9 million dollars of independent campaign expenditures to the FEC, and 100% of its expenditures benefited Republicans.  In 2012 the organization funded ads supporting Mitt Romney.  In the same year, it also funded ads in support of California’s Proposition 32, which would prevent unions from collecting political contributions as paycheck deductions”. The organization does not disclose the names of those who have provided its funding, no big surprise here.

American Tradition Institute Despite it’s name this one is very complicated.  I am going to post the link to Source Watch for you to refer to.  It is a mess basically and probably intended to be so.  As I read through these groups I can see there are many more that need to be investigated by the IRS, in my humble opinion.  To give you an idea about this one according to Source watch:  backed primarily by the energy industry. It was first registered as a Colorado nonprofit [501(c)(4)] in 2008 by Scott Shires, a Republican operative who pleaded guilty that same year to fraudulently obtaining federal grants to develop alternative fuels.” American Tradition Institute is part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation.  The connection to the Kochs here is indirect according to the Institute for Southern Studies.

Americans for Job Security  Is an active opponent of the Employee Free Choice Act.  No surprise there and it should be no surprise they were started by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  They are officially registered as a 501c6 non-profit “trade association{, meaning that the organization is designed to promote the “common business interests” of it’s members, but it does not appear to advance the interests of any particular industry or trade, except for right leaning politicians and right wind hot button issues, real or imagined.  It is also obviously not for job security in any sense of the meaning for most of us.  They like these names because for most Americans it means they fly under the radar and if they need minions, well who would not want job security?

Americans for Tax Reform  is an advocacy group and taxpayer group whose stated goal is “a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today.” ATR claims, “The government’s power to control one’s life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized.” The organization is known for its “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”, which asks candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. The founder and president of ATR is the one and only Grover Norquist, a conservative tax activist.

Association for American Innovation  is a 501(c)(6) “business league” group apparently funded by the Koch brothers.  According to Politico, “It will be run by former top AFP strategist Alan Cobb and will wage a behind-the-scenes push in state capitols for reforms consistent with the brothers’ small-government, free-enterprise philosophy, including possibly curbing union power and abolishing income taxes.”

Bill of Rights Insitute  is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charitable organization based in Arlington VA, which produces instructional materials and conducts educational programs around the United States for teachers and students with the intent of expanding the understanding of the freedoms that the Bill of Rights provides to Americans, and the important role that they play in maintaining a free society.

Since its founding in 1999, the Institute has provided approximately 1.9 million students across the country with educational materials on the United States Constitution.  The Institute was founded in September 1999 by billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Charles G Koch and the Charles G,. Koch Charitable Foundation. The Institute’s first president, Victoria Hughes, was a teacher who had also held a number of executive roles in other non-profit organizations. Hughes later became a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.  Hughes led the organization for a decade until her departure, after which Tony Woodlief filled her position as President.  This all should be very comforting to us, not.  The Kochs teaching about the Bill of Rights?  I think not.

Cato Institute   is a “non-partisan”(heh) Libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. I guess they don’t consider Libertarian as a Party?  The Institute states that it favors policies “that are consistent with the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, and peace.”  Cato scholars conduct policy research on a broad range of public policy issues, and produce books, studies, op-eds, and blog posts. They are also frequent guests in the media.  Where ideology and science part company, Cato favors ideology, as shown by their open letter published in newspapers in 2009 disputing the state of the science on climate change.  Cato was founded in 1977 by Edward H Crane and Charles Koch and David Koch is currently a member on Cato’s Board of Directors.  In 2008 Jane Mayer wrote that “according to the Center for Public Integrity, between 1986 and 1993 the Koch family gave 11 million dollars to the Cato Institute”.

Center to Protect Patient Rights See American Future fund***

CitizenLink  It is strange, on this one there does not appear to be a wiki or source watch write up.  But they are linked directly to Focus on the Family and you can probably guess what they are up to, their brand of Family Values, telling voters to vote biblically, supporting rightwing ideology and all that goes with it.  They are closely aligned with Concerned Women of America so you know they promote far right dominionist policies and beliefs.

Citizens For A Sound Economy Foundation was a powerful industry-funded think tank, promoting deregulation. It was founded by Koch Industries interests and continues to maintain strong links. In 2003, an internal rift between CSE and its affiliated Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation led to a split in which CSEF was renamed as a separate organization, called Americans for Prosperity.  Are you dizzy yet?  That is exactly what they are shooting for, to keep people from discovering all their incestuous relationships.

Competitive Enterprise Institute is a advocacy group based in Washington DC with long ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns. It calls itself “a non-profit, non-partisan research and advocacy institute dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. We believe that individuals are best helped not by government intervention, but by making their own choices in a free marketplace.”

Concerned Women for America  See Citizen Link, but this group was originally founded by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Tim LaHaye and Phyllis Schafly

Democratic Leadership Council  was a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation founded in 1985 that, upon its formation, argued the Democratic Party should shift away from the leftward turn it took in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The DLC hails President Bill Clinton as proof of the viability of Third Way politicians and as a DLC success story.

The DLC’s affiliated think tank is the Progressive Policy Institute. Democrats who adhere to the DLC’s philosophy often call themselves New Democrats. This term is also used by other groups who have similar views on where the party should go in the future, like NDN and Third Way.

On February 7, 2011, Politico reported that the DLC would dissolve, and would do so as early as the following week.  On July 5 of that year, DLC founder Al Fro, announced in a statement on the organization’s website that the historical records of the DLC have been purchased by the Clinton Foundation. The DLC’s last chairman was former Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee, and its vice chair was Senator Thomas R Carper of Delaware.  Its CEO was Bruce Reed..

I WOULD SUGGEST READING THE ENTIRE WIKI ARTICLE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU WERE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS GROUP.  This one really pushes the limits of some Democrats who would throw the rest of us under the bus, IMHO.

Federalist Society  The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a organization of conservative and right-libertarian lawyers, law students, judges, professors and anyone else who is willing to claim some sort of intellectual credential or status. The organization was founded in 1982 to combat what was viewed as excessive liberal influence in the U.S. judiciary.

Like most conservative organizations, the Federalist Society is very selective in the sorts of liberty it embraces. If the interests of either Big Business or Big Religion are involved why then the Federalist Society is on their side. However if interests are those of a less powerful minority then they are on your own. They should seek help from the ACLU and pray that their legal cases do not come before a judge associated with the Federalist Society.

Members are fond of quoting Federalist Paper Number 78 for an articulation of the virtue of judicial restraint, as written by that arch-statist Alexander Hamilton: “It can be of no weight to say that the courts, on the pretense of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature…. The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body.” Hamilton liked a strong state with a strong executive to impose order on the lower orders and promote the interests of commerce.

The Federalist Society considers James Madison to be its patriarch—hence the use of Madison’s silhouette in the Society’s official logo. Madison is generally credited as the father of the Constitution and became the fourth President of the United States.  He also died far too soon to endorse any entity quite as creepy as the Federalist Society.

The Federalist Society mission statement reads, in part:

[The Federalist Society] is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, and law professors.

According to one writer at Salon, “In 1982, Edwin Meese, Rehnquist and other first-generation legal conservatives reached out to law students and encouraged the founding of a new organization: the Federalist Society. Funded generously by Richard Mellon Scaife and patrons, the Federalist Society became a national networking organization that nurtured young conservatives and swiftly became the crucial channel to Supreme Court clerkships and prestigious jobs in the Reagan administration. In ‘Closed Chambers,’ former clerk Lazarus outlines how Federalist Society clerks formed a self-described “cabal against the libs” to push justices in a rightward direction. Conservative donors like Scaife were encouraged to endow professorships and to fund conferences and training institutes to tutor judges in corporate deregulation and other articles of conservative legal faith.” Real Americans have to ask themselves the same thing they ask about the neo-conservatives who dragged the USA into an unnecessary and unwinnable war in Iraq, at what point does such an elite conspiracy become un-American? In the case of Federalist Society, when does conservative ideological subversion of judicial neutrality rise to the level of treason?

Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy  This is officially the “Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy,” and is a think tank founded in 1979 whose stated vision is the promotion of “the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility. The Institute believes these principles are best encouraged through policies that emphasize a free economy, private initiative, and limited government.” The institute is a 501c3 non-profit corporation, and had $4.9M in revenue in 2005.  The Pacific Research Institute has associated with other think-tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute.  I actually found this institute online a few years ago.  I had read an article in the Sacramento Bee and it peaked my interest to look them up.  At the time, I was suspicious of them because they only seemed to champion right wing ideology, now I know why.

PRI’s Director of Health Care Studies, John R. Graham, spoke at a Workshop at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting. The Workshop was titled, “Rationing By Any Other Name: Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board.” According to his biography on the PRI webpage, he is also a “Senior Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Adjunct Scholar of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and, and member of the Board of Visitors of the Benjamin Rush Society of medical students and physicians.” ALEC, Pacific Research Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the Macinac Center are all members of the State Policy Network, which was one of the sponsors of 2011 ALEC Annual meeting. Whew that was one mouthful.  This institute also has ties to several ALEC “task forces”, including the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, the Health and Human Services Task Force, the Education Task Force, and the Civil Justice Task Force.  There is also a Pacific Legal Foundation.

John Clemens, former research director, is listed as private sector member of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force representing PRI at the 2010 Spring Task Force Summit and John Graham was listed as a speaker/advisor at that same meeting.Graham gave a report titled, “What ObamaCare Means for State Budgets.”

John Graham has also represented PRI on the Health and Human Services Task Force.  He gave a presentation on his book Medical Tort: Ranking in the 50 States to the task force at the 2010 Annual Meeting.

Vicki Murray, former Education Studies Senior Policy Fellow, is a member of the Education Task Force.  At the ALEC 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit she presented “10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education.”

Lawrence McQuillan, Director of Business and Economic Studies, has participated in the Civil Justice Task Force. He was part of a presentation on ranking state tort systems, the “2010 Tort Liability Index,” during the 2010 Annual Meeting.

Texas Prosperity Project  Seems to be a part of Americans for Prosperty as I found other states with similar organizations.  To better understand the danger with this group, please read the link below.  It is a PDF of their purpose.  Needless to say, Corporations are people too, is their main theme and Corporations know best.  Sigh

Washington Legal Foundation  This foundation was established in 1977 to “fight activist lawyers, regulators, and intrusive government agencies at the federal and state levels, in the courts and regulatory agencies across the country”. WLF is classified as a national, non-profit, tax-exempt public foundation under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code.  According to Wiki:  WLF is unique institution with three essential cornerstone programs, shaping public policy through aggressive litigation and advocy, publishing timely legal studies and educating policy-makers and the public through extensive communications outreach.  For some reason, that last one reminds me of an octopus.  The claim is that with all they do, the foundation is able to shape public policy and work with allies in government and our legal system to strengthen America’s free enterprise system.  I just bet they do.

The lists that I am reviewing have come from The Center for American Progress policy paper and also from the website, Boycott the Koch Brothers.  I also have to give a big thanks to Wikipedia and Source Watch for without all of their research, I would have been writing this section for days.  I am including links below that I would recommend for further reading.

Sorry that there are no pretty pictures in this post, but quite frankly I have been at this one all day on and off and pictures would just take away from the intent to really understand and focus on the institutions themselves.  Also, I am going to take a short break and post the next installment on Sunday instead of Friday.  The next installment is a continuation of this one, yes there are so many the Kochs are involved in that it will take two parts.  There is also a list of colleges and universities, politicians both local and national.  The politicians are in the Center for American Progress policy paper.  So until Sunday, I am signing off, but not really, I will be on where you cannot see me.




Above is the one I think you would be interested in on Texas Prosperity Project




Above is another report on Dominionism I think applies to this subject as well

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Sue, it would be foolish to set and finance up so many organizations if one was genuinely pursuing what they claimed to be and these men are not fools.

Instead, this is a strategy to over represent their interests, overwhelm their opposition and outnumber citizens with their own paid hacks.

It is mind numbing that this post only covers some of their front groups, I’m looking forward to your second part of this on Sunday but still amazed at how many entities they have marching against our democracy at the same time!


Jesus, what a hydra these guys are. If there was ever an argument for taxing the shit of billionaires this is it. Idle hands and idle money indeed.


Okay, I always knew I didn’t like these TAHs but now I really, really, really don’t like them! Grandmother always said not to say you hate but I sure am thinking it………

Good job, Sherlock! You did a lot of work on this and I appreciate you educating me further on the evil that we are facing. Me is a lot smartner!


Terrific series Sue and a job well done.

It’s hard to imagine a more self-absorbed and utterly selfish family sitting in their ivory towers throwing their garbage and distain on to the ordinary citizens below, but these creeps take some beating.

That they have so much money doesn’t bother me because it doesn’t bring either happiness or good health, but the way they made it off the backs of ordinary people, and the way they use it to influence the government in a democracy, bothers me a lot. This is fascism, no doubt about it. It should be illegal in every country if they would only enforce exiting laws.

They say that some people are too big to fail but I don’t believe it. Just look at Rupert Murdoch as an example. No one is infallible, not even leaders and governments if enough people get angry about the way they are being treated, or how the leaders steal their freedom and their hard earned money as was so obvious in the ME.

If enough people knew how these amoebas operated against their interests just to gain even more money and power, I’m sure that there would be millions more Americans becoming angry and pissed off.

The Citizens United ruling was an abomination and I have to wonder just how many politicians and judges, some very high up, have been bought off by these leeches.

Too big to fail, I don’t think so. All it takes is a few cracks and weakened pressure points in a wall to bring it down.

Your posts have turned over the rock and I commend your effort. Now I can only hope that many more people will have the chance to read them and learn something.

Well done Sue. Now excuse me while I take a long shower to take away this awful Koch stink.


I am glad that you published it all. It is very useful.


Excellent job, Sue! It boggles the mind…but did you know that things just got a little bit easier??/ There’s an APP for this!!