Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Charles Koch Misled CBS: The Kochs' Political Spending Is Not Publicly Disclosed

Politics
Charles Koch Misled CBS: The Kochs' Political Spending Is Not Publicly Disclosed

Charles Koch misled CBS when he suggested that the Kochs' political spending is publicly disclosed.

On Oct. 11, the elder Koch brother gave a rare interview to CBS Sunday Morning. Reporter Anthony Mason asked, "Do you think it's good for the political system that so much what's called 'dark money' is flowing into the process now?"

Koch replied: "First of all, what I give isn't 'dark.' What I give politically, that's all reported. It's either to PACs or to candidates. And what I give to my foundations is all public information."

This is untrue, according to documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy last year.

In addition to the hundreds of millions flowing into politics by way of the Kochs' network of foundations and funding vehicles like Freedom Partners, funds from the corporate treasury of Koch Industries—the second-largest privately held company in the world—flow into politics and Charles' brother David is known to have written millions of dollars in personal checks to political groups each year.

None of this spending is publicly disclosed.

Koch and Koch Industries Donations Offer Snapshot Into Koch Network

Donations made by the Koch family foundations—the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David Koch Foundation and the now-closed Claude R. Lambe Foundation—must be publicly reported.

The Koch political network has also established a complicated array of funding vehicles, like Freedom Partners and the Center to Protect Patient Rights (now known as "American Encore"), to funnel hundreds of millions to politically-active nonprofits like Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and American Future Fund. Although the original donors for these funding vehicles are kept secret, by law, these groups must disclose the grants they make to other groups, providing some insight into the Koch network's political spending.

In contrast, there is no public reporting requirement for donations directly from the personal bank accounts of David and Charles Koch, who together are worth an estimated $83 billion, unless donating directly to a candidate or PAC.

And, there is no public reporting of contributions from Koch Industries itself. Koch Industries is a closely-held company, so its majority owners, David and Charles Koch, do not have to publicly disclose how they use profits from the company's $115 billion in annual revenue to fund their personal political agenda.

Yet documents obtained by Center for Media and Democracy show that that the Kochs themselves and Koch Industries are pouring millions into politics, with zero public disclosure.

These documents do not provide a comprehensive list of private Koch donations, but instead offer a glimpse into the nearly incomprehensible breadth of the Koch political universe. That universe goes beyond the $400 million the Kochs and their operatives raised and spent through the Freedom Partners/Center to Protect Patient Rights network in 2013.

It is likely that both David Koch himself and Koch Industries have given more to the groups discussed below and to others in additional years, but those records have not been made available.

Known donations from Koch Industries include:

In press releases, Koch Industries has tried to draw a line between its corporate interests and its owners' political interests. It states on the KochFacts website, for example, that "AFP and AFP Foundation operate independently of Koch Industries." Yet, it is now known that Koch Industries itself was pouring as much as $1 million each year into AFP during the early 2000s, the only years that such records are available, in addition to contributions from the Koch family foundations and David Koch himself. It is not known how much Koch Industries or the Kochs may have provided to AFP in more recent years, as the group has played an increasing role in elections and its budget has grown exponentially.

In some cases, donations from Koch Industries exceeded donations from the Koch family foundations. For example, in 2010, the Texas Public Policy Foundation—the State Policy Network affiliate in Texas that once counted Ted Cruz as a fellow—received $159,834 from Koch Industries, nearly double the $69,788.61 that the Kochs' Claude R. Lambe Foundation disclosed as giving to the group.

Known donations from David Koch himself include:

All of these contributions are in addition to millions of dollars of donations, cumulatively, from the Koch family foundations.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CBS to Charles Koch: Is Dark Money Good for the Political System?

House Passes Bill Lifting Oil Export Ban, Despite Veto Threat

Ted Cruz Lies Again About the Science of Climate Change

California Governor Signs Ambitious Climate Change Bill Forcing Public Pensions to Divest From Coal

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less