The Top Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Kochgate

10. Until the recent disclosures about funding for Proposition 23 in California, you probably hadn’t heard much about Koch Industries because it’s a family business, although it does $100 billion in sales per year.

9. Charles Koch co-founded the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank dedicated to saving companies like Koch from the horrors of government regulation.

8. Fred Koch, who founded the company, was a charter member of the John Birch Society, the folks who thought Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Soviet agent.

7. A 2010 study listed Koch Industries as one of the nation’s top-ten air polluters.

6. Koch is said to be the top oil company contributor to congressional races.

5. Koch has contributed almost $25 million to funding organizations that promote climate denial.

4. Remember the Federalist Society?  Turns out they also get major Koch funding ($739,200 from 1997-2008).

3. Koch has an explicit policy of refusing to speak with media who might be unfavorable. Then they complain the stories are unbalanced.

2.  Koch is pronounced “coke” but is actually more aligned with Tea Parties, which they have helped to launch.

1.  It’s a good thing that Fred Koch didn’t live long enough to see Barack Obama in the White House, since he was already worried that  “the colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America.”

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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “The Top Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Kochgate”

  1. I am surprised this sort of ad hominem argumentation published here. I could respond to many of the particulars — e.g. Cato is dedicated to far more than “saving companies like Koch from the horrors of government regulation,” less than $100K/year hardly constitutes “major” funding for a policy organization in comparison to what others (including Soros, Lewis, et al.) give to such organizations, etc. — but it’s probably not worth it.

    For those who want another perspective, including counterpoints to the New Yorker article linked in this post, I’d recommend these posts from the Volokh Conspiracy:
    Errors in Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Article Attacking the Kochs
    On Charles and David Koch
    Brouhaha Over the Koch Brothers


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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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