Sounds like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? It’s created more divisions among people than can be counted. What is it? A PAC formed to produce propaganda, which became a Free Speech lawsuit upheld by a Supreme Court decision in 2010 and made way for “Dark Money”, or anonymous campaign contributions and effectively unlimited corporate donations.
Wikipedia: “The Political Action Committee (PAC) Citizens United was founded in 1988 by Floyd Brown, a longtime Washington political consultant, with major funding from the Koch family (industrialists who own “the second largest privately owned company in the United States”). The group promotes corporate interests, socially conservative causes and candidates who advance their mission.
FRIENDS:Kellyanne Conway, Newt Gingrich, Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio show host and chairman of Citizens United’s Faith and Family Project. The Mercers funded Citizens United in later years.
FOES: Obama,Clinton, John McCain, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
One of the men, Stephen K. Bannon, has been named by President-elect Trump to be his Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the White House. While Bannon is widely cited for his executive role at Breitbart News prior to joining the Trump campaign, he is also the long-tenured, right-wing filmmaker for the Citizens United organization. A number of the films made by Bannon list Lawrence Kadish as Executive Producer and Victory Film Group as an affiliated entity involved in the documentaries.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the Citizens United Case in 2010, David N. Bossie, then President of Citizens United (who also joined the Trump campaign this year) had this to say about Lawrence Kadish:
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kadish who have been incredibly generous from the very first day of this process. We would never have been able to reach the Supreme Court without their support. I also need to thank the thousands of donors who exercised their right to free speech to support Citizens United and this defense of the First Amendment.”
What the Citizens United decision effectively did was to drown out the voice of millions of average Americans while hedge fund titans and Wall Street billionaires can now individually contribute over $3 million, $5 million, $7 million and more to Super PACs supporting pro-corporate candidates.
Kadish is a wealthy real estate investor and founding Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He has prominently backed a series of neoconservative pro-Israel groups. Kadish’s full-throttle support for Israel and his involvement in numerous Bannon films for Citizens United, suggest that the heavily distributed rumors of Bannon being anti-Semitic are peculiar charges at best.
The Victory Film Group that is associated with the Bannon/Kadish movies has a Twitter page that plants the seeds of distrust of Muslims and appears to be a form of co-branding with Breitbart News, frequently promoting news stories on the Breitbart web site. One reTweet reads: “Judge Who Ended Interrogation Of Boston Bomber Has Ties To Muslim Brotherhood.” Another reTweet states: “57 Million New Immigrants to Enter America.”
Citizens United campaigned against Michael Moore‘s 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11, advocating for government limits on how much advertising the film received. It simultaneously made advertisements attacking the film, and produced a film called Celsius 41.11, meant to counter Moore’s film.
In the case, the conservativenon-profit organizationCitizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts shortly before the 2008 Democratic primary election in which Clinton was running for U.S. President. This would violate a federal statute prohibiting certain electioneering communications near an election. The court found the provisions of the law that prohibited corporations and unions from making such electioneering communications to conflict with the U.S. Constitution.
However, the court upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements. The case did not affect the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties.
The decision was highly controversial when announced and remains a subject of much discussion today.
Why do the Neocons of the Bush Era matter? The ideology set forth in 2001 has resulted in Middle East war and transfers of power that have no end in sight. It is also a reminder to pay attention to the ideologies that our elected officials openly subscribe to. They have real effects. These people have been openly critical of the Trump administration and are fearful of his foreign policy, issuing strong statements. Ezra Cohen-Watnick is a Neocon, forced in by Michael Flynn, and forced upon his replacement McMaster, by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.
The George W. Bush administration had prominent members of a “Neocon” think tank called the Project For The New American Century (PNAC). The only prominent Government leader whose signature was missing from its mission statement was the President’s. It was very closely related to the Heritage Foundation, Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), and American Enterprise Institute (AEI). While its website was taken down long ago, this site has a summary and links: HistoryCommons.org
William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and regular on ABC’s “This Week”, and Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institute, Policy Planning Staff of the State Department from 1984 to 1988, and principal speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, are now at the Foreign Policy Initiative, not to be confused with John Hopkins University Foreign Policy Institute.
The Bradley Foundation grant largely funded the CPSG, which largely funded PNAC and AEI, which shared Richard Perle, former Bush Sr. assistant secretary of defense, as a prominent member. Dick Cheney, Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, Frank Gaffney, Fred Ikle, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Bernard Lewis, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Gary Schmitt, Max Singer, Casper Weinberger, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, and Dov Zakheim. [CNN, 2/20/1998; Middle East Policy Council, 6/2004]
Its Statement of Principles, issued June 3, 1997 is following in summary per HistoryCommons.org:
“The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank formed in the spring of 1997, issues its statement of principles. PNAC’s stated aims are:
to “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests”
to achieve “a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad”
to “increase defense spending significantly”
to challenge “regimes hostile to US interests and values”
to “accept America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” [Project for the New American Century, 6/3/1997] The Statement of Principles is significant, because it is signed by a group who will become “a roll call of today’s Bush inner circle.” [Guardian, 2/26/2003] ABC’s Ted Koppel will later say PNAC’s ideas have “been called a secret blueprint for US global domination.” [ABC News, 3/5/2003]” Context for Statement of Principles, HistoryCommons.org
“Ezra (Cohen-Watnick) interned at his think tank…Frank Gaffney was in the Reagan Administration and promoted the Star Wars Program, has worked for and closely associated with the Neocon Project For The New American Century, all of whose founders had prominent roles in the George W. Bush administration and were the architects of the 9/11 Middle East Imperialist spread of Democracy with Zionist ideology.” …More about Frank Gaffney in theWashington Report’s Neocon Superhawk Frank Gaffney Earns His Wings In Port Flap, September 1, 2009
A documentary about the 9/11 investigation called “Loose Change” involved the timing of events (including statements and documents created by PNAC) and inciting incident for experiment with their strategies. Youtube The series of events and this film appealed to conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones, who later surfaced as a voice of the Alt-Right with his Infowars.com. It also encouraged distrust of the government and intelligence agencies, which played a part in the Alt-Right’s rejection of the Neocon imperialist, rule over the naturally inferior, anti-Big Government, anti-Globalist, anti-MSM (Mainstream Media) stance of the Trump era and the distrust of the Clintons and subsequent judicial findings, promoted by the Alt-Right. While the Neocons shielded the masses from the truth, the internet age and social media has encouraged this intellectual populism, whereby the common person feels they can know the truth because of unprecedented access and communication between truth-seekers.
“According to Counterpunch’s Kurt Nimmo, the plan for overthrowing Iraq later adopted by the Bush administration, and currently advocated by the CPSG, will be echoed in the PNAC’s September 2000 document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (see September 2000). [CounterPunch, 11/19/2002]”
The Neocons were inspired by LEO STRAUSS, not William Strauss of Steve Bannon’s “Fourth Turning” fascination.
Leo Strauss’ views were summed up by Danny Postel in “Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neo-cons, and Iraq” in this way:
“He (Strauss) argues that the wise must conceal their views for two reasons – to spare the people’s feelings and to protect the elite from possible reprisals. The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right –the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many.”
“According to Shadia Drury, a scholar who has studied the link between Strauss and the Neo-Conservatives for years, what the Neo-Conservatives find most compelling about Straussianism is the great belief in “efficacy and useful lies in politics.” Strauss based this idea on Plato’s notion of the noble lie, which meant that the rulers of a state must tell the people that they are chosen by God to rule the people in order to keep a stable society. Strauss was also inspired by philosophers and political thinkers such as Hobbes, Nietzsche, and Machiavelli, but the most important inspiration was the old philosophers from the Greek antiquity. Leo Strauss thought that the enlightenment had done little for the common man, and that the fate of the common man was to be led by educated leaders. Society’s problem was not the lack of democracy, but the lack of virtue. If people knew the reality behind how the rulers became rulers, they would create chaos and upheaval.” 48:Danny Postel “Noble lies and Perpetual War: Leo Strauss, the Neo-Cons, and Iraq”, Oct 18 2003. Jan 18 2005 <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm>
Charles and David Koch, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners, Tea Party backers, Citizens United, co-owners of the GOP with the Religious Right: Selling Corporate Oligarchy to Freedom-Loving Patriots, the Religious Right and Racists willing to give up their Constitutional Rights.
Sen. Harry Reid: “The Koch brothers, they are bound and determined to do away with Government. They are trying to buy America.”
ALEC Corporate Leaders write new laws with Legislators
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research-lower taxes, de-regulation of consumer protections & environment, Wall Street, cuts to social safety net; client Comcast to fight Net Neutrality, against minimum raising wage, climate change denial. Rented offices to the Project for the New American Century, the Neocon architects of the W. Bush Wars, NGOWatch.org with Federalist
Koch Industries is the 2nd largest privately held corporations and are one of the top 15 polluters in the Country, over 300 oil spills and over $100 million in fines. They are into controlling natural resources and necessities: Oil, Consumer Goods, Ranching, Forestry,Paper Products ($20b for Georgia Pacific in 2005), and Plastics. December 24, 1999, a federal jury found they had defrauded the U.S. government by mismeasuring oil purchases on federal and American Indian land and were ordered to pay over $200 million in punitive damages. LA Times
The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. August 30, 2010 New Yorker, Jane Mayer, author of DARK MONEY
And then they came “out” with Citizens United.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN DONATIONS
2016 Congressional Republicans: $
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2016 Senate Republicans
2016 Senate Democrats
THE BACKSTORY: OIL RICHES WITH STALIN AND HITLER TO ANARCHY AS FREEDOM
Fred Koch, Sr., became embittered when the oil monopoly prevented him from using his refining technology in the US. In the 1930s, Stalin brought him to Russia to teach them oil refining and they built 7 refineries. He also worked with Hitler during WW2, supplying the Nazis with oil. Amoral capitalist, check. Appreciation for, helping, friendship, and business partners with authoritarian dictators including Russians, check. He married Mary, a beautiful and artistic young woman, and they had 4 children.
It used to be thought that homosexuality was created by over-mothering, so she gave that job to a Nazi nanny who was abusive. The eldest, Fred Jr., was sued by his siblings citing homosexuality as grounds. Homo-hatred, check. Bill worked at Koch Industries 27 years but Charles is CEO and David is Bill’s twin.
Daddy Koch believed the mixing of the races would create a “Mongrel Race”. Racial purity and white supremacy, check.
Libertarians, or the Party of No Regulations or Responsibility. Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead, 1943, and Atlas Shrugged, 1957, is Paul Ryan’s inspiration and many Libertarian and Alt-Right people who believe in a selfish, egomaniacal existence free from guilt over the suffering of others around them. Self-Entitlement. Anti-Empathy. Anti-Compassion. Anti-Welfare. Anti-Poor.
Fred Sr. created a tax shelter structure for his children which required them to donate money. As a disguise for their desire to get rid of Government, they have funded PBS programming and non-libertarian organizations.
“The Koch brothers have ideology in their DNA. Fred senior was a leading light in the anti-communist John Birch Society. David ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980, and Charles and David helped to raise an estimated $400m for efforts to defeat Barack Obama’s re-election bid in 2012…Koch has an unusually “flat” organisational structure for a company its size. Workers can earn more than their bosses. High-school-educated farm boys from Kansas can rise faster than Ivy League MBAs and end up running multibillion-dollar divisions. It is also ruthlessly Darwinian.” The Economist
“The Koch Method” – Skimming an extra inch of oil adds up
“Bill Koch, who has maintained a long-running family feud with his brother since a falling-out nearly 20 years ago, claimed the company made approximately 31,000 false claims due to mismeasurement of oil on federal leases and received more than $170 million in profit by overcharging for oil in the 1980s. Bill Koch “felt hurt and insulted . . . when he discovered his father’s company was being used by the richest people in America to steal from the poorest people in America,” Bell said. Bill Koch could collect 20% to 25% of any award in exchange for pursuing the case on behalf of the government. Bill Koch was a former officer of Koch Industries, which was founded by his father, Fred Koch. But he sold his 22% stake and left the company in 1983 after challenging his brother in a bitter shareholder dispute over the division of company profits.” LA Times
Fred Sr. passed in 1967. “For the Koch family, the fight began in 1980. Bill tried to take control of the company, he failed and was forced out by his older brother, Charles – Koch’s Chief Executive Officer. Koch Industries told 60 Minutes II that Bill “has clearly decided to destroy what he cannot control.” There is no doubt Bill Koch is a man driven by obsessions. In 1992, with little experience in sailing, he simply decided to win America’s Cup. He spent millions and did. He’s used the same determination in suing his brothers for nearly 20 years. Bill Koch set out to prove his father’s company amassed enormous wealth through fraud.
Bill Koch says that his brother Charles made a fortune stealing oil. Much of it from beneath Indian reservations and federal lands – places like national forests. Oil under federal lands belongs to the public. Koch Industries was the middleman – buying oil from the government at the well – then selling it to refineries. Bill Koch says that the company took more oil than it paid for by cheating on measurements. A gauger measures the volume and the quality of the oil that his company is buying. The buyer leaves his measurements behind on what’s called a “run ticket.” It’s an IOU to the well owner.
Koch Industries Responds
Click here to read the full statement that Koch Industries sent 60 Minutes II in November 2000.
“What Koch was doing was taking all these measurements and then falsifying them on the run sheets,” says Bill Koch. “If the dipstick measured five feet 10 inches and one half inch, they would write down five feet nine and one half inches.”
That may not sound like much, but Bill Koch says that it added up. “Well, that was the beauty of the scheme. Because if they’re buying oil from 50,000 different people, and they’re stealing two barrels from each person. What does that add up to? One year, their data showed they stole a million and a half barrels of oil.” In the 1980’s alone, Koch records show those so-called adjustments brought the company 300 million gallons of oil it never paid for. And it was pure profit. Bill Koch says that profits from that oil were a minimum of $230 million.” CBS News November 2000
Kochtopus-Political Funding Network
The Kochs fund dozens, perhaps hundreds, of political organizations and think tanks to further their agenda. They write talking point scripts used by politicians and the media to repeat and reinforce the change they wish to effect. They are methodical.
Submitted by Nick Surgey on Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers. Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action. In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC], although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.” 2012-2013 Google grants: “CATO Institute,Federalist Society, George Mason University Law School Law and Economics Center, Heritage Action, Mercatus Center, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute, Texas Public Policy Foundation“
Professional Tea Party Cashes In Politico October 3, 2011: After funding the 2009 and 2010 Tea Party protests, Citizens United passed, allowing Dark Money (hidden) Campaign Financing which has permitted Russians to invest in US politicians as recently the Wisconsin Republicans’ donations have come to light. “Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Leadership Institute and Tea Party Express – raised $79 million last year . Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks — tell POLITICO they’re planning to raise and spend a whopping $156 million combined this year and next, laying the groundwork for what could be a massive tea party organizing push against Democrats and the occasional moderate Republican in 2012.”
The Koch Brothers Were Supposed to Buy the 2016 Election, What Happened? Slate What Slate doesn’t discuss is the Kochs are Anti-Communist John Birch Society prodigy, Trump was aided in the election by Russia, so instead of relying on the Kochs for the win, the Mercers formed a Hillary Hating SuperPac and gave Trump their “People”: Bannon, DeVos, Pence, etc…Slate discusses how Koch candidates Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Gov. Scott Walker, WI (R) couldn’t get the passion going that Trump’s anti-immigration and Bannon’s rally for hate in the media did) “It soon became clear that the Tea Party was not the libertarian mass movement the Kochs and their allies imagined it to be. The opposition of older conservatives to Obamacare was motivated less by a generalized distrust of government than by a fear that it would shift government resources from deserving people like them to the undeserving poor.”
“The 2010 midterm elections, when the tea party wave helped Republicans recapture the House of Representatives, was the first in which the Kochs and their allies spent heavily through non-profit groups in the network and others allied with it.
That attracted the attention of Democrats, who began trying to rally their base by attacking Charles and David Koch as shadowy puppeteers. But it also mobilized fellow Republican mega-donors. They poured tens of millions of dollars into the Koch network, which cast itself as applying the same principles that powered Koch Industries to the new big-money political landscape created by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
That allowed the network to spend a then-unprecedented $400 million in the run-up to the 2012 election, including on unsuccessful efforts to oust President Barack Obama and flip the Senate to Republican control. Afterwards, the network, under pressure from donors, commissioned a forensic corporate-style audit that determined its efforts were undermined by redundancies and infighting among Koch-backed efforts, an inability to measure impact and too much spending by consultants.
So the network centralized its operations headed into 2014, when it spent $300 million on political and policy advocacy and was credited with helping Republicans re-capture the Senate.
Outwardly, the network appeared to be in strong position to influence not just the 2016 election, but all of American politics and public life for years to come.
At a 2015 network gathering in Washington, D.C., Charles Koch’s right-hand man Rich Fink told staffers that Koch, who will turn 81 next month, intended to leave a significant portion of his fortune, currently estimated at $42.2 billion, to the network when he dies, according to two people who were present at the meeting. (It’s unclear how that cash would be allocated, but Charles Koch’s donations to the network have mostly gone towards academic research, think tanks and higher education programs, rather than politics, according to campaign finance filings and interviews with people familiar with his giving).
And the Koch network announced its jaw-dropping $889 million spending goal at a January 2015 gathering of its donors. It invited a handful of likely Republican presidential candidates — a group that did not include Trump”
The Koch brothers’ first move after passing Citizens United was to re-segregate the excellent school district around relatively liberal Raleigh, NC. They installed a school board and President with huge campaign financing and won. After two years of protests, they were voted out and de-segregated.
“The [political] network’s leading organizations, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, on Thursday released a set of general preferences for major changes to the tax code. While explicitly stating their opposition to new border-adjustment or value-added taxes, there were few specifics…“Now is the time. We’ve got to unite around these principles,” network spokesman James Davis said. Beyond Thursday’s release, Davis said the network backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch is launching a multimillion-dollar campaign through the summer to ensure their conservative tax plan is not forgotten..Late last month, Trump released a one-page proposal that included massive tax cuts for businesses and a bigger standard tax deduction for middle-income families, lower investment taxes for the wealthy and an end to the federal estate tax for the superrich. It’s largely in line with the Koch network’s preference, which calls for lower rates, fewer brackets and the elimination of “special loopholes” and deductions.” PBS News Hour, May 18, 2017
“Charles Koch and his brother David Koch have quietly assembled, piece by piece, a privatized political and policy advocacy operation like no other in American history that today includes hundreds of donors and employs 1,200 full-time, year-round staffers in 107 offices nationwide. That’s about 3½ times as many employees as the Republican National Committee and its congressional campaign arms had on their main payrolls last month, according to POLITICO’s analysis of tax and campaign documents and interviews with sources familiar with the network. And the staggering sum the network plans to spend in the 2016 election run-up ― $889 million ― is more than double what the RNC spent in the previous presidential cycle… Its biggest group, Americans for Prosperity, plans to place full-time staff in all but eight states by late 2016 and aspires to copy the National Rifle Association’s broad-based membership plan for longevity, expanding its influence by writing and pushing model state budgets, a technique similar to the one used by the American Legislative Exchange Council to push various state legislative initiatives… In the post-Citizens United era of relaxed campaign finance laws, the Kochs and their megadonor allies, more than any other group of affluent political partisans, have leveraged their financial clout to do things that traditional party and political committees can’t or won’t do, as POLITICO’s investigation has shown. It revealed that the Koch network quietly launched sophisticated initiatives to recruit like-minded candidates, collect intelligence on rivals and win converts among the disadvantaged. “I don’t know of any precedent for this,” said campaign finance scholar Robert E. Mutch, whose 2014 book “Buying the Vote; a History of Campaign Finance Reform,” traced the influence of ultrarich donors from the Gilded Age through the 2012 general election. “The rich guys who wanted to be politically active used to be politically active in the party. What’s different now is you’ve got them being active outside the party,” he said, adding that, while other megadonors are trying to build their own political operations, the Kochs have pushed this phenomenon to new heights. Nonetheless, conservative leaders have grumbled that too much of their movement is being centralized under one umbrella ― the Kochs ― while GOP officials have openly fretted about the possibility of the party losing at least some control to “a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone,” as RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh put it this year.” Read more of Politico‘s How The Koch Network Rivals The GOP December 30, 2015
Rick Perry’s, Governor TX (R) Voter ID law: $76,000 from Koch
Joe Barton, TX (R) Repeal EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulation Authority, $7,500 from Koch
$1,000 Utah State University $9,000 Paul Ryan, WI (R), $10,000 Pacific Legal Foundation, $28,000 RNC, $45,000 National Republican Senatorial Committee, $20,000 Fred Upton, Chairman House Energy and Commerce Committee, $20,000 Sen. Ted Cruz (R), $250,000 on Dem. Attack Ads on Reps Alan Grayson (FL) and Suzanne M. Kosmas (FL), Sen. Ron Johnson, WI (R)
Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity (432 million), American Future Fund ($13 million), Center To Protect Patient Rights ($114 million), American Energy Alliance ($1 million), Concerned Women, Libre Initiative Trust ($3 million)