Monday, April 28, 2014

Money Changes Everything

And when you have as much of it as the Koch Brothers, people will kiss your ring no matter how much of a sociopath you may be. Can you think of one issue where these men are on the side of the angels rather than looking to line their pockets?
At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels.
For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive. 

Even their non-political philanthropy comes with all kinds of strings attached - strings that either burnish their egos or "educate" students and politicians in policies that just happen to personally benefit the Kochs.
Koch Industries and Charles and David Koch contributed $8.7-million to candidates and the Republican Party in the three election cycles from 2007 through 2012. In addition, through 2011, the Kochs gave $30.5-million to 221 universities through their charitable foundations, roughly $16-million of that going to George Mason University and its foundation. And Koch private foundations also contributed $46.3-million to the arts and other more traditionally charitable purposes during this period.
And while Koch Industries’ lobbyists were spending $53.9-million to further the multinational corporation’s federal and state policy agendas, the nonprofit policy groups it supported were simultaneously “educating” the public and lawmakers about energy, the environment, and other issues in public testimony on Capitol Hill.
I'm hard-pressed to think of any more pernicious force in American politics and culture than these two creatures. I am glad public figures are finally turning over the rocks that these guys live under to expose their activities to public view.

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