Ignoring the fact that the term sounds like an eight-armed sex toy, reading about how far into politics the Koch brothers have reached is rather alarming.
But it’s because of their political activity that the brothers Koch have recently gained notoriety. Together, they’re probably the nation’s biggest political donors. Nobody else — notGeorge Soros, not Bill Gates, not even Sheldon Adelson — comes close. And their influence is everywhere. They’re major funders of two conservative think tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. They’ve created pseudo-scientific research centers on many college campuses, like the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. They’re the sugar daddies behind two powerful political organizations, FreedomWorks andAmericans for Prosperity — which is currently running anti-Obama TV ads in 10 states. They were the money bags behind the tea party. They put up the funds to oppose new mining safety regulations in West Virginia, overturn tough mileage standards in California, and elect Scott Walker in Wisconsin. And, by my count, they’re principal sources of funding for at least 57 conservative political action groups.
And they’re putting the bulk of their effort into taking down Barack Obama. Call him a corporate shill if you want, but when people like the Kochs are spending tens of millions of dollars to take the guy down, something must be going right.