Koch executive to Dems: Why did I get solicited?
July 8th, 2011
03:13 PM ET
3 years ago

Koch executive to Dems: Why did I get solicited?

(CNN) – The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee responded Friday to a scathing letter from a top executive at Koch Industries, Inc., who blasted the group after he was solicited for campaign contributions.

Philip Ellender, president for government and public affairs at Koch Industries, a frequent Democratic target, said he received a letter and voicemail from DSCC Chair Patty Murray in June. He posted the audio from the voicemail on KochFacts.com, a website dedicated to defending the influential conservative Koch brothers - David and Charles.

In a letter obtained by CNN, DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil wrote to Ellender, saying the "form letter" and follow-up solicitation were a staff error.

"However, the bigger and more troubling mistake is the long political history of your employer, the Koch Brothers," Cecil wrote in the letter. "If you'd like to share voicemails from all the shady groups asking you for millions of dollars, we'd happily listen to those as well."

"So, I write to make it clear that your invitation was an error and has been rescinded," Cecil added.

Ellender previously wrote a letter to Sen. Murray, D-Washington, saying "I'm hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it's hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money."

"If you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful," he added.

The Koch brothers and their company – the largest privately-owned company in the U.S. – are known for their involvement and contributions to conservative causes, including the tea party movement and conservative Heritage Foundation. Liberal groups and Democrats have launched ongoing campaigns against the brothers and their company.

However, according to opensecrets.org, the PAC associated with the company donated $30,000 to the DSCC during the 2010 election cycle and dolled out money to a few Democratic candidates, in addition to the many Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, used the brothers for an attack line in a fundraising email on behalf of the DSCC in March.

"If Republicans can knock just a few bricks free from our firewall, they'll force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say 'Koch brothers,'" the email read.


Filed under: DSCC • Patty Murray
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    False indignation. He acts as if he has never had a robo call in the middle of his dinner. Dude, just say no, hang up, delete it, just do it and then chill out, pal. That's what I do, I have long since realized that life is too short to get bent out of shape over nothing, not even for show.

    July 8, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Realistic

    And the news is? An error occured? The Koch brothers are rich? And that actually the Koch brothers really like giving money to the GOP who promise to make them richer in return...Moving on.......org.

    July 8, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. C. Howe Yulikit

    So this guy is claiming to be a victim? Seriously?

    July 8, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Former Republican, now an Independent

    That was probably a joke. Democrats asking for a donation from one of the leaders in the American Neo-Nazi movement???

    July 8, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. fitzjoe

    wow, this is interesting, now you need permission to mail a letter in a democratic country !! Do they not read the bible where is supposedly says 'Love thy enemy'

    July 8, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Jeff In Ohio

    What, the Koch's are to high and mighty to buy out the DNC?

    July 8, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. lgny

    Actually, it's called hedging.

    Companies routinely hedge by giving some to both sides. No matter who wins they still have influence.

    July 8, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Kim

    Yeah, well maybe Republicans can tell me they keep robo calling ME! Or why they sold my phone number to the NRA? I was able to reverse lookup the NRA number and when I called them THEY were actually responsive and removed my number. Guess I need to send a nasty-gram to my local Republican leaders.

    July 8, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    What a prissy little nincompoop this Ellender is. Yawn. I'd expect that kind of hissy fit from a 4 year old, not an ALLEGED adult.

    July 8, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Dean

    Democrats can't do anything right.

    July 8, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. logic in LA

    Maybe the Democrats felt in light of all the tax breaks and new rules the Republicans are shoving down our throats, they might want to say thank you for the democrats being such wimps and going along with it all.
    Every Republican businessman out there should be giving money to Democrats- they seems to do even better with them in office lately

    July 8, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The Koch brothers and their company – the largest privately-owned company in the U.S. – are known for their involvement and contributions to conservative causes, including the tea party movement and conservative Heritage Foundation."

    Oh, good God, what nonsense is this? Fact is, the Koch brothers OWN conservatives causes. The Koch brothers OWN the tea party movement. The Kock brothers OWN Heritage Foundation. And most importantly, the Koch brothers OWN each and every congressperson associated with any one (if not all) of these organizations.

    July 8, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. SecedingfromTexas

    Thanks, now I have an answer for all of that junk I get from the Republicans, including calls inviting me to listen in to
    the conversations, survey forms, and what???? donation requests? Well, I'm insulted too.

    July 8, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Nini

    Good for him. I am sick of Democrat's hypocrisy.

    July 8, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Tony

    SERIOUSLY – Who cares. Do what I and the rest of us American's do toss the letter delete the voice mail and get on with our lives. It is ridiculous that you contacted a government official with this nonsense. They have more important matters to attend to then Mr. Ellender getting a letter and or a phone call. It's like a six year old crying "Mommy Tommy's touching me". Grow up.

    July 8, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Me

    A simple "no" would suffice.

    July 8, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Koch Brothers aka Republican Party including Karl Rove et al.

    July 8, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    In a letter obtained by CNN, DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil wrote to Ellender, saying the "form letter" and follow-up solicitation were a staff error.
    --------------
    Apologize for what? I wonder what would happen in the event that he got a letter calling him to jury duty? Do you think he would be willing to participate? For some reason, I don't think he would be pleased with performing his civic duty. Doesn't pay enough.

    July 8, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Koch executive to Dems: Why did I get solicited?
    --------------
    Oops, erh ah. IQ Test?

    July 8, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. diane

    Who the He– cares about this Greedy women,or the Koch Bro,s????? American terrorism at its best!!! Go away,Traitors!! Robber Barons! Get a real Job? I would like to see this women and Corporate Thugs,"Walk down a street in Americas Projects. Their to "Chicken to do that" Out of sight,out of Mind!!!! Shame be brought to you!

    July 8, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Poor rich girl. Cynical? If anyone would know cynic and lies it would be you and your people!
    The koch brothers are crooks!!! And you missy are also!
    Go back to your mansion. Go, go, hurry before the little guy soils your path!

    July 8, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. John B

    Poiticians screw the American people constantly...and yet we still get phone calls for donations. Why should you be any different? Grow up!

    July 8, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. A Kickin' Donkey

    Just let me get this straight them.

    The Koch brothers HAVE NOT & WILL NOT make any donations to an Democrats? Is that what you are saying on the record?

    So we can expect Koch Industries to only do business in areas where Republicans are elected, right? They will have no business interests and seek no favors or legislative support from Democrats? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT even with your riches.

    July 8, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. rs

    I dunno. Maybe because the Kochs have bought the Republican Party, and pay to keep the anti-American Tea Party rolling? They obviously have the cash

    July 8, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. sue

    Hey I'm not a big powerful big wig in any organization, I am a senior citizen collecting my Social Security check and I am a registered Democrat and I have been getting a letter a week from the Republicans running for office in 2012 for my support and contributions.....I just tear them up and throw them in the trash......In all past elections I have never received GOP mail and I have always been Democrat but they are sure hoping us old elderly senior citizens are senile enough to send them money......well think again!!!!!!!!

    July 8, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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