Group targets Koch brothers on cable ads
August 21st, 2012
08:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Group targets Koch brothers on cable ads

(CNN) – The liberal group Patriot Majority launched a cable television ad campaign Tuesday going after the Koch brothers, who are major supporters of conservative and libertarian causes.

Patriot Majority said it was initially spending $500,000 to air the ads, and expects to spend more than a million dollars by the end of 2012.

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"Billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch and their special interest friends are $400 million to buy this year's elections and advance their agenda. What's their payback? Politicians who will pass laws that benefit special interests but hurt the middle class," a narrator in the minute-long spot says.

The ad claims the Koch brothers' donations to politicians are prompted by a desire for policies that would help them financially, including lowering tax rates for the wealthy and changing Medicare to allow private insurers to compete with the government-funded health program on an exchange.

The ad says those policies would hurt the middle class while lining wealthy people's pockets.

"Don't let the Kochs use their billions to buy this election," the narrator in the ad concludes.

The Koch brothers are high-profile figures in the Republican Party who support conservative and libertarian causes. Backers of the group Americans for Prosperity, the pair of industrialists are expected to spend tens – if not hundreds – of millions on Republican causes this year.

In July, the Kochs hosted a fund-raiser for Mitt Romney in Southampton, which drew multiple protests from Occupy Wall Street crowds.

Patriot Majority, founded in 2005 by a Democratic operative, has received a large chunk of its donations from labor unions, according to The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees gave the group $500,000 in 2010. The Service Employees International Union also donated to the group.

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Filed under: Ads • David and Charles Koch
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Michael Q

    Since the Koch brothers represent the owners of companies generally, why can't the unions as representatives of the workers contribute to the opposition? It is America, isn't it? Policies for the few supported by big cash should be opposed by the many, with few resources individually, but collectively they do manage to come up with big cash. Or, we can utilize the off-shore 'child labour' and poor social conditions of third-world countries to help lower the unemployment of Americans: ops, sorry, we have already tried that, and how did it work out for the middle-class (mostly union) in America? I wouldn't mind Koch's beliefs if I were one of their kiss-butt brown-nosers, and paid accordingly with full benefits believing I was helping America become stronger by supporting the elite 1%.

    August 21, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    The only way I can combat the control being fostered by these two individuals in our political system is to get out and vote while encouraging others to do the same. It's yet to be decided just how much influence these two alone have against all the average hard working middle class Americans. I do know that the Romney Team absolutely decided to lie their way through the campaign. They lied against Gingrich. They lied against Santorum. They lie now. And each and every lie has been financed by the Koch political machine of high finance.

    August 21, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Expat American

    Romney Inc. is trying to win this election with money – not policies.

    August 21, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Not stupid19

    There is no way that the Koch brothers, and their billionaire friends, would spend hundreds of millions of dollars if they didn't expect to make at least that much back once their henchmen are voted into office. We allow our politicians to be bought by these special interest groups and the election becomes a battle of who can raise the most amount of money, but nothing in this world is free and there are always strings attached to the donations. The GOP has done a wonderful job of duping the conservative right into thinking that they will actually benefit from the super rich getting more money, but everyone will suffer in the long run. Wake up people, our country has been purchased by the highest bidder!

    August 21, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Lionel

    I love it. Great Ad. The American people needs to know how the billionaires are trying to buy this election.

    Romney / Ryan will give more tax cuts (20% more) to millionaires and billionaires. This is not good for the middle class.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    August 21, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. gord

    america,s landlords

    August 21, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. rs

    These guys are SO RICH they built a town of 50 complete buildings to house their western memorabilia collection. Perfectly legal. Yet, the fact they are BUYING Mr. Roney the election somehow just makes me sick.

    GOP: the party that wants to restrict voters rights, and thinks corporations are people.

    August 21, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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