[Poclad] Koch brothers, Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Beck & big corps plot election

Wanda Ballentine wsb70 at comcast.net
Wed Oct 20 15:15:54 PDT 2010


Memo: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries 
Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck to Plot 2010 Election
Wednesday 20 October 2010
by: Lee Fang  |  ThinkProgress | Report

In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch 
to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that 
he coordinates the funding of the conservative 
infrastructure of front groups, political 
campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other 
anti-government efforts through a twice annual 
meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also 
confided to Moore, who is funded through several 
of Koch’s ventures, that his true goal is to 
strengthen the 
of prosperity” by eliminating “90%” of all laws 
and government regulations. Although it is 
difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone 
has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies 
have pointed toward 
million he has given alone to anti-environmental 
groups. Recently, fronts funded by Charles and 
his brother David have received 
because they have played a pivotal role in the 
of the anti-Obama Tea Parties and the promotion 
of virulent far right lawmakers like Sen. Jim 
DeMint (R-SC). (David Koch praised DeMint and 
gave him a 
Award” shortly after the senator promised to 
Obama by making health reform his “Waterloo.”)

While the Koch brothers ­ each worth over 
billion ­ have certainly underwritten much of the 
right, their hidden coordination with other big 
business money has gone largely unnoticed. 
ThinkProgress has obtained a memo outlining the 
details of the last Koch gathering held in June 
of this year. The 
along with an attendee list of about 210 people, 
shows the titans of industry ­ from health 
insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street 
investors, and real estate tycoons ­ working 
together with conservative journalists and 
Republican operatives to plan the 2010 election, 
as well as ongoing conservative efforts through 
2012. According to the memo, 
Chavern, the number two at the U.S. Chamber of 
Commerce and Fox News hate-talker 
Beck also met with these representatives of the 
corporate elite. In an election season with the 
most undisclosed secret corporate giving since 
Watergate-era, the memo sheds light on the 
symbiotic relationship between extremely 
profitable, multi-billion dollar corporations and 
much of the conservative infrastructure. The memo 
describes the prospective corporate donors as 
“investors,” and it makes clear that many of the 
Republican operatives managing shadowy, 
undisclosed fronts running attack ads against 
Democrats were involved in the Koch’s 

– Corporate “investors” at the Koch meeting 
included businesses with a strong profit motive 
in rolling back President Obama’s enacted 
reforms. Several companies impacted by health 
reform, including Allan Hubbard of A & E 
Industries, a 
of medical devices and Judson Green, a 
member of health insurance 
Aon, were present at the meeting. Other 
businessmen at the meeting, like Omaha Burger 
King franchiser Mike Simmonds, are owners of fast 
food stores which have 
efforts to provide health insurance to their 
employees. Many corporate attendees of the 
meeting represent the financial industry impacted 
by Wall Street reform. For instance, attendee 
Bill Cooper is the CEO of TCF Financial, a 
corporation involved in the mortgage banking 
industry. Cooper recently filed a lawsuit 
the constitutionality of Wall Street reform. 
Other financial industry players in the meeting 
hail from firms ranging from Bank of America, JLM 
Investment, Allied Capital Corp, AMG National 
Trust, the Blackstone Group and Citadel 
Investment. Annie Dickerson, a representative of 
Paul Singer, a powerful hedge fund manager who 
also gives tens of millions to Republican causes, 
In addition, Koch Industries itself has a hedge 
fund and other financial derivative products in 
its portfolio of interests, which include oil 
pipelines, coal shipping, asphalt, refineries, 
consumer goods, timber, ranching, and chemicals.

– Corporate “investors” at the Koch meeting 
included businesses with a strong profit motive 
in preventing progressive reforms promised by 
President Obama. Several executives at the 
meeting have an incentive to stop Democrats and 
President Obama from addressing climate change 
and enacting clean energy reform. The meeting 
included oil executives from Aspect Energy, 
Murfin Drilling, Anschutz Company, GeoPark 
Holdings, Smoky Oil, and several members of 
Koch’s various subsidiaries. The meeting 
documents explicitly state that funding efforts 
to curb “climate change alarmism” were discussed.

Malek, Karl Rove’s top fundraiser for 
$56 million attack ad campaign against Democrats, 
attended the meeting, along with leaders of other 
secret attack groups. Heather Higgins, who leads 
the Independent Women’s Forum, a shadowy group 
that has spent millions of dollars in attack ads 
on health reform, attended the meeting. So did 
Gretchen Hamel, a former Bush flak who now runs 
an attack ad group 
“Public Notice” that runs ad which denounce spending programs.

– Participants collaborated with infamous 
consultants who specialize in generating fake 
grassroots movements, as well as experts on how 
corporations should take advantage of Citizens 
United. One session, about how to “mobilize 
citizens for November,” involved a discussion 
with Republican strategists Tim Phillips and Sean 
Noble, anti-union leader Mark Mix, and longtime 
Koch operative Karl Crow. Phillips ­ a veteran 
astroturf lobbyist who previously managed a 
deceptive grassroots lobbying campaign to help 
the Hong Kong-based Tan family maintain their 
abortion sweatshops in the Mariana Islands ­ now 
leads the day-to-day operations of Americans for 
Prosperity, the group ThinkProgress 
reported to have helped organize many of the 
initial Tea Party rallies against Obama. 
Americans for Prosperity, 
financed by David Koch, has a field team of over 
80 campaign staffers spread out around the 
country, and additionally plans to spend 
million dollars worth of attack ads against 
Democrats. Shortly before the planning meeting, 
authored a campaign finance 
explaining that because of the Citizens United 
Supreme Court ruling, he advised specifically 
that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 501(c)(6) and 
Americans for Prosperity’s 501(c)(4) can “now use 
general treasury funds to produce communications 
materials opposing or supporting specific 
candidates” and corporations can aggressively 
pressure their employees to vote a certain way.

The memo notes that participants in the 2010 
election planning meeting “committed to 
unprecedented level of support.”

Interestingly, the Koch meetings are managed by 
Kevin Gentry, an executive who doubles as a 
staffer in the Koch Industries lobbying office in 
Washington and as the key point person who helps 
deliver Koch charitable foundation grants. As 
ThinkProgress has 
Koch Industries has dramatically boosted its 
profits by using conservative front groups to 
manipulate public policy. The fusion between the 
“intellectual” conservative movement and big 
businesses opposed to regulations and 
accountability has a history in America dating 
back to the New Deal. During the thirties, the 
Pont family and other wealthy interests organized 
an assortment of “Liberty League” front groups to 
try to defeat New Deal agenda items and repeal 
President Roosevelt’s Social Security program. 
Now, corporations fund groups like the Heritage 
Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute 
­ both had representatives at the Koch meeting ­ 
to further their lobbying agenda. The American 
Enterprise Institute even changed its name from 
the New Deal-era American Enterprise Association 
to try to 
the notion that they were nothing more than a 
glorified business trade association.

As the memo states, Beck has addressed this 
regular gathering of conservative corporate 
executives in previous years. Past Koch meetings 
have included various Republican lawmakers, 
including DeMint, and Supreme Court Justices 
Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as speakers.

After ThinkProgess 
its exclusive investigation of the U.S. Chamber 
of Commerce revealing that the Chamber has been 
actively fundraising from foreign corporations 
for its 501(c)(6) account used to run a $75 
million attack ad campaign, Chamber lobbyists 
found common cause with Beck and many of the 
conservative talking heads. Shortly after our 
investigation, Beck hosted an on-air fundraiser, 
his audience to give to the Chamber. Casual 
observers might have been surprised by the 
Chamber’s swift alliance with Beck (Chamber 
executives appeared on the Beck radio program and 
sung Beck’s praises on the Chamber blog), who has 
compared Obama to 
Hitler and called the President a 
who has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.” 
By telling his listeners to give money to the 
Chamber, Beck, who owns a media company worth 
more than 
million dollars and 
experimental Mercedes Benz, essentially told his 
working class viewers to give their wages back to 
their employers. However, Beck never disclosed 
his long working history of discussing political 
strategy with America’s largest corporations. The 
Koch memo clearly shows that Beck has been 
collaborating with the Chamber, as well as other 
titans of industry, for years. In his latest 
appeal for support to the Chamber’s 
foreign-funded trade association, which already 
counts JP Morgan and ExxonMobil as dues-paying 
members, Beck yesterday told his audience that 
the Chamber simply 
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBP-OKWH79w>“defends the little guy.”

Click to 
a letter inviting corporate executives to attend 
the next Koch meeting in January, along with a 
list of the sessions held by Koch for the last 
meeting in June of 2010. An attendee list of the 
June, 2010 meeting is attached at the bottom of the document:

Some of the donors at the Koch meeting were 
longtime Bush fundraisers, like Cintas 
Corporation CEO Dick Farmer and wholesale 
executive Art Pope. However, many names appear to 
be relatively new to conservative movement 
“investment.”  Got to website to see list - formatting won't transfer.

“If we do not do the impossible, we shall be 
faced with the unthinkable.”  social philosopher Murray Bookchin
How can a person live a moral life in a culture 
of death?  Charles Bowden  Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing

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