Democracy Inaction: Koch Brother's Money and Congress

I won't waste a lot of your time here, just please read this story in Sunday's LA Times.

It reports in comprehensive detail the tale of the two brothers' horrifically outsized influence over American politics.

I've blogged on the Koch's a bunch of times before, here and here, and there is great coverage out there of Charles and David, particularly Jane Mayer's profile of Manhattan socialite David Koch (Charles lives in Wichita, where Koch Industries--the nation's second most valuable privately held company--is based). The two are reportedly worth over $21 billion each.

The LA Times article lays bare the Koch's purchase of power, through their own donations, their pet astroturf group--Americans For Prosperity--and the contributions of their employees.

How much influence did the Koch's and Americans for Prosperity have on the mid-term elections?

Here's just one example: on January 5, the LA Times article reports, while new, mostly extremely conservative House members were being ushered into the House Chamber for the first time, David Koch was meeting with House Majority Leader John Boehner, and Americans for Prosperty head Tim Phillips was meeting with the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Republican Fred Upton of Michigan.

That's just a hint at what at least $40 million buys. Again, see the LA Times article for all the gory details of how the brothers have used their dollars to push their extreme right agenda, one that that nakedly favors their business interests. Those interests include oil, gas and chemicals. Thus the visit to the House and Commerce Committee Chair.

Oddly enough, before he large received direct and indirect support from the Koch's, Upton was perceived as a moderate on environmental issues and critized for being such by conservatives. But in the last election cycle, Koch employees were among Upton's top 10 donors. Now he's authoring Wall Street Journal Op-Ed pieces with AFP boss Tim Phillips and doing his best to discredit the Environmental Protection Agency and strip it of authority to protect American's health.

It's mourning in America.