The Koch Brothers, Wisconsin & Citizens United v. FEC
On Tuesday, March 1st, the Story of Stuff Project took out a full-page ad in the Wisconsin State Journal with the banner headline: “Governor, Mr. Koch is holding for you on Line 3.”
The ad includes a graphic still from our new movie – The Story of Citizens United v FEC — as well as the URL for the movie site: www.storyofcitizensunited.org.
The Story of Citizens United v FEC explores the crisis of corporate influence in American democracy and was inspired by the January 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the right to spend unlimited funds to influence elections. We made the movie because we believe getting corporations out of our democracy is critical to making progress on a huge range of issues that we Americans (and many others around the world) care about, from good jobs to clean air to safe products.
As we point out in the movie, the kind of independent groups that corporations are now allowed to support spent $300 million to influence the 2010 midterm elections, more than every midterm election since 1990 combined.
Koch Industries — which was one of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s largest campaign contributors — spent over $1 million alone and Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute have argued in favor of more corporate money in politics and fought attempts in Congress to force shadowy corporate-funded independent groups to disclose their donors.
Citizens United means union-busting climate-deniers like the Koch Brothers will have even more political power than they do now. We think its high time we got the corporations out of our democracy and got the people back in.
If you agree, we urge you to share our new movie with your colleagues, friends and family.
Koch Industries was one of the biggest contributors to Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign
“State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.”
Koch founded Americans for Prosperity running ads in support of Walker’s union busting efforts
“The group Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch and aligned with the Tea Party movement, has launched a $342,000 advertising campaign in support of Walker’s effort to end collective bargaining for most state workers.”
Koch front groups argued in favor of corporate money in politics
When the Supreme Court took up the Citizens United case, Koch-funded front groups filed a series of amicus briefs arguing that the First Amendment protects unlimited corporate money in politics. For example, the Cato Institute, founded and financed by the Koch brothers, submitted a brief that called for “unfettered” corporate “speech” and the Institute for Justice, founded and financed by David’s brother Charles, submitted a brief claiming that campaign finance laws prohibiting unlimited corporate money “trump the First Amendment.”
Koch funded organizations fought the DISCLOSE Act
When Members of Congress introduced the DISCLOSE Act, which attempted to curb campaign abuses in the wake of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, a Koch funded organization—the Cato Institute—called it a “gambit to chill speech.”