Charles and David Koch, who generally participate in politics as a team, own the second-largest private company in the world, the Koch Industries. Their combined personal net worth may be as great as $100 billion, which is greater wealth than Bill Gates has. They have been anti-Trump to the point of even supporting delusional efforts at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 to somehow deny the nomination to Trump. The Koch brothers are pro-choice globalists who tend to undermine efforts to strengthen American sovereignty and border security. In 2018, the Kochs spent money to reelect the pro-abort Dem senator from North Dakota, whom pro-lifers had a chance of defeating.
In 2018, the political arm of the Koch network has even funded ads against pro-life Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), who is attempting to defeat the entrenched liberal Dem Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) in Pennsylvania.
In both politics as in business, Charles Koch is the leader of the two brothers, while David Koch is more of a socialite. In 2018, it was announced that David Koch was retiring from his business and political activities, due to declining health.
The Koch brothers conspire in secret with other wealthy individuals, and hold meetings closed to grassroots conservatives. This attempts to corner and influence the conservative movement and the Republican Party in a secretive, self-serving manner. In a leaked audio recording of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, he essentially admitted the dependency of Republican Party leaders on the Koch brothers. The Koch Brothers strongly oppose President Trump conservative immigration and trade agenda, and they have even threatened to support liberal Democrats because of their liberal views on those issues. In January 2019, they made clear they would no longer support only Republicans.
The Koch brothers are the biggest source of phony pro-life Republican politicians, such as Koch-backed former Rep. Renee Elmers (R-NC). She was elected by pretending to be pro-life but then switched sides on key legislation for the unborn. She was defeated after redistricting and opposition by pro-lifers. Sometimes, they even support liberal and pro-abortion Democrats, such as Heidi Heitkamp, and they have refused to support many conservative Republicans, including Trump in 2016 and Cory Stewart in 2018.
The Koch brothers are among the biggest polluters of the environment in the entire country. Despite this, they will invoke morality in bizarre ways, such as their chief spokesman insisting that a Senate replacement bill for ObamaCare is somehow "immoral".
The Koch brothers and their network of mega-donors finance ALEC, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, the Federalist Society, Americans for Prosperity, and some predominantly pro-abortion organizations. Lesser-known organizations funded by or having roots connected with the Koch brothers reportedly include FreedomWorks, the State Policy Network (SPN), American Encore and Freedom Partners.
The Koch brothers' wealth and repeated attempts to gain political influence have advanced a number of candidates at the state and federal levels. Sometimes they secretly fund harmful causes while concealing their role.
There are additional Koch brothers who do not participate in the political projects of Charles and David. Charles is considered to be more politically motivated than his younger brother David.
Koch brothers' agenda
1. Push the Convention of States (Article V Con Con).
2. Oppose global warming (pro-environment) legislation and regulations.
3. Support "dark money" (secret financing, without limits, of organizations to influence policy and elections).
4. Support criminal justice "reform" (reduced sentences and greater employability as low-wage workers).
5. Oppose federal "War on Drugs" and also oppose federal laws such as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
6. Oppose pro-life policies and much of social conservatism.
7. Support globalism and more immigration of low-wage workers (from which the Koch Industries profits), and oppose Donald Trump.
8. Support globalist trade policies, including so-called "free trade," and oppose any trade measures to protect American jobs, industry, sovereignty, and wages.
The states in which the Koch brothers have their greatest influence are the oil-rich states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and North Dakota.
Organizations influenced or controlled by the Koch brothers
In 2012, the Koch brothers took over Cato and ousted its founder, Ed Crane. This article by the Huffington Post has an insightful headline: "Koch Brothers’ Attempted Takeover Of Cato Could Be Part Of Bold Plan."
Additional organizations that the Koch brothers control or heavily influence are:
- Americans for Prosperity
- Heritage Foundation
- Federalist Society
- Council for National Policy
- Citizens for Self-Governance
- State policy network
- Main article: Koch Industries
In 2000, the Koch brothers (David and Charles) took over Koch industries from their brothers following bitter litigation.
The Tenth Circuit, in a decision in 2000, described the background of the Koch brothers' business as follows:
- The subject of this dispute, KII, is the second largest privately-held corporation in the United States. Based in Wichita, Kansas, KII owns an array of energy-related operations in the United States and Canada. Specifically, KII's assets include oil refineries, service stations, pipelines, coal mines, oil and gas exploration properties and processing plants, and a fleet of trucks. KII also owns numerous ranches and several hundred Chrysler dealerships.
- Originally named the Rock Island Oil and Refining Company, KII was founded by Fred C. Koch, the father of plaintiffs William and Frederick Koch and defendants Charles and David Koch. Fred Koch launched the company after World War II, when his mentor, L.B. Simmons, sold a refinery and several pipelines to Fred. In exchange, L.B. Simmons received stock and cash and he soon purchased additional shares of Rock Island Oil and Refining.
- L.B. Simmons' stock eventually passed individually and in trust to the following plaintiffs: Gay Roane, Holly Farabee, and Ronald Borders (the "Texas Plaintiffs"), Ann Alspaugh, Paul Cox, and L.B. Simmons Energy, Inc. (collectively, the "Simmons Family" ). For decades, the Simmons Family elected a director to KII's Board of Directors. Those members of the Simmons family involved in the instant suit are cousins to the four Koch brothers.
- In 1966 and 1967, Fred Koch gave all his common shares of KII stock to trusts created for his four sons, granting equal shares to plaintiff William and defendants Charles and David, but a lesser amount to plaintiff Frederick. When Fred Koch died in 1967, Charles succeeded his father as a director and chief executive officer of KII, positions he retains today. David went to work for KII in 1970 and presently serves as an executive vice-president and a director. William joined KII full-time in 1974, becoming vice president of corporate development five years later and continuously serving as a director from 1967 to 1983. Frederick, however, displayed substantially less interest in the company; he was never a KII employee and did not place a representative on the board until March of 1981.
- In 1980, a dispute erupted over the management of KII, pitting William, Frederick and the Simmons Family against Charles and David. During this contentious power struggle, Charles and David purchased the 4 % of KII stock owned by Howard Marshall III, the son of director J. Howard Marshall II. As a result, the voting percentage of stock retained by William, Frederick and the Simmons Family stood at 47.8 %, while Charles, David and the family of J. Howard Marshall II controlled 49.7 %, with employees and others owning the balance. In addition, the Board voted to terminate William's employment at KII.
- At that point, KII began negotiating with William, Frederick and the Simmons Family either to buy back some or all of their stock or to take KII public and have the now dissident shareholders sell their stock on the public market. Both sides then retained law firms and investment banking companies to represent them in the negotiations. On behalf of the dissident shareholders, the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs undertook an extensive valuation study of KII, beginning in the spring of 1982.
- These efforts culminated in the June 1983 [stock purchase agreement] SPA. Signed by all parties on June 4, 1983, the SPA provided that William, Frederick and the Simmons Family would sell their shares of KII common stock back to the company for $ 200 per share. In addition, the selling shareholders received their pro rata interests in an offshore oil concession. The SPA contained two relevant warranties by KII: The first provided that all KII financial statements disclosed to the selling shareholders had fairly presented KII's financial condition and were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The second warranty promised that since December 31, 1982, the Defendants had provided all information "which if fully disclosed might materially affect the valuation of [KII] stock ...."
Koch v. Koch Indus., 203 F.3d 1202, 1208-09 (10th Cir. 2000).
- Multiple references:
- Caplan, Joshua (July 28, 2018). Koch Network Blasts Trump on Tariffs, Immigration: ‘Doing Long-term Damage to the Country’. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Easley, Jonathan (July 28, 2018). Top Koch network officials vent frustration with White House, GOP-led Congress. The Hill. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Binder, John (July 30, 2018). Plutocrat Charles Koch: Trump Tariffs ‘Ridiculous,’ ‘Unfair’ to Foreigners. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- Binder, John (July 29, 2018). Midterms: Billionaire Koch Brothers Threaten to Support Democrats Pushing Open Borders, Free Trade. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Byas, Steve (July 30, 2018). Koch Prepared To Back Democrats Who Share His Goals. The New American. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- McCabe, David (January 27, 2019). The Koch network says it wants to pivot to bipartisanship. Axios. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Conservative group runs digital ad for North Dakota Democrat. The Washington Times (from the Associated Press). Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- Everett, Burgess (June 1, 2018). The Kochs just embraced one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators. Politico. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- Koch brothers won't back GOP nominee Corey Stewart in Va. Senate race. The Washington Times (from the Associated Press). Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Binder, John (April 6, 2018). Billionaire Charles Koch: ‘We’re Working Hard Against’ Trump’s Pro-American Tariffs on China. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 7, 2018.