David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers bankrolling the front groups behind the Tea Party and climate denial movement, have added another ‘cause’ to their philanthropic endeavors, donating $1 million to the Proposition 23 fight to kill California’s landmark 2006 climate change legislation.
Koch subsidiary Flint Hills Resources LP handled the laundry duties on this one, but the directive surely came from the heads of the Kochtopus empire – billionaires David and Charles Koch.
The Kochs have found themselves under an uncomfortable spotlight lately after a thorough investigation by The New Yorker revealed the brothers’ extensive funding of a network of groups that catapulted the ‘grassroots’ Tea Party into play, as well as their financial backing of a sprawling network of climate denier groups that makes even ExxonMobil blush.
The Los Angeles Times blog ‘Greenspace’ first reported Flint Hills Resources donation towards the Proposition 23 bill last night, noting that the effort was launched by two other oil industry players, Texas-based refinery companies Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp.
The Kochs have lost much of the anonymity they enjoyed over the past several decades in the political world. Ever since David Koch’s disastrous performance in the 1980 elections when he bought his way onto the Libertarian Party’s ticket as Vice Presidential candidate – a ticket that earned only one percent of the vote – the Kochs have stayed below the radar for the most part.
Until recently, David was better known in New York social circles for his charitable donations to the arts and humanities, while Charles focused on running Koch Industries with an iron fist. But since the New Yorker piece and a report by Greenpeace in March documenting the Kochs’ support for the climate denial machine, the brothers can do little without receiving massive media attention.
As the world looks more closely, it seems the Kochs have their hands in all sorts of anti-democratic pies, and now we know that undermining California voters’ choice to confront climate change is among them.
Wonder where else the Koch brothers’ influence will pop up this election cycle? Stay tuned as more tentacles of the Kochtopus emerge into the sunshine.