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David Koch Has Direct Contact With Tea Party Astroturf Organizers At Americans For Prosperity Event

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
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The billionaire Koch brothers have long claimed that they have no direct connection to the Tea Party, denying that their vast oil wealth is directly funding corporate front groups like Americans For Prosperity, the key organizers of the fake grassroots Tea Party movement. 

David Koch told New York magazine earlier this year, “I’ve never been to a tea-party event. No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me.” 

But the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg reports today that footage has emerged showing David Koch at the podium during an Americans For Prosperity gala receiving direct and detailed reports from his astroturf AFP army on their efforts to organize tea parties around the nation.  

Watch the clip from the new documentary (Astro)Turf Wars: How Corporate America Faked a Grassroots Revolution:


 

Charles and David Koch’s company, Koch Industries, the largest private corporation in America, has also denied direct links to the Tea Party, as Jane Meyer reported in her extensive piece in The New Yorker on the Koch brothers:

In April, 2009, Melissa Cohlmia, a [Koch Industries] spokesperson, denied that the Kochs had direct links to the Tea Party, saying that Americans for Prosperity is “an independent organization and Koch companies do not in any way direct their activities.” Later, she issued a statement: “No funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, or Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties.”

Yet Greenpeace and others have documented the extensive funding flowing from the Koch brothers through their Koch family foundations to Americans For Prosperity and other front groups working on behalf of corporate America to stop progress on healthcare reform, climate and energy policy.

With this new footage clearly showing David Koch interacting with his tea party foot soldiers, the Kochtopus definitely has some ‘splainin’ to do. 

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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