Tim Dickinson of “Rolling Stone” Looks at the Koch Brothers’ “Toxic Empire”

Charles & David Koch

Charles & David Koch

By Elaine Magliaro

Tim Dickinson has an interesting article about the billionaire siblings Charles and David Koch over at Rolling Stone. Dickinson’s piece is titled Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire. He notes below the title of his article that the Kochs “control one of the world’s largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system.” He adds that what the billionaire brothers don’t want people to know is “how they made all that money.”

Excerpt from Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire:

The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year’s midterms. So far in this cycle, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate.

What is less clear is where all that money comes from. Koch Industries is headquartered in a squat, smoked-glass building that rises above the prairie on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas. The building, like the brothers’ fiercely private firm, is literally and figuratively a black box. Koch touts only one top-line financial figure: $115 billion in annual revenue, as estimated by Forbes. By that metric, it is larger than IBM, Honda or Hewlett-Packard and is America’s second-largest private company after agribusiness colossus Cargill. The company’s stock response to inquiries from reporters: “We are privately held and don’t disclose this information.”

But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. The company’s troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations, Department of Justice consent decrees, civil lawsuits and felony convictions – augmented by internal company documents, leaked State Department cables, Freedom of Information disclosures and company whistle­-blowers, combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire whose profits finance the modern GOP.

Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch’s pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers.

NOTE: Click here to read the rest of the article.

This entry was posted in Big Oil, Campaign Finance, Fascists/Corporatists, Justice, Oligarchy, Politics, Tea Party, United States and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tim Dickinson of “Rolling Stone” Looks at the Koch Brothers’ “Toxic Empire”

  1. Mike Spindell says:

    Elaine,

    Thank you for that Rolling Stone article, even though it scares the hell out of me. How do we fight a colossus such as this?

  2. James Knauer says:

    The Koch Brothers are being outed in debates. The name is no longer obscure.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/iowa-candidates-clash-debate

    “Braley retorted: “I realize that and President Obama’s name is not on the ballot. And I’m not going to owe President Obama anything on Election Day. You’re going to owe the Koch brothers everything.””

  3. bron98 says:

    many large companies have similar things going on.

    The left has focused on the Kochs like the right has focused on Soros.

  4. po says:

    Bron
    That is true, and it is just as fallacious as the oft-repeated equating of Fox and Msnbc, or Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher …

  5. Pingback: Barf Warning #2: Watching This Video of Mika Brzezinski Talking about Her Weekend with the Kochs May Also Induce Vomiting! | Flowers For Socrates

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