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David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, attends an Economic Club of New York event in New York, December 10, 2012.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) - RTR3BFKF
David Koch
A few layers of the big ol' stinky onion that is the Koch brothers' political attack industry are peeled back in this massive report in The Washington Post. It details myriad "nonprofit" organizations set up and shuffled around within the Koch network to fund what has become an almost exclusively anti-Obamacare campaign, and to conceal where all that money is actually coming from:
The resources and the breadth of the organization make it singular in American politics: an operation conducted outside the campaign finance system, employing an array of groups aimed at stopping what its financiers view as government overreach. Members of the coalition target different constituencies but together have mounted attacks on the new health-care law, federal spending and environmental regulations. [...]

Its funders remain largely unknown; the coalition was carefully constructed with extensive legal barriers to shield its donors.

But they have substantial firepower. Together, the 17 conservative groups that made up the network raised at least $407 million during the 2012 campaign, according to the analysis of tax returns by The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.

A labyrinth of tax-exempt groups and limited-liability companies helps mask the sources of the money, much of which went to voter mobilization and television ads attacking President Obama and congressional Democrats, according to tax filings and campaign finance reports.

Why all the secrecy? To hear them, it's all about protecting the very lives of the hardworking patriots who have donated their millions to bring down a presidency. Because, you see, "Koch has been targeted repeatedly in the past by the Administration and its allies because of our real (or, in some cases, perceived) beliefs and activities concerning public policy and political issues." That targeting, Charles Koch himself says, is extreme: "We get death threats, threats to blow up our facilities, kill our people. We get Anonymous and other groups trying to crash our IT systems. [...] So long as we’re in a society like that, where the president attacks us and we get threats from people in Congress, and this is pushed out and becomes part of the culture—that we are evil, so we need to be destroyed, or killed—then why force people to disclose?" See, their donors must remain anonymous because President Obama has basically ordered his followers to kill them. Okay, then.

What the whole structure seems to amount to is a massive, massive right-wing welfare program for the core set of people who seem to run all of these organizations. They are spending an awful lot of money on advertising, too, but they're not getting an much of a bang for those bucks. President Obama is still in the White House. The Senate is still held by Democrats. Obamacare is the law of the land. Still, though, through the Republican House of Representatives that they've bought and a Senate skewed toward giving the minority a great deal of power, the Kochs do have inordinate amount of power to keep the government from functioning.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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