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Screenshot of page showing 8 Democrats targeted by Kochs.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's ongoing fight with the Koch brothers from the Senate floor isn't happening in a vacuum. Greg Sargent reports on the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's new website,, and the rationale behind Democrats' focus on the Kochs:
The “Koch addition” approach is rooted in a strategic imperative Dems face: How can they create a framework within which voters will believe what they are saying about the real policy agenda Republicans are campaigning on? […] Polls show majorities agree with Dems on specific policies they’re campaigning on—the minimum wage; unemployment benefits; etc. But that’s bumping up against the structural reality that Senate control will largely be decided in seven states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012.

The challenge Dems say they face is to get voters to focus on actual positions held by GOP candidates, and on the fact that those positions are not in their economic interests. Why do these candidates oppose raising the minimum wage, or extending unemployment insurance, or expanding Medicaid, all of which would benefit so many people in the states they would represent? Republicans may claim a legitimate rationale for these positions, but the question is, how do you get voters to focus on the fact that these are really their positions?

Sargent points out that this filters down to local issues, with the example of Republican Tom Cotton in Arkansas toeing the Koch line of opposing the farm bill, despite the many programs in the law that support Arkansas communities. The campaign is also highlighting the fact that two of the top Republicans running to take on Sen. Mark Begich in November,  Dan Sullivan, the former commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources, and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, have let the Koch brothers off the hook when they shut down an oil refinery in the state and allegedly left without cleaning up the pollution they created.

Highlighting the fealty these Republican candidates have to the billionaire Koch brothers helps on a number of levels. It's big money billionaires trying to buy a Senate. It's big money billionaires trying to kill policies that will help the middle class. It's big money billionaires from out of state trying to meddle in local politics. As Sargent says, this gives Democrats a framework for showing, in stark relief, the contrast of the Democrats' and tea party's vision for the nation.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (40+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:58:08 AM PST

  •  kochaddiction link broken n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, cotterperson, Stude Dude

    "Detective, if ignorance was a drug, you'd be high all the time." Sam Tyler, 'Life on Mars'

    by Kokomo for Obama on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:13:49 PM PST

  •  We need to post a list (8+ / 0-)

    of every "donation" any of the Koch family has ever made.  Then we need to demand a full investigation of every one of them.  As has been pointed out innumerable times, not one organization to which the Koch brothers have ever contributed has any useful or redeeming value.  At the least, every organization that has ever received any funds must immediately return them.  
    We can call it the Kos Disinfection!

    •  there already is a list (0+ / 0-)

      oh wait.. the top 20 are all basically Dem donors.  Koch brothers is such a big bogeyman because the Dems dont want to let everyone know that they are completely beholden to UNIONS.  

      •  congrats on your 2nd comment ever (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87, Matt Z

        I believe you misunderstand the situation with unions. All of those who are in power, or who seek power, have some degree of corruption. That includes Republicans, Democrats, the Kochs, unions, bankers, oil people, and war profiteers, to name just some.

        The Democrats are not "beholden" to unions. They work together to funnel money to themselves, just like the Republicans do.

        I see, with you being a Republican, that it's easy to fall for Republican propaganda but if you want to keep it real, please note that they're all crooks.

        Dear NSA: I am only joking.

        by Shahryar on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:07:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, when I first saw your screen name (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Matt Z

        I thought it was the 'weatherdude" with a new handle, but then I read your post.  

        "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Albert Einstein

        by sfcouple on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:20:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Did you even read your link? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        "...this list does not include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife Miriam donated nearly $93 million in 2012 alone to conservative super PACs — enough to put him at No. 2 on this list. Similarly, the list excludes former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated more than $19 million in the past two years, largely to groups that support gun control. Neither Adelson nor Bloomberg — or the organizations they report as their employers — qualifies as a "heavy hitter" under our current definition. It's also important to note that we aren't including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors; see a list of top donors that we've been able to identify to such groups. We are working to revise this list to take into account the new realities of campaign finance created by the Citizens United decision, but as it currently stands, there are significant omissions."

        Warner 2016! (Premature? Naaah!)

        by elchip on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:35:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Koch Boys Hate That They've Been Exposed..... (12+ / 0-)

    That's what makes their exposure so delicious.  They prefer to have everyone talk about the big wads of cash they donate to the opera.....but not the millions they give to ALEC, Scott Walker, charter schools & all the Republican nutjobs they finance.  

  •  snort anti-democratic Koch in the Republic Party (4+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:28:04 PM PST

  •  Koch fiends (9+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:34:24 PM PST

  •  Koch Carpetbaggers nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:39:30 PM PST

  •  Bonus points (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, Eyesbright, Matt Z

    And it's all, unequivocally true!

  •  This will also be useful in exposing the lies (4+ / 0-)

    behind the teabaggers' populist claims. Show the Kochtopus pulling the strings behind so-called grassroots teabaggery.

  •  OK, I Get It.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    Fear of teh Romney can't be used this time-- HE LOST. so it's on to Fear of teh Koch Bros., as some sort of "strategy" to motivate democratic voters.

    Interestingly, the Repuglican Governors Assoc. spent millions in 2010 to defeat, I believe it was 12 incumbent democratic governors-- they succeeded with nine or ten-- giving us asshats like Walker in WI, Kasich in Ohio, Snyder in MI and so on. I've not seen one person here acknowledge that plan and it's success, and the total lack of response of the democratic party.

    The eight democrats listed in the diary, how many have actually been voted out of office?

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:48:16 PM PST

    •  Our party's midterm strategy is murky at best (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Disjointed and incomplete at worst.

      No more 50 state strategy. No one left in Dem Party leadership who is accountable to the base or anyone on Main St.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:17:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  RIGHT, so Why Should Dem Voters Show (0+ / 0-)

        up this fall? Fear of teh Koch Bros.?

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:27:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess you're right (0+ / 0-)

          I guess you're right good reason to vote Democratic this election. Except the fact that the other side wants to return this nation to the pre 1930's "Robber Baron" heyday. With all that implies. As a man of color, I don't care to return to what R's consider a "better time." I'll keep voting D for the foreseeable future. Thank you very much. Peace.

          "Because we are all connected...."

          by Shawn87 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:47:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  And the Winners are? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mchestnutjr, GypsyT, cocinero, Shawn87

    The Koch Brothers.

    The Koch candidates will have all the money, the gerrymandering, and the media on their sides, where the truth will be drowned out by lies and propaganda.

    The year 2014 will be the decider to see whether we still have a viable political system, or there will have to be blood on the streets to have a representative government.

    Living in the nightmare reality of working in the oilfields of South and West Texas.

    by Incarnate on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:48:44 PM PST

    •  Yes, but not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

      Looking at that list i still see a lot of faux Democrats. Is there a similar list for defeatable Fas... Republicans? All we really need (as opposed to what we really want) is a veto safe Senate.
      The smartest thing that Bush (elder - he who must not be remembered never did anything smart) was to call Allen to tell him not to demand a recount when he lost the Senate, because he knew that 49 senators can control the Senate through the filibuster. Think - as long as the fascists control the House it doesn't matter who controls the Senate. We need both, and that includes having reliable Senators. For example, "losing" Baucus - regardless of his replacement - was a gain.

  •  The Koch millions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    are hardly enough to counter those big union bosses, right? Level the field.     Snrk.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:49:59 PM PST

  •  So being conservative like Landrieu (0+ / 0-)

    still didn't protect them. And after all she did for the oil industry!
    Maybe we're better off without her. It would be a lot easier to show the "stark contrast" if certain Democrats weren't trying so hard to imitate Republicans.

  •  I still think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, Matt Z

    anyone who takes money from these guys should be called Kochsuckers.

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 03:24:39 PM PST

  •  Local issues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the Koch Brothers are funneling money through Americans for Prosperity, GOP candidates can be tied to AFP positions that are unpopular locally. For example, Tim Cotton in Arkansas opposing the Farm Bill.

    There may be similar opportunities in Iowa for Bruce Braley once the GOP picks their candidate for senate. In addition to the  Farm Bill, other AFP positions that would be unpopular in Iowa:
    AFP opposes the wind energy production tax credit
    AFP opposes the renewable fuels standard
    AFP opposes energy efficiency standards
    AFP favors repealing the inheritance tax (Of course they favor another tax break for the wealthy.)
    AFP opposes tax breaks for renewable energy (Of course this competes with Koch industries)
    AFP opposes taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.
    AFP opposes increasing the minimum wage
    AFP favors repealing Obamacare. They oppose Medicaid expansion and all parts of the ACA. They've been spending their money attacking Braley (and others) on Obamacare, but this may come back to haunt them. Repealing Obamacare is not a popular position now, and likely to be less popular in November.

  •  it's simple, really... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, Shawn87, Matt Z

    ...the Republicans represent billionaires and millionaires. Period. That is their only constituent group. They are the only people that Republicans care about. And all of their policies are designed to benefit them. And they also claim (with straight faces) that this will (eventually) benefit everyone. (The rest of us are still waiting, of course, as we have been, for a long, long time.)

    The more Democrats continue to hammer that reality home to the electorate, the better their chances to win.

    It's good to see the party finally trying to educate the American public about what's going on in our plutocracy.

  •  Why would the Kochs try to take out THOSE Dems? (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to me they ought to go after Democrats who actually oppose what the Kochs stand for.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:11:30 PM PST

    •  You're right, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      these particular "Dems" - and that is in parens for a reason - are vulnerable because real progressive democrats won't support them because of their blue-dog voting records. Therefore, they're kind of out there on their own. The only support they get from rank and file democrats is because they're marginally better than having their seats in Republican hands.

  •  Not to be pedandic ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... but it's "hone."

  •  Stupid Dems! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "The challenge Dems say they face is to get voters to focus on actual positions held by GOP candidates, and on the fact that those positions are not in their economic interests. Why do these candidates oppose raising the minimum wage, or extending unemployment insurance, or expanding Medicaid, all of which would benefit so many people in the states they would represent?

    Why are Dems mystified by the fact that Americans widely believe the myths that deficits are bad, that We must borrow our own money, that we are burdened by debt, yada yada yada?

    The Leader of the Freakin party has regularly lied that the nation is running out of money. So its no wonder that people don't want to help the economy and ourselves by spending more money. Debt is bad dont you know.

    Dems are helping to perpetuate the very same lies that Cons tell that undermine progressive policy. All so national dems can be bribed by the wealthy. Its so sad to see this embarrassment that once was a proud progressive middle class people's party.

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it. If we can afford full employment killing Germans, we can afford full employment during peace-time.

    by Auburn Parks on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:46:28 PM PST

  •  95% of registered Dems don't even know (0+ / 0-)

    who the Koch brothers are.  In fact, if you go too far from this site, and people have heard of the Kochs, they equate them with George Soros, and his support of the Left.  They both do it...

    Trying to structure your campaign against the Kochs is better than nothing, I guess.  But, that said, the alternative is "nothing" - as in, Dems got nothing.  The bottom line is that this list of Dems is not only from states that Mitt Romney won, they are all bluedogs, conservadems, DINOS, or whatever you want to call them.  They don't deserve Dem progressive support, which is just as much the reason they're in trouble as the states they are from.  The only reason to vote for any of them  if you are progressive, is lesser of two evils.  You see how that worked out for the GOP in the last two presidential elections.  

    I'd say Pryor, Begich, and Hagan are dead men walking.  Landrieu is a cat with nine lives, but I think she's probably used up the last of them.  That makes four seats lost.  GOP needs two more.  Walsh is probably in big trouble, just because he was never elected.  That leaves three more.  If the GOP wins one of them, they control the Senate, and Obama's (and the progressive) agenda are vaporized for the remainder of his presidency.  With the House, the GOP can obstruct.  With the entire Congress, the GOP can make Obama's life (and those of progressives) a living hell.

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