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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
The Koch brothers seem bound and determined to flush away even more of their billions backing up unpopular policies and unpopular Republicans. In a memo they sent to major donors and political operatives, obtained by Politico, they've committed to spend at least $125 million more in political ads and ground efforts to back Republicans this cycle. That's likely more than either of the parties' congressional campaign organizations will spend.

Here's the best part: they want to do this to convince the public that people like the Kochs haven't stacked the deck against the rest of us. The memo says that the "Left had a superior messaging strategy and implementation that effectively identified their demographic targets, determined which issues resonated best with which groups, and delivered specific messages over TV, radio and online ads for those audiences." So they want to counter that by pretending they care about real people.

"If the presidential election told us anything, it’s that Americans place a great importance on taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak," reads the AFP memo.

Echoing Charles Koch's opposition to the minimum wage, it asserts that free market, low-regulation policies "create the greatest levels of prosperity and opportunity for all Americans, especially for society's poorest and most vulnerable." Yet, the memo says, "we consistently see that Americans in general are concerned that free-market policy—and its advocates—benefit the rich and powerful more than the most vulnerable of society. … We must correct this misconception."

One of the ways they're trying to "correct this misconception" is with their "personal story" ads, "often told by regular folks looking directly into the camera, to critique Democratic policies like Obamacare, and the politicians who support them." You know, all those "horror stories" that have turned out to be a passel of lies. So apparently we can expect more of them, which at least will provide job security to all the fact checkers out there.

So they're spending hundreds of millions trying to buy a Senate like they bought the House so they can privatize Medicare, kill Medicaid, and enact the Ryan budget on steroids. The only reason, they believe, that these things are unpopular is that the great unwashed public doesn't understand that it's all for our own good to have every structure of support yanked out from under us. Because that message is going to work with Latinos and young people and women, their new targeted demographics.

The bad news is they'll spend their millions and millions getting out the vote among the people who are already with them. The good news—for us—is that they'll be wasting millions and millions on a message that isn't going to work with anyone else.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (31+ / 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 May 09, 2014 at 08:09:57 AM PDT

  •  The Grift Mill lines up for a piece of the action. (12+ / 0-)
  •  They plan on lying... (8+ / 0-)

    and letting the chips fall where they may. It isn't like there's a strong message machine out there to counter their bullshit.

    The goal it looks like is to muddy the waters enough so that the low information voter is confused, and stays home on election day. And if we're being honest with ourselves it isn't like the Democrats have a unified positive message to hammer on.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:16:18 AM PDT

    •  Their cynicism is mind-boggling. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbou, Shawn87, Pam from Calif
      "If the presidential election told us anything, it’s that Americans place a great importance on taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak," reads the AFP memo.
      "... so instead of being a party that actually represents those values ... in order to win elections we must pretend to be the kind of people who care for those in need and don't harm the weak."
      The memo says that the "Left had a superior messaging strategy..."
      With Republicans it's all about the "messaging."  Reality?  Meh.  Get Paul Ryan some more clean dishes to "wash".
      •  As I read it again ... even more ... (0+ / 0-)

        Republicans need to be told that taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak are good and popular things?!

        They need to learn from polls that those are things Americans might ... you know ... place great importance on?

        It doesn't occur to them that those things should be promoted just for their own sake?  Because they're the ... you know ... the right, moral thing to do?!  

        Do Republicans really just assume that all Americans are as selfish and unempathetic as they are, and it is an interesting fact to them -- something to be exploited politically -- to find out that other humans have this "empathy" thing?

        Good grief.  That quote just oozes "sociopathy".

  •  They might get better results... (7+ / 0-)

    ...just paying off middle-aged white Democrats, with $1 million in random, unmarked $100 bills, though I doubt it.

    I could sure use the money, but I'd still vote Democratic. YMMV.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:35:27 AM PDT

  •  and we counter them with millions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern, MyMy, Shawn87

    in small individual donations to ensure there are plenty of counter ads.  In decades past I wouldn't have trusted the Democrats to spend that money wisely but one thing the Obama administration has done well is use social media and the internet to message well for the money spent.

    •  if we can't get our side out to vote, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      daeros, NCJan, VClib, Pam from Calif

      it won't matter how much money we raise, how many counter-ads we run, how right we are.

      GOTV in 50 states -- even the red ones, because local and state races are still important there -- is JOB #1.

      We need money, yes. But those ads can only grab someone's attention for 30 seconds. We have to convince them to give 30 minutes -- or even 3 hours -- to vote.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:38:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GOTV--Bingo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pam from Calif

        Their ads won't motivate people to vote for them.

        The purpose of their ads is to tear down their opponents and depress the vote of their rivals.

        A good GOTV effort will do loads to counter that.

        History is a guide, not a destination.

        by NCJan on Fri May 09, 2014 at 04:05:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  people who are wealthy because of America (5+ / 0-)

    and the freedom they have here, who use that wealth to subvert our democracy by propagating lies to influence elections by manipulating the weak and uninformed to vote against their best interests so that these wealthy people can continue to accumulate wealth by selling dirty energy that is destroying our earth, are truly EVIL people, and our politicians shouldn't miss an opportunity to remind everybody of that fact.

    •  The Kochs are lazy, greedy heirs (4+ / 0-)

      They never earned their money, but they sure spend it in their war on America.

      Are they still funding the John Birch Society?

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:03:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  freelunch - that's not true (0+ / 0-)

        The Koch brothers were left a valuable company built around a patent for a less expensive way to refine oil into gasoline. However, during the management of David and Charles Koch the company, Koch Industries, has expanded and increased in value by ten times or 1,000%. We don't like their politics, but they certainly aren't lazy. Both brothers play key operating roles at Koch Industries.

        They no longer fund the JBS.

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:39:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How in the name of God any sentient American... (9+ / 0-)

    ...can possibly imagine that a couple of multi-billionares who don't want you to be able to afford health-care or have a legal minimum wage, how a couple of vicious assholes like these two give a flying fuck about anyone who isn't them...boy, that is a goddamned mystery on par with the film career of Steven Seagal.

    Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

    by Retroactive Genius on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:02:15 AM PDT

    •  The wrap their hatred of the 99% in lies. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hohenzollern, Aquarius40, Shawn87

      Take the recent distortion that "1 in 8 Americans will be part of the 1% some time in their life". Yes, that line of crap was actually pushed. If you believe that taxing the 1% will have a 1 in 8 chance of affecting you then you'll want to protect them, or rather yourself. But the study is a distortion, first it only applies to "1 year of income in the top 1%" and could apply to anything from legal settlements, lottery winnings, inheritance, etc. The reality is less than 2% of Americans will amass $1,000,000 in worth in their life time but more than 20% think they are, or will be, part of the elite.

      Toss in heavy doses of social issues like racism, religion, gun control, etc. and they can push their libertarian cesspool of ideas to lots of people.

      GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:05:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For a real-life remake of Trading Places: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TDDVandy, madronagal

      We clearly have the Kochs as a replacement for the Dukes, but who will be our real Billy Ray Valentine and Louis Winthorpe III?

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:06:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One wonders why the US has no problem (0+ / 0-)

    …freezing the bank accounts of Russian oligarchs (who are not attacking American Democracy) rather than freezing the accounts of oligarchs who are directly distorting propaganda and destroying what was once the people's Democracy in the US.

  •  $125 Million? (6+ / 0-)

    That's just the change they found between the sofa cushions.

    But it pleases me that all the attention they've received is making them anxious.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:06:47 PM PDT

  •  think of it as sort of a Keynesian (0+ / 0-)

    economic stimulus program, libertarian style.


    Odd, isn't it, that the rich fucks can't raise the minimum wage because they'll go broke boo hoo hoo--but by golly they sure seem to always find the millions they need to buy politicians.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:08:56 PM PDT

  •  It doesn't need to work on anyone else... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, AlexDrew

    If they get more votes they win.

    What I don't see is Dem efforts to inspire the left. Sure they are telling us to vote, but they aren't inspiring.

    Its like the Dem party has bought its own BS and has decided that just not being republican is reason enough. Sure its reason enough to get people to pull the D at the polls, but its not enough to get them there in the fist place to do it.

    If the Dems are truly sincere and want to inspire the left to vote, they could easily make a few reasonable populist platform points that show they will fight for us. Don't pitch 'vote for us but they will win' because thats weak sauce. Pitch 'vote for us because we will do X Y Z).

    I think the reason they don't is because they know they have little real intention of actually fighting for us, and that would cause more long term harm than winning some mid terms could gain.

    The Dems just make it too easy on the Repubs during the midterms because of their own conflict of interest..

    Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:18:28 PM PDT

    •  should read: vote for us 'or' they will win nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It just has to sow enough doubt (0+ / 0-)

      so that our borderline voters shrug, decide it's either too complicated or the politicians are all a bunch of crooks and liars, and stay home.

      I would not be so certain that this is wasted money -- let's wait until November and find out. It may be just enough to tip things in their favor.

    •  "If they get more votes (0+ / 0-)

      they win." You got charts and graphs to quantify that? I'm inspired to vote. Always have been. I don't know about you, but I'm going out of state (I'm in Oregon so no need here) to drag people to the polls. I'd be delighted to give you, or anyone, my phone number and address so we can hang out for a while. Maybe I could inspire you enough to participate in the whole Democracy thing?

      "Because we are all connected...."

      by Shawn87 on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:12:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its not about you or me its about the great many (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, AlexDrew

        people who have little real political interest. The Repubs do a far better job of getting those with a right leaning view out during the midterms, than the dems to for those with a left lean.

        Why that bothers me is because there are ways to inspire that are not even being attempted. You don;t see the right going 'vote for us or the dems will win' because they know its not a motivator. They pick issues and push them to get their base fired up where them dems really don't.

        Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

        by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:27:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They have warped this country long enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Shawn87

    The Kochs are monomaniacs, fanatics fighting against a 'collectivism' that is no longer even a credible concept--last used in the 1910s, 20s and 30s…

    So out of date… But they have succeeded in John Bircherizing a lot of this nation.

    I recall when the Birch Society was not only laughed at, it was OUTLAWED.

  •  When you can blow that much money (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail, Johnny Wendell, Shawn87

    trying to influence elections, your arguments that you can't create jobs because your taxes are too high sound even whinier than they normally do.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:28:52 PM PDT

  •  Whats 125 Mil? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When you got at least 80 billion. I just bought a very expensive tank of gas and I couldn't help but wonder how much of my money is going to the Koch brother oligarchy cause. Can't wait for the day when we're done with fossil fuels.

  •  Don't be so cocky. That much money buys a massive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    propaganda campaign against the things we all believe in.

  •  It won't be flushed away, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at least as far as they're concerned, if the GOP gains control of both houses, which is looking more and more likely.

  •  they's rich and all ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but nobody calls those boyz 'Doctor,' naw do they.

    During an appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in April, the former president noted that once his daughter receives her doctorate [from Oxford], she will have four degrees.

    "She'll have as many as her parents do --€” combined," Bill Clinton said. "When she was younger, the way all kids are, she thought she knew more than I did about everything. But alas, in my dotage, it turned out to be true!"

    Doctor Chelsea Clinton. workin' it.

    Maybe there's something on the Koch's horizon in addition to that special slot machine they're so fond of -- billion here, trillion there: that game might be shutting down. No? Yes?

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:40:20 PM PDT

  •  America's Book of Secrets (0+ / 0-)

    The Billionaire Agenda

    This episode reveals the underground world of America's wealthiest citizens and the depths at which their power and influence take root. Do billionaires think they know better than the majority? Are the American masses just objects to control? Forbes Editor Luisa Kroll talks about the growing wealth of the super-rich and the exclusive billionaire communities that are forming around them. Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich divulges how billionaires' "dark money" influences American politics in ways that are off-limits to public scrutiny. And Author Mark Dice discusses the Bilderberg Group, the world's most secretive society of billionaires and the extreme measures they take to ensure that what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
    Tomorrow nite 10pm/ET - if I'm not mistaken.

    I'll be there.

    "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress Chris Christie. But I repeat myself." ~ Mark Twain, (with a twist) ;o)

    by Terre on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:44:11 PM PDT

  •  Watch out for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Shawn87

    State and local  - even very local flushing.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:55:43 PM PDT

  •  That's like you spending $1 if you have $1,000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, AlexDrew

    The Kochs have close to $100 billion. $100 million is 1/1000 of their money. That's like someone with $1,000 spending $1.

    It's fun to gloat over them pissing away $100 million, but really, they won't miss it.

  •  Tell the government to stop ruining my life! (0+ / 0-)

    I have a business to run and this dreadful man set up across the street to compete with me!  And you know what, he got sick with the pneumonia!  And you know what saved him? OBAMACARE. Now I have Okay, what about if he gets ruined by a tornado and I'd be rich but the government helped him

  •  I love this (in the most sarcastic sense): (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Shawn87
    "...Americans in general are concerned that free-market policy—and its advocates—benefit the rich and powerful more than the most vulnerable of society. … We must correct this misconception."
    The problem for the Kochs is that Americans have added two and two and gotten four. They've an uphill road convincing many that it's actually five.
  •  Koch portrait (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is it my imagination or does this Koch portrait resemble the head of a snake....???

    It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. G. K. Chesterton

    by redbaron on Fri May 09, 2014 at 04:31:32 PM PDT

  •  only way to win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is to deny the kochroaches and adelson, and the rest of the big money grubbers any return on their investment.

    legally they can spend every penny buying congressfolk and state legislators.  our only option is deny their candidates a win.

    work our asses off, get out the vote, educate the voters, get out the vote.

    I truly believe that the pendulum is swinging against them at last.  more and more people are learning the truth. The old tactics are not working quite as well these days.  Old farts are dying off, and the socially connected are listening to new voices.

  •  From what I have learned, the Koch brothers earn (0+ / 0-)

    about 3 million or more a day:  What's it to them if they blow a few here and there?  They consider it an "investment" towards their ultimate goal of getting those that will do their bidding where the big payoff comes:  Making even more money for themselves by having their needs serviced for that very reason be it a bill that cuts their taxes, or a green light via legislation for a business dealing that makes them successful in their long term investment (think Keystone Pipeline and Tar Sands in Alberta - follow the money from 20 years ago).  

    It even doesn't matter about the timeframe, just the end results.  There is never enough for them, or for sick and demented bastards like them.  It is an illness, and there is no cure, only the pain and suffering others have to endure for their return on the investments.

    This big time money people always think in terms of investment, and returns, and they can afford the gamble even if the stakes are high because they don't have to worry where their next mortgage payment, or meal, or health care insurance, or anything that you and I have to deal with on a day to day basis is going to get covered and by which checking account from the paycheck you just earned.  They have others do that they that they never have even met in person.

    It's that grotesques a game and the worse thing about them is that they never really had to work for their money:  They inherited it from Mommy and Daddy.

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:25:06 PM PDT

  •  Koch "makeover" (0+ / 0-)

    While America seems to be waking up to the Koch brothers assault on everything American, the Koch's seem to be trying to "mellow" on the national scene.

    But watch out. While their propaganda machine works to "mellow" their message nationally, they are still driving full speed to undermine democracy at the state level.

    Their diabolical ALEC organization is quietly taking over one statehouse after another...infiltrating and funding the most ardent and unspeakable Republicans imaginable, then giving these disgusting lawmakers "ready made" bills to present that are aimed at destroying the American way of life. Learn about ALEC here:

    I would judge the real Koch message by what ALEC does.

    Maybe if enough Americans catch on to what they are doing, they will pick up their billions and move...and find another country to take over.

    Lets hope.

  •  Ugh. (0+ / 0-)

    Can't wait for $125 million worth of TV spam this summer and fall.  For nearly 20 years now, that elderly white couple from central casting has been frustrated with regulations, taxes and now health care.  You'd think they'd have come to terms with things by now!  But I guess we can look forward to another summer and fall filled with 30-second spots documenting their plight.  

    How do you defeat the Koch brothers?  TIVO + fast-forward.  

  •  Shorter Koch: 'U'll LIKE being Soylent. Trust us! (0+ / 0-)

    Yum, yum!"

  •  da (0+ / 0-)

    Hi ! I am Jenna, and i will be your personal coach and will guide you in starting with an online business and earning online... So if you are interested in making $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month then follow link at the bottom and sign up and you can have your first check by the end of this week...­­WORK71.C­­O­­M

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