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A woman walks into a polling station for early absentee voting at Courthouse Plaza in Arlington, Virginia October 25, 2012. Two weeks before what could be one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, efforts to mislead, intimidate or pressur
The news that the Koch brothers intend to spend at least $125 million more on buying the Senate (on top of the $35 million or so they've already spent) is sobering. Yes, they have a losing message, and yes so far all the money they've spent has gotten them bupkis, but it's still an astounding amount of money. Steven Benen quantifies just how much money it is.
Bart chart showing how Koch spending drawfs campaign spending by congressional committees by at least three times.
We just recently learned how much money the major-party campaign committees have in the bank for the 2014 cycle. For example, according to the most recent filings, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is responsible for supporting Dem candidates in 435 U.S. House races, announced it has $40.2 million to be used in this year’s midterms. Its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, has about $31.2 million in cash on hand for the year.

On the Senate side, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has a little more than $22 million in the bank, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee has $15.9 million in cash on hand.

There will be more money raised by the campaign committees in the intervening months, but there's no way in hell they reach the numbers the Kochs are spending. As Benen says, that means Democrats have to try to compete against Republicans and against the Kochs.

The Republicans have a distinct disadvantage in that people hate them and their message is a losing one. But they have the advantage of having a rabid base that votes, and that millions of dollars of Koch money will help turn out. As Markos wrote, "our problem isn't winning over the American people. It's getting them to the polls."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 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 10:41:43 AM PDT

  •  The real problem with money in politics (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Gooserock, LinSea, Calamity Jean

    ...isn't so much that it buys elections.  There is a real influence there, but it's less than people think which is why the Koch brothers record isn't too stellar.  I think there is a real law of diminishing returns curve there so that while it's possible to buy small races, with the big ones everyone tends to have enough money to get their message out.  

    The real problem is that the money buys politicians and therefore policy.  That tends to happen no matter who wins, because everyone is backed by big monied interests.

    •  Uhm Don't Forget the Negative Impact: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eztempo, LinSea

      You're in your campaign or elected office, a guy walks in says he has a million bucks to spend in your contest.

      I can spend it for or against you.

      There's a shitload of money that's threatened but never spent, because a politician or candidate falls in line, or drops out.

      Think what it means when we report that the Republican party or Boehner "falls in line" with the tea party.

      Hint, it doesn't mean obeying Cantor or 5 guys with tricorner hats and "Tea Patry" signs.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd put a bit differently. SCOTUS thinks "money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blueslide, Capt Crunch

      is speech."  I know "money is policy."

      Once you put convenient, lethal force in the mix, liberty becomes a zero sum game. -- DIgby on open carry.

      by Rikon Snow on Sat May 10, 2014 at 02:31:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will reiterate what I'd like for the Koch Bros (0+ / 0-)

    to do next.
      I would like them both to go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

      Or in the alternative, I'd like for them to just go away.
      The world would be a better place for it.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:01:12 AM PDT

    •  Hey, elwior, this is our democracy at work (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SottoVoce, hbk

      Haven't you read the 1st Amendment?  Here it is for your reference (I memorized it in school):

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of fundamentalist Christian religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of conservative speech (which shall be deemed to include the right to spend cash without constraint), or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to point guns at federal agents who do things you don't like."

  •  Big spenders, those Koch boys. (0+ / 0-)

    The SEIU, by comparison, only spent $70,000,000.00 to support Democratic candidates in 2012.

    Source:  WSJ

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Sat May 10, 2014 at 02:38:51 PM PDT

    •  Oh Geeeze - not this shit again. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk

      The SEIU is THOUSANDS of members.

      The Koch brothers is TWO.

      That's the point. Get it?

      •  How many (0+ / 0-)

        How many are involved in deciding how the money is spent? lets not start to pretend that every single union member wants their dues spent on elections.
        If we want to be taken seriously about getting money out of politics, IT has to be all money not just RW money.

        •  And how many employees of the Kochs' companies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch

          are involved in deciding how their bosses' money is spent?

          •  the differnce (0+ / 0-)

            the difference to me is who's money is it?  the unions get their money out of workers paychecks. the kochs money is their own.  whether they should have all that money or not is for another diary.

            •  Nice to see a new member (0+ / 0-)

              visiting from the right wing.

              How are things at Red State?

              •  why (0+ / 0-)

                why cant I express an opposing view without being accused of being a RW plant?  

                No, I don't comment a lot as mostly I read DK on my phone and commenting on that is a pain in the ass.

                I've been reading this site for about 18 months and refrained form commenting for along time since I was new and wanted to know the atmosphere here before I dove in.

                I'm not well educated so I don't right diaries as I would rather not look like an idiot when my inability to write cohesively shows its head.

                I'm politically somewhere in the middle area of people who quite frankly doesn't give a rat fuck who has a good idea as long as its a good idea.  the Tea party has seen to it that it wont be the gop anytime in the next 50 years so here I am.

                 

                •  I don't think you're a right wing plant. (0+ / 0-)

                  You're not slick enough.

                  the difference to me is who's money is it?  the unions get their money out of workers paychecks. the kochs money is their own.
                  That's straight out of the right wing bull shit factory.

                  It's the con they run on chumps. Then the chumps vote against their own interests.

                  Think about WHO is saying WHAT. The Kochs are conning you and taking your money.

        •  Here we go- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hbk
          How many are involved in deciding how the money is spent?
          They are union members - get it?

          They are not employed by the union - they are members with a vote within the union.

          That's not even comparable to two individuals trying to buy elections.

          If we want to be taken seriously about getting money out of politics, IT has to be all money not just RW money.
          WTF - that's a TOTALLY DIFFERENT POINT.

          My comment was pointing out that union spending in elections is not the equivalent of spending by a couple of billionaire brothers.

          •  The money spends the same, though, doesn't it. (0+ / 0-)

            My issue is that some people think that the free speech rights of rich dicks are somehow less entitled to protection than the free speech rights of union members.  

            They're not.

            If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

            by SpamNunn on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:00:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  $tay away from the poll$. (0+ / 0-)

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Keep out
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Danger - do not vote.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Make a Koch $mile.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  •  And the Koch Brothers... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch, hbk

    are spending .1% of their net worth for their massive investment in buying laws and lawmakers. They used to call this corruption but now it's first amendment rights.

    -7.5 -7.28, Jesus was a socialist

    by Blueslide on Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:04:42 PM PDT

  •  blaming the voters, again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, dfarrah
    As Markos wrote, "our problem isn't winning over the American people. It's getting them to the polls."
    The voters are not "won over";  if they were, inspired to show up and support candidates,  they would show up and vote.

    Voters are not the problem.  The Democratic Party is the problem.  This is the Dead End result of selling out the base for the corporate dollar.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:13:00 PM PDT

    •  Last time I checked, the Conservative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk

      majority in the SCOTUS, which made this obscene spending possible, were all nominated by Reoublican presidents.  Last time I checked, voter suppression laws, which have been popping up like poison mushrooms in recent years and are designed to keep even motivated Democratic voters away from the polls, are happening in GOP-led states.  You can rail about every bad thing happening because of the terrible Dems, and give the GOP a free pass, but the parties are NOT the same.

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

      by SottoVoce on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:54:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember when there was a Fairness Doctrine? nt (0+ / 0-)

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:15:35 PM PDT

  •  Forget about the Kochs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk

    Get the base to the polls. Show the base you're willing to fight for them and not the oligarchs.

    Oh, and if you want to get apathetic young voters on board, have a marijuana legalization ballot measure in every state.

  •  Kos is deluded if (0+ / 0-)

    he truly believes the following:  As Markos wrote, "our problem isn't winning over the American people. It's getting them to the polls."

    At some point, we need to face facts as to why people who generally support liberal programs aren't voting.

    Folks, it ain't that hard to vote.

    There is something else going on.  And it's not voter suppression either.  With the support our policies have, we should be winning, and winning by larger margins.  We should have no problem getting dem supporters to vote.

    My theory is that the dems who hold office simply don't distinguish themselves from repubs reliably enough to attract that untapped well of support we have.  

    Maybe there are other reasons.  But we need to figure out what is going on.  We've been blaming low turnout for years instead of figuring out what is going on.  Simply blaming lack of turnout is useless.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat May 10, 2014 at 04:10:15 PM PDT

    •  Agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk
      Folks, it ain't that hard to vote.
      Yeah - actually it is for a lot of people.
      My theory is that the dems who hold office simply don't distinguish themselves from repubs reliably enough to attract that untapped well of support we have.
      On that I agree. We've got a lot of corporate lackeys in the Democratic party. In my opinion Hillary is at the top of that list.
      •  Sure, (0+ / 0-)

        a "lot" of people may have some difficulties-whatever a "lot" might be, but when you consider the support our policies have, we should be able to win even though there are supposedly a "lot" of people who have difficulties voting [apparently, even for all-mail ballots].

        Sorry, I'm not buying the standard excuses anymore.  We need to look further.  

        Probably, some group already has, and discovered that people don't vote because they don't see much difference between parties.

        But just try getting dems to face up to that piece of reality.  Just conjecturing in that direction about dems' is enough to get one hide-rated on this site.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:51:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the right has a major propaganda advantage that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk

      is not generally factored into voter suppression- they can totally distort all major national discussions to the point where people who might generally support dem positions are given many excuses, most not factually supported, to not vote for the dem candidate or progressive issue.

      the media plays a big pro republican part, giving flat earthers 50% of the seats at any media table, and the rw radio monopoly dominates much of the country.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:15:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need to quit (0+ / 0-)

        blaming the media.

        Polls consistently show that most people support dem policies.

        Why aren't they voting?  

        Is it because they don't see dems supporting the policies they want?

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:42:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is a huge apathetic and very-busy segment (0+ / 0-)

          that relies too much on the mainstream rw media and that's about all there is inmost parts of the US for free.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:11:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The media are not (0+ / 0-)

            hog-tying these people and keeping them from voting.

            There is something else going on.

            What is causing the apathy?  And please don't say 'the media.'

            The polls indicate strong support for our policies -why isn't this translating into votes for our candidates?

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:07:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what is your theory? (0+ / 0-)

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:25:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  i forgot your theory- here it is... (0+ / 0-)
              My theory is that the dems who hold office simply don't distinguish themselves from repubs reliably enough to attract that untapped well of support we have.
              a major function of the function RW media, led by RW radio, is to lie about democrats, liberals, and what they stand for.

              another function is to move the center right and determine what is and isn't acceptable in media and politics.

              without factoring that major influence and ignoring a major factor at play in why there are too many moderate and blue dog dems, and why the dem party is too corporate-leaning, your criticism of the democratic party sounds like that trollish old meme- all politicians are the same - why bother to vote.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:03:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah

      I gave up on them when 2 years of a dem SUPER majority in the senate, complete control of the house, and the White house the only dam thing that got done was the passing of the REPUBLICAN health care plan.  
      I still vote but I'm done working for the party at large.

  •  their biggest advantage is still talk radio, which (0+ / 0-)

    is practically free after figuring in the cost of the think tank resources needed to feed and manage them.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:09:56 PM PDT

    •  SO (0+ / 0-)

      So start a DAMM left wing national radio show and provide a counter balance

      •  they have a monopoly of the loudest stations and (0+ / 0-)

        they protect it.

        the other factor if the left underestimates rw radio.  the left's been getting their /our ass kicked all over the place by rw radio for  25 years and they have no fucking clue.

        and there would be little support for putting the money needed into buying up available stations.

        considering the time lost on global warming alone, that total ignorance of rw radio by the left the biggest mistake in political history.

        and the rush boycott one of the most significant actions by liberals in many years.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:48:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they didnt start out with all (0+ / 0-)

          the stations. this can be blamed solely on the belief that only the newest tech is worth investing in.  I see it here still today, people say to drop tv as an advertising platform for internet only.  that's how you loose the argument.  

          and what good is the rush boycott doing??  sure he lost advertisers but he and all his clones are still on air.  as far as I can see all that's been done is to cost what few left wing hosts their were all their advertisers as well.

          •  i agree the left is generaly stupid about rw radio (0+ / 0-)

            as far as the boycott, until then all the damage they did with rw radio was practically free for them - paid for by advertisers.

            now they're having to pump millions into it, and it's unlikely limbaugh will be on as many stations in the next few years

            every challenge to limbaugh and rw radio gets it further into the open as the danger it is - the boycott should be expanded to all rw radio.

            as far as losing liberal talkers that's a function of payback by the rw monopoly and the lie that liberal and rw talkers are all the same (sometimes repeated in ignorance and trolling here), not from correct analysis of the damage the boycott is doing.

            as the monopoly falls apart stations will open up for liberal talkers.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Sat May 10, 2014 at 06:18:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Koch Brothers Chemical Properties (0+ / 0-)

    KO2CH = Potassium Formate. May cause irritation of respiratory tract. May be harmful if swallowed, especially hook, line, and sinker. May cause allergic skin reaction. Avoid contact with eyes. If allowed to dump in waterways, will cause H2 woes. http://www.BestPuns.Com

  •  I keep waiting (0+ / 0-)

    for the documentary detailing what horrific childhood traumas have driven these two miscreants to devote themselves to proudly, publicly trashing democracy.

    Maybe, an overwhelming sense of regret that, through accident of birth, they missed the rise of German National Socialism...

  •  I wish the Koch brothers would bribe me directly (0+ / 0-)

    I need the money. And in California one GOP vote wouldn't change a thing.

    Americans are in real trouble. The oligarchs are misanthropes.

    by Road to1 Escondido on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:17:27 AM PDT

  •  They could be buying primo health care (0+ / 0-)

    for their employees, but no. Gotta flush the cash down the drain.

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