David Brat, the out of nowhere dark horse that took down Eric Cantor in the GOP primary in VA-7, but the Dark horse has deep ties to the "dark money" that is currently drowning the political system in this country.
According to The Street, during his time as CEO of BB&T, Allison regularly used the BB&T Charitable Foundation, “to provide grants to schools that agree to create courses on capitalism that feature the study of ‘Atlas Shrugged.’”And mind you that was $500,000 a YEAR for what amounts to a made up position gift wrapped for someone with a fairly pathetic CV:
Meanwhile, according to New York Magazine, Allison gave $500,000 to Randolph-Macon College to hire Dave Brat, so that he too could teach the Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy as an economics professor.
Isn't it more than a bit curious how many folks who proclaim themselves "rugged individualists" seem perfectly willing to accept a handout when it is offered to THEM?
There are many business leaders who also push Rand's "Objectivism" philosophy, including former BB&T (BBT_) CEO John Allison, who retired from the Winston-Salem, N.C., bank at the end of 2008, just after BB&T received $3.1 billion in federal bailout assistance through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.(Let me just note in passing that as part of my real world legal work I have read several millions of primary source TARP-related documents -and would urge everyone to spend some time in the FOIA reading room at Financial Stability.gov- and I can confidently characterize that statement as half true, at the very best)
Despite the fact that tenets of Rand's objectivist philosophy eschews government involvement in private markets, both Ryan and BB&T have been able to rationalize the 2009 banking bailout.
Allison later said that BB&T was forced to take the money, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke using "intense regulatory pressure, to encourage all the $100 billion and over institutions to participate," in order for the Fed to avoid just bailing out "three large financial institutions that were under stress."
And now that Alllsion's hand-picked Pet Objectivist is running for Congress? Well isn't that lucky? It just so happens Allison now works for another set of insanely wealthy libertarians who spend money like water:
Shortly after BB&T accepted $3.1 billion government bailout from the Bush Administration, Allison resigned as CEO, and was picked up by Charles Koch, to become the new president of the Cato Institute, formerly known as the Charles Koch Foundation, and to keep spreading the work of Rand.In fact that connection may have SOMETHING to do with why he won the primary at all. Conventional wisdom has it that part of why Cantor, previously a conservative darling, lost was because he had somehow betrayed the cause, (often his tepid support for immigration reform being cited) and as a result was was getting hammered on conservative radio. Particularly by the likes of Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.
What that analysis fails to notice however is that while these two hosts seemed to tee off on Cantor lately every chance they got; by the weirdest of coincidences, all that attacking of Cantor started shortly after the Koch Brothers started paying both hosts a while lot of money :
earlier this year, “A POLITICO review of filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for involved advertising relationships known as sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers including [Glenn] Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh between the first talk radio deals in 2008 and the end of 2012.... “The Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity paid at least $757,000 primarily to sponsor his [Mark Levin’s] radio show—a sponsorship that covered part of the 2012 cycle.”Now hang on just a second, if a fellar didn't know better, it would almost look like Koch brothers funded radio personalities tore down a GOP politician in order to help a Koch-brothers funded university professor win an election.
And while specific numbers aren’t known about Ingraham, she’s also subsidized the Koch brothers, according to Politico, which could help explain her eagerness to slam Eric Cantor and promote Brat.
Which would make David Brat's less of a Fluke win and more of the fruition of a very long game being played by some VERY rich people. Almost if they were BUYING a friendly seat in Congress even more overtly than normal. But surely, as the Supreme Court has reassured us in the Citizens United there's asboslutely no danger of THAT happening in America now is there?