Skip to main content

Here's a fact that will blow your mind. The $300 million the Kochs plan to spend in the 2014 election cycle could replace the annual income for 5,270 American households. And it's barely a drop in the bucket of what these guys and their cronies have to draw upon to buy themselves a Congress. They've got so much money and staff invested in this—240 full-time employees in 32 states—the Washington Post Fix team determines, that they're the nation's third-biggest political party.

Two charts showing number of staff for Democrats (4000+) GOP (400) and AFP (240) and state engagement (Dems 50, GOP 47, Kochs 32) in 2014 elections
The huge bubble there for the Democrats in staff reflects how they structure campaigns, hiring and paying field staff through the congressional campaign arms. There aren't 4,000 people currently on the payroll now, so the comparison there isn't apples to apples. Nor are either of the parties really likely to be engaged in 50 or even 47 states. The safest states on both sides aren't going to see much investment from the national parties. The Kochs, however, are deeply engaged in those 32 states where they have staff, on everything from Senate races to  city bond measures to fund zoos.

By the way, this is just showing Americans for Prosperity staff and state engagement, not the entirety of the Kochs' network of political groups. And really, as it stands now you might as well lump them in with the Republicans, because the Kochs really aren't interested in electing anyone but Republicans.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (49+ / 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 Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:36:24 PM PDT

  •  the bastards. (6+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:48:45 PM PDT

    •  Look up Rove on Wikipedia. (0+ / 0-)

      Makes Nixon look like a saint.

    •  $300 million is NOTHING compared to the Walton (0+ / 0-)

      family's wealth of $89.5 BILLION which is EQUAL to the "wealth" of the bottom 40% of the US population.

      So why get upset over industries that actually pay their employees well compared to the horrific third world conditions of this family?...WALMART!  The largest retail employer in America!

      $89.5 BILLION while the majority of their employees now have a NEGATIVE net worth--debts of title loans, payday loans, (that may add up to 300% per year--Look!  Loan sharking is legal--when it is a debt by a poor person) car loans, rent, utilities, medical expenses.

      Why ANYONE still buys from Walmart is beyond me!  Why would you want to give more money to these horrible people who don't even contribute to their own charitable foundation!

      This is what the Daily Kos should be going after.  I don't CARE about the Kochs!  Look what a great job they did for Eric Cantor!

  •  WOW! that is quite the graphic. (8+ / 0-)

    I'm glad to see the Dems taking Field seriously. It really takes an all-of-the-above approach to win an election. TV, radio, mailers all reach just a segment of the voters. Field (phones doors, and events) can really add to a campaign's visibility and are an opportunity to actually change minds, but it takes a tremendous amount of effort and a ton of volunteers as well.

    •  Ideology equals strategy (5+ / 0-)

      Assuming all three "parties" raise roughly the same amount of money, this means that Dems believe in making sure that as many people as possible have a piece of the pie, while Republicans and the Kochs believe that if you pay a few people a lot of money, winning results will "trickle down."

      It's Obama v. Romney all over again--I hope.

      History is a guide, not a destination.

      by NCJan on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:27:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Paid "volunteers" (0+ / 0-)

      like right wing signature gatherers and paid bloggers in these Daily Kos (and other venue) comment sections.
      I'd note that in WA they are paid cents per signature which violates minimum wage law but Dem politicians "too nice" to enforce that.

  •  AFP: "Austerity For Proles" (11+ / 0-)

    Signature (this will be attached to your comments)

    by here4tehbeer on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:06:35 PM PDT

  •  You should look at this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, Coilette, hbk

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:45:24 AM PDT

  •  WaPo uses facts to disguise truth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, Coilette, hbk, Yonit

    Overstating real Democratic staff size and not combining AFP and GOP creates the impression the Dems have a personnel size advantage.  They may or may not, but WaPo did not take the extra step to clarify.  I am glad they took the step of showing the scope of the Koch operation.

    •  They do actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snwflk, thanatokephaloides

      In membership, in donor base numbers, and in several other areas, substantively bigger.  In money we appear to be leading, and we have led before - but in 527 support (that's superpacs - I'm pretty sure I got the name right) we lag some.  Don't be deceived though.  The Kochs are NOT a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP - the reverse almost is true - the GOP is their wholly owned subsidiary.  On the other hand, a Dem that was willing to toe the line - they'd pay for him/her too -- that's why I think the Post is effectively correct.

      •  Look up Fred Koch on Wkipedia (0+ / 0-)

        Father of the Koch Bros, founder of the racist neo-NAZI John Birch Society made David and Charles Koch sign a manifesto to continue their father's work in order to get Koch Industries. They financed the "Tea Party" founding and continued operation. Only proble with this is Tea Party worships "Libertarian" Ron Paul, and David Koch ran as a Libertarian candidate himself.
        "We'd like to abolish the Federal Elections Commission and all the limits on campaign spending anyway," Koch told New York magazine's Rinker Buck in 1980.
        "The Clark–Koch ticket promising to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve Board, welfare, minimum-wage laws, corporate taxes, all price supports and subsidies for agriculture and business, and U.S. Federal agencies including the SEC, EPA, ICC, FTC, OSHA, FBI, CIA, and DOE."

  •  AFP is dedicated to making government (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skepticalcitizen, hbk, cocinero


    The KOCH Brothers are opposed to functioning government.  They do not want any government that is able to regulate business.  The do not want a government that is able to "promote the general welfare".

    The Republican Party, GOP, Tea Party, AFP whatever name they want to go by, the Right Wing idiots in the USA today simply would not endorse the Preamble to the United States Constitution:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    They do not support:

    1.  A more perfect Union;
    2.  Establishing justice for all;
    3.  Insuring Domestic Tranquility;
    4.  Promoting the General Welfare;
    5.  Securing the Blessings of Liberty to All Americans

    They believe that only a select few should enjoy the privileges that their Oligarchy should provide!

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:04:15 AM PDT

  •  How many OFA members are there? (0+ / 0-)

    This is all kinda silly.  There are, at any point in time tens of thousands of volunteers at the beck and call of both parties.  240 paid staff is nuthin'!

  •  i guess the hard left (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    doesn't have the funds for this sort of thing, and maybe it's for the best because if we did we probably wouldn't be the hard left anymore.

    •  There are several top flight billionaires on the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snwflk, thanatokephaloides


      But generally they believe in campaign finance reform and are very reluctant to pour hundreds of millions in because they feel it is unduly influencing the electorate.  Some do, either out of desperation or practicality, but they tend to do it quite late.

  •  Motivation may insulate us from their money (0+ / 0-)

    Sure, they are throwing money at their problem with the government, and yeah, its a large sum of money.

    Problems for the Koch brothers is that they cannot buy passion for their cause.

    I imagine that there will be a number of "volunteers" for AFP who will undoubtedly work as hard as all those welfare queens and kings that they are so disgusted by.

    Imagine the surprise on the Koch brothers' faces when they realize that people do not need money from the government to be lazy, private money is just as productive to that end.

    My guess would be that the majority of their volunteers will have been born to well-to-do families, and that they are just looking for more money from the "low effort" chores list.

  •  I suppose we should have seen it coming (0+ / 0-)

    The most profitable industry in the world, in the world's most bribe-friendly political system, facing annihilation by government policy. This is what you get. Fortunately we've seen that dollars do not equal victory, and that goes double when people are onto you. The Koch's are no longer operating in the shadows which makes it easier to expose Koch toadies for who they are.

    There's no reason Democrats can't defeat the Koch's candidates. We don't need to match their money when our candidates have got popular opinion and strong volunteer support. What's important is to have candidates willing to take popular positions that might piss off some big-money donors. You can't defeat the Koch candidate if you're just a slightly-less corporatist version of the same thing.

    There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

    by BeerNotWar on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:41:50 AM PDT

  •  AFP = Amerikan Fascist Plutocrats (0+ / 0-)

    Oil billionaire Kochroaches are psychopathic GREEDmongers who are a clear and present danger to every living thing on the planet.

    •  Biggest danger from Kochs is CO2 from COAL! (0+ / 0-)

      They insist on pushing coal with a vengeance and throwing a temper tantrum at every attempt to reduce the use of coal.  At $25/metric ton of CO2 captured by Global Thermostat, it cost $76.67 just to capture CO2 from burning a short ton of 92% carbon coal, compared to not quite $70 a short ton of 92% carbon coal last time I looked. It might actually make sense to buy coal as mineral rights in an effort to keep it from being burned.  That would work only if our government made a deal with them for government to buy coal as mineral rights to make up for loss of sales of Koch brothers coal due to changes in federal energy policy, and the deal specified that government would buy coal as mineral rights only to bring  total Koch brothers' coal sales up to a certain $ amount determined by Koch brothers coal sales averaged over past few years adjusted for inflation.  It might also help to hire Koch brothers' Peabody Energy Enterprises to drill and frack hot rock reservoirs for enhanced geothermal systems and then when top layer is all done turn it over to Peabody for re-drilling, to get Koch brothers to diversify out of coal into renewable energy.

  •  $300 million used to be (0+ / 0-)

    a lot of money. A generation ago, you could count on one hand the number of people with $2 billion to their name, and most of them could probably not produce $100 million cash if someone put a gun to their head.

    But now, this is chump change to these guys.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:11:19 AM PDT

  •  Is why we need to follow suit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and build the Democratic party from Dog Catcher to the Court House
    to the White House in every precinct in all 50.
    We need to expand the Dean 50 State Strategy to every precinct from border to border, sea to shining sea.  Let's get started at NN14.

    Follow Connect! Unite! Act! MeetUp events! For live podcasting of your Event contact winkk to schedule.

    by winkk on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:44:05 AM PDT

  •  What about Fox New's staff? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The staff of all the right wingnut radio crazies?

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:17:49 AM PDT

  •  I'm very much in favor of a multi-party system (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but wow, I have to think long and hard when one of those parties is the AFP...

  •  Koch: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    By their actions and statements, the Koch brothers have indicated they want prosperity for the greediest of the wealthiest of the investor class to the substantial detriment of the majority working Americans.  There is every indication that that their goal is a true American oligarchy with the majority working class Americans being made and kept meek by religion -- imposed by government upon the population until future generations can all be indoctrinated and brainwashed to be "meek" and await a "reward" for their loyalty (to the Republican oligarchy) and hard work in some mythical afterlife.

    Those trying to conserve the status quo -- an ever-widening wealth/income gap -- often mislabel their efforts.

    •  Look up the Koch Bros on Wikipedia; (0+ / 0-)

      Signed father Fred's John Birch Society manifesto to inherit. David Koch (q.v.) ran on Libertarian ticket; damning quotes from him on Wki. John Birch Society (JBS) is not pro-1%, they are "anti-socialism". They are not racist, they are against racial equality legislation. They aren't really against Global Warming, they are against US Gov restricting Koch industry Coal sales.

  •  Koch Suckers (0+ / 0-)

    Koch Suckers

  •  The Koch Brothers (0+ / 0-)

    Our best protection against adversaries  like the Koch Bros, as mentioned in other posts, is their exposure. Wouldn't it be nice if the "Mainstream Media" (you know, those irrepressible Liberals we always hear about) did their job and DID, consistently expose these different quirks of our elective politics? If they had been doing their jobs we would probably not have been "duped" by the Bush Admin, into Iraq, we'd know about Germany's 50% of their electricity coming from Solar, or what is going on in Japan and that melted down reactor. But, we do not. Most of us have to go to the BBC or our alternative news providers not to get news just to agree with our opinion but to find news which tells the truth, highlights facts and keeps us informed as to the "story" at hand. Not, as in some circumstances, the reporter telling you what to think without real facts. We certainly do not have the same commitment to what the "people need to know" that we did from some of the greats like Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, Morrow and others. Here's a petition about that, if anyone agrees with this premise.

    •  Maybe David Koch will run for President again (0+ / 0-)

      Good chance of winning. A lot more money than Romney or Ross Perot. Love to see him in a National Presidential Debate against Hill. Funding Romney? Mormons disowned his father's John Birch Society. Ron Paul a fellow believer but unpopular. Not Rove. GOP ran popular actor Reagan as a malleable figurehead (then Nancy). Rem GW was a celebrity figurehead for Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove. The fact that Romney might do his own thinking is daunting. Can you think of a good Republican actor to run? Tom Sellek, Donny Wahlberg? Elizabeth Hasselback as VP for sure. HEY! How about Democrats running a popular actor? Clooney is smart and politically active (but he'd take a pay cut). Harrison Ford kicks terrorist ass. Brad Pitt, oooh Angelina works for the UN. Jon Bon Jovi? Jerry Springer, he could put Congressional leaders on his show. Kal Penn (on the Harold & Kumar ticket?). Deniro (to Putin:"You talkin' to me?"). Matt Damon (he's Bourne again).

  •  Representative government is dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

    Direct democracy now!

  •  the kochs are rich enough... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but they're too cheap to buy elections with their own money.  1 billion is only 2% of 50 billion.  They're too CHEAP!

  •  Instead of T Party, why not ALEC Inc.?? (0+ / 0-)

    If rent a robes hadn't allowed Citizen's United..aka 1% can now buy elections, not run for office..but still silently run the country..Why call them Tea Party? The Tea Party is a shrinking small group of illiterate morons who haven't a clue who owns them, or what's going on. It would be more honest to call the third largest Party..the 1% Party..Or just call them who they are, "ALEC Inc.".

    Not voting IS a vote for ALEC Inc..Young people better show up and vote,..or deal with life with no birth control, no education and bowing down to a fanatic religion. Finally, "coming soon to a state near you"..The loss of voting rights. That will be their next loss. It's the cost of voter apathy.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site