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Citizens United Carpet Bombing Democracy - Cartoon
Last week the lavish, secretive Koch donor meeting got a lot of media attention. So in the interest of "both sides do it," Politico reports on the sort of equivalent Democracy Alliance, which also recently had a big, sort of secret meeting and compares the two organizations.

When you come right down to it, it's just insane amounts of money coming from very wealthy people, on both sides. But there are some real differences in scope and in intent between the left's big funders and the right's.

While the DA takes credit for steering more than $500 million in donations to recommended groups since its creation in 2005, the Koch network spent more than $400 million in 2012 alone.

Koch network donors are expected to provide almost every penny of the Koch operation’s $290 million 2014 spending goal. By contrast, DA donors—or “partners,” in the club’s parlance—are projected to provide a maximum of $39 million toward the $200 million 2014 spending goal of the 21 core DA groups, according to the briefing booklet. That means most of the cash raised by DA-linked groups actually comes from donors, institutions or revenue streams outside the DA’s cloistered ranks. Another difference: While DA partners are required to donate at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups, they ultimately decide to which group their money goes. The Koch network, on the other hand, collects contributions in the nonprofit political hub Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which then distributes the cash mostly as it sees fit to groups in the network.

The Kochs are taking all of their billionaire friends' money and investing it in buying a government that will make sure they are able to keep making those billions and billions without worrying about how they make that money or being scrutinized or regulated or having to pay taxes to help the poor. The DA, democratically, demands money but you get to decide where it goes, and it often goes to people and organizations who have a primary goal of trying to have fewer poors. That and equality and clean air and water and not so many people getting shot at.

Other than that, pretty much the same. Rich people who hang out with other rich people and like to have their privacy while they're doing it, and that's the part Politico focuses on because, of course, both sides do it. But the part where they're not the same—that part of how and why they want to influence government—that's the meat of the discussion and that's the part that isn't in this particular story.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (32+ / 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 Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:57:38 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'ed nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, Risen Tree, hnichols

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:59:35 AM PDT

  •  stochastic (financial) terrorism™ (7+ / 0-)
    The Kochs are taking all of their billionaire friends' money and investing it in buying a government that will make sure they are able to keep making those billions and billions without worrying about how they make that money being scrutinized or regulated or having to pay taxes to help the poor

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:06:26 AM PDT

  •  Eat the rich. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, JML9999, hnichols, Laconic Lib

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:26:10 AM PDT

  •  Some Periodicals shouldn't be taken seriously (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, hnichols

    Politico aka TigerBeat on the Public

    and the current incarnation of the Wall Street Journal

    Which is a Rupert Rag Despite not having topless women on Page 6.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:28:24 AM PDT

  •  who (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    Both groups try to influence legislators--and both groups entice people to run for office.  Put another way, both "hire" possible whores who "agree" with their views.  The nagging problem for me is, why would a successful person want to become a whore?  Most candidates have been successful in their earlier life, most were the decision makers at work--now they need to take bribes to tout what sugar daddy wants.  DA probably gets more honest pols because it offers less money and less direction, but, the chances are, every pol secretly disagrees with some of the stuff he/she needs to fight for.  Democracy breaks down when money dominates.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:36:21 AM PDT

    •  This. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell
      Democracy breaks down when money dominates.
      Domination isn't required . . . "impacts" is enough.

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

      by Rikon Snow on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:42:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melvynny

      The tremendous disincentive for genuine public-service minded people against running for elected office is a real concern. There are good people serving and running, but how many choose to stay far away from it all because of the money?

      "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 Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:55:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Both sides are the same!" (4+ / 0-)

    Is code for "Vote GOP!"

  •  Is D.A. + Union$ > Koch Bros? (0+ / 0-)

    Your are not serious in thinking DA money isn't spent to influence government inuring to the members benefit.

    The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science. Carl Sagan

    by Kvetchnrelease on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:41:52 AM PDT

    •  I don't believe I said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Homer177, Laconic Lib

      that I don't think DA money is also being spent to influence government. I wouldn't say that since I don't believe it.

      And here's an interesting way to look at Koch v. Labor. One Koch brother is worth 515,000 individual union members in terms of contributions.

      It’s true that labor unions and their members made far more political contributions than the Koch Brothers and their affiliates did. It’s also a misleading comparison. There are 14.5 million people in the labor movement, according to the latest government statistics. There are exactly two people in the Koch brotherhood—Charles and David Koch—plus another 350 or so self-identified Koch employees who, over that same time period, made direct campaign contributions. Extrapolate from that math, and you’ll see that the donation per Koch Industries affiliate positively dwarfs the donation per union member—by a factor of around 1,000, give or take.
      Also, too--who's influence is trying to make life a little bit better for the majority of the nation's citizens vs. their bottom line.

      The amount of money in politics is insane, but some of that money is a lot less evil than the rest of it.

      "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 Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:01:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Union Money Comes Out of Worker Pockets. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kvetchnrelease, Laconic Lib

      Koch money comes from global capital. There is "considerably more" of that kind of money available.

      Unions were formerly large direct influences in campaigns, between spending and boots on ground, but I think when you look add in the independent spending the Democratic allies all together are almost a decimal place compared to conservative money.

      THere's also the fact that over the past 40 years the size of union membership is down 1/2 to 2/3, whereas the wealth of the richest fraction of a percent has really exploded.

      So until somebody produces figures to the contrary, in all political spending, DA+unions << Koch Brothers is my position.

      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 Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:02:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A similar comment was made (0+ / 0-)

    on our local news website. The commenter of course mentioned David Soros to prove that "both sides do it". So I went to professor Google and searched for their respective net worth. My memory is that the Koch brothers' net worth is around a hundred or so billion dollars while Soros is worth about twenty billion. If memory serves, the Koch brothers' income was many times more than Mr. Soros. It is hard to comprehend differences in wealth at these levels but the Kochs could buy and sell David Soros and never miss a beat.

    I say no comparison whatsoever.

    Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth - Mike Tyson

    by hnichols on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:50:55 AM PDT

    •  And, I may be wrong, but Soros is far more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols

      transparent on where he gives his money - he doesn't need to hide behind sundry shadow groups.

      "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

      by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:39:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eww. Politico? Who clicks on that? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    Eww.

    Politico? Who clicks on that?

  •  Republican Big Donor Spending 10:1 over Democrats. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Yes, the Democratic money levels are insane.

    Sure.

    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 Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:57:28 AM PDT

  •  "Both sides do it" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    is a slightly different way of saying "two wrongs make a right."

    Floods of corporate money into politics is perfectly fine because, well, some of that money goes to Democrats too, which is how you end up with a Democratic Party that's Republican lite on certain issues.

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

    by TDDVandy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:08:03 PM PDT

  •  I get the sense (0+ / 0-)

    The underlying complaint is the amount of money. If Soros, et al were able to match 1:1 I suspect the outcry would a bit more muted.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:11:43 PM PDT

  •  I think I get it now O_o (0+ / 0-)

    So its bad when the evil conservatives do it but its completely fine when the liberals use the same sleazy tactics.

    Yup no double standard here...

    Typical KOS hypocrites

    •  Show me where conservatives believe in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Krotor, a2nite

      that part of the Constitution where it says "... to promote the GENERAL welfare... " of the People instead of themselves and understand that the responsibility of Government is not limited to unrestricted arms spending and legislating morality and I'll start to agree with your snide comment maybe just a teensy little bit.

      However, it appears that some of the words in the diary contained too many big words for you to comprehend the overall message. So here goes with a simplification:

      Democratic Party PACs support and elect people who generally will throw the Middle Class a bone when given half a chance; Conservative PACs steal the bones and feed them to their hunting hounds.

      And if that reference is too obtuse to wrap your mind around, that's your problem - not mine.

      •  you make me giggle (0+ / 0-)

        Ah yes.

        the usual condescending liberal retort.

        From what I see of YOUR president he doesn't give a damn about that old crusty document that was created by dirty old white slave owners.

        So quoting it gets you nowhere in my book.

        Nice try though..

  •  Since Everything is about RELIGION (0+ / 0-)

     Seems like most bad things today start and finish with RELIGION as the explanation or excuse.

     In the Middle East, the only things that matter are reilgion, Religion, and RELIGION! In MY country, Religion has an ugly influence regarding racism and bigotry.

    Since EVERYTHING is about religion, let's compare today's
    "both sides do it" regarding the efforts to BUY elections, to two religions I know something about: Jews and Catholics.

    There is a reason JEWS vote 70+% for Democrats, and it's the difference between the Kochs and the Democracy Alliance.
    In Judaism, the Congregation picks it's own Rabbi; in Catholicism, the priest is selected by the Upper Echelon.
    Just like the DA allows the contributor to choose, unlike the Kochs who Choose for the Contributor!!
  •  POLITICAL CONTROL (0+ / 0-)

    How To Create a
    Social State by Saul Alinsky
     There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.
    1) Healthcare - Control healthcare and you control the people.
    2) Poverty - Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
    3)Debt - Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
    4) Gun Control - Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
    5) Welfare - Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
    6) Education - Take control of what people read and listen to - take control of what children learn in school.
    7) Religion - Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
    8) Class Warfare - Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

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