David Koch. The one who ran on abolishing Social Security.
The Bridge Project recently released a
16 page report
[pdf] detailing the some of the most egregious of the Koch brothers' political efforts to make life as miserable as possible for minorities, the elderly, and pretty much everyone who isn't rich. Alternet distills it down
to the seven worst among their "efforts to dismantle years of civil rights progress."
Alternet highlights the Kochs' union-busting efforts. That includes most recently their support for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (including dirty tricks in the recall election), the poster child for destroying labor. Unions have been credited with raising many out of poverty and solidly into the middle-class, but particularly minorities who gained much-needed job protections. It almost goes without saying that in addition to crush labor, the Kochs are also steadfastly opposed to raising the minimum wage. "Since the 1990s, the Kochs have given at least $23.3 million to think tanks focusing on attacking the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would create a 'culture of dependency,' they claim."
You can't really call that out-and-out racist. But this one, you can. There was this underreported nugget from the Koch's super-secret summit this summer in California: "Besides a number of notable Republican politicians in attendance, one of the most controversial men giving "dinner remarks" was Charles Murray, a co-author of The Bell Curve, a book which argued that blacks and Latinos have lower IQs than Asians and whites."
This is pretty racist, too. The Kochs are big on voter suppression (see dirty tricks in Wisconsin), to the point of picking a fight with organizations that fight it. Or having their proxies do it, in this case their shell group 60 Plus Association, created in part to argue for making life harder for the 60 plus crowd. "In 2012, the 60 Plus Association blasted AARP for speaking out against voter ID laws, which require voters to present a photo ID at the polls. The group's chairman and founder Jim Martin applauded Minnesota seniors who cut 'up their AARP membership cards in protest of the organization’s opposition to the Minnesota Voter ID amendment.'" And speaking of hating on the olds, don't forget David Koch's bizarre run for vice president on the libertarian ticket back in 1980. One of the premises of his running mate: Social Security "is the most serious threat to the future stability of our society next to the threat of nuclear war."
But the most long-lasting damage the Kochs have done to all of humanity, and particularly the poor, is their bankrolling the climate change denial industry. "A Drexel University Study reveals that the Koch brothers were active in funding climate change denial efforts, especially in 2007 and 2008. Since then, the brothers have not made public their contributions, if any." Drought, agricultural losses leading to food insecurity, scarce resources—poor communities are the canaries in our global coal mine who will suffer the most first. That's in large part thanks to the efforts—and the millions—of the Koch brothers.
They must be stopped. Now. This election.
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