Billionaire David Koch's prime political organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), having failed in its $125 million quest to oust President Barack Obama, is now aiming at a slightly less sophisticated political target: victims of Hurricane Sandy. [...]Hear that, Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways? Get out there and replace your own power poles and restring your own wires. Repave your own streets and rent your own backhoes to clear away your demolished neighborhoods. Suck it up. Easy for one of the world's richest men to say.
Earlier this week, AFP, which is chaired by Koch and believed to be financed by several other plutocrats from the New York City region, released a letter warning members of Congress not to vote for the proposed federal aid package for victims of the storm that swept New Jersey, New York City and much of the surrounding area in October. An announcement on the group's website says that the vote next week for the Sandy aid package will be a "key vote" -- meaning senators who support sending money for reconstruction could face an avalanche of attack ads in their next election. Already, opposition to the bill is growing, although it passed one procedural hurdle last [Friday] night. [...]
Koch's top deputy in New Jersey, a surly gentleman named Steve Lonegan, who heads the local AFP state chapter, called the aid package a "disgrace." "This is not a federal government responsibility," Lonegan told reporters. "We need to suck it up and be responsible for taking care of ourselves."