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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/23/11

Koch Brothers' Pernicious Political Influence

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CPI founder, Charles Lewis says:

"The Kochs are on a whole different level. There's no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I've been in Washington since Watergate, and I've never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Koch's lobbying expenses ranked in the top five among oil and gas companies alone, using 30 well-connected firms in 2010 to assure its interests are well-served.

Another key Koch issue is controlling the message, the topic of Nation magazine contributors Mark Ames and Mike Elk in their April 20 article headlined, "Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch," saying:

Ahead of last November's elections, Koch pressured its employees to support company choices, "warning them about the dire consequences to their families, their jobs and their country" for disobeying. 

Last year's Citizens United Supreme Court decision, granting corporations unlimited free speech, lets them politick brazenly within the law, including intimidating employees to back company choices and spread right-wing propaganda.

"Legal experts say that this kind of corporate-sponsored propagandizing has been almost unheard-of (since) New Dear-era laws," restricting workplace political activism and pressure. 

Moreover, Citizens United lets companies prohibit unions from similar practices because of infringing on private property. The decision literally legitimizes "court-enforced corporatocracy." As a result, "workers across the country should start preparing for a future workplace environment in which political proselytizing is the new normal," at the same time prohibiting opposition views.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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