The names of the two billionaires, Charles and David Koch both ranked top five among the wealthiest businessmen in the US by the Forbes Magazine, 2015. They have now emerged again in the political arena. They first conspicuously appeared in 2010 after the publication of James Mayer’s article in The New Yorker, Covert Operations, which revealed their unsuccessful efforts in deployment of substantial sums of money in order to curtail Obama’s initiatives such as health and trade reforms. As far as the Democrats are concerned, Charles Koch has become a pain to deal with owing to their enormous influence which has made commentators erroneously refer to them as a ‘third political party’.
It suffices to note that the involvement of Charles and David Koch in political discourse predates Obama’s ascension into presidency. It can be traced as early as 1970s when they started funding libertarian and free market thinkers and research institutions such as the Cato Institute. Again, during President George Bush’s reign, the brothers delved themselves into politics in opposition to Bush’s conservative ideologies that favored the Medicare program, a social spending drug program.
Myth 2: The Koch brothers use the Koch Network as a pet project
It is unforgivably wrong to assume that the Koch Network comprises only the two oil investors. In the search of the realization of their quest for libertarianism, they have managed to convince many wealthy conservative businessmen to fund them. They hold bi-annual Koch seminars where they teach against the democrat’s ideals. In these seminars, whose attendance has grown from a paltry 17 in 2003 to 500 in 2016, the rich attendees pledge to support their political endeavors. According to Charles Koch’s tax records, the seminars managed to raise almost $300m in 2014.
Myth 3: The Koch network operations are intended to protect the Koch Industries
The fallacy that circulates the media is to the effect that the involvement of Charles Koch in politics is intended to protect their conglomerate, The Koch Industries. It is argued that their free market ideals which criticize environmental regulation are aimed at protecting the large oil company. On the other hand, their network aims at championing policies which lead to reduced taxes and fewer governmental regulations for the benefit of all US citizens.
Myth 4: The Koch Network is a ‘secret bank’ to conservative groups
The Center for Responsive Politics recently tied the network to hundreds of conservative organizations such as Americans United for Life, the Heritage Foundation, the National Federation of Independent Business among others. The Network, however, operates through one organization, Americans for Prosperity, which uses its resources to oppose the Democrats and support the election of Republicans.