Thursday, November 03, 2005
Koch and Tiahrt, a match made in $lush fund heaven
The Center for Public integrity has made some important observations on Wichita’s own Koch Industries and their ability to buy elections. Among the findings:
“Koch Industries (pronounced "coke") is a huge oil conglomerate controlled by brothers Charles and David Koch, two of the country's richest men and among the biggest backers of conservative and libertarian causes. With estimated revenue of about $40 billion last year, Koch is bigger than Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and AT&T.
Koch is the leading campaign contributor among oil and gas companies for the 2004 election cycle, giving $587,000 so far. Next came Valero Energy at $568,000.”
And of course as we follow Todd Tiahrt’s slush trail, we find a close nit relationship between the congressman and Koch:
“Koch has rained the most campaign cash, almost $121,000, on Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Republican who represents Wichita, where Koch is headquartered.”
Nothing illegal is happening here. Koch, as with Tiahrt, knows the loop-holes around the law:
“Koch has also discovered the newest trend in campaign financing, so-called 527 committees.
Named after the section of the Internal Revenue Service code under which they're organized, these political committees can raise unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. They are also allowed to claim tax-exempt status as political committees while at the same time avoiding regulation by state or federal election authorities.”