From Mother Jones:
The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, spread their money far and wide. They fund free-market think tanks, right-leaning academic organizations, and conservative political advocacy groups, such as the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which helped cultivate the tea party. The political action committee for the Kochs’ massive conglomerate, Koch Industries, has also given generously to big-name conservative politicians throughout the country at both the federal and state level. But when it comes to the 2012 presidential race, the Kochs have been more selective with their giving, with only one presidential candidate so far benefiting from their largesse: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
In late May, KochPAC, as Koch Industries’ PAC is known, donated $10,000 in one day to Bachmann-linked committees—$5,000 to her 2012 congressional re-election committee and $5,000 to her political action committee, MICHELE PAC, according to the most recent records available. (That’s short for Many Individual Conservatives Helping Elect Leaders Everywhere PAC.)
It’s unclear whether KochPAC has also donated to Bachmann’s presidential committee, which was created in June after she officially unveiled her candidacy. Her campaign has yet to report contributions and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. But it is worth noting that Bachmann can, under FEC rules, transfer her congressional campaign funds into her presidential war chest, since she suspended her congressional fundraising operation last month. When Bachmann does reveal her latest fundraising haul, a large chunk of it is expected to come from her congressional campaign.
According to campaign records, Bachmann is the only Republican in the presidential race who has received any money from KochPAC in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, the committee did give $50,000 to Texans for Rick Perry, a PAC that supports Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is flirting with the idea of a presidential run but has yet to decide. Indeed, the only other Republican candidate with a history of KochPAC support is hard-line former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
The candidate who previously appeared to closest to the billionaire brothers was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It’s been previously reported that Romney counted David as a supporter; according to iWatch News, David and his wife even hosted an event at their Hamptons home last August in support of Romney. In April, Romney spoke at a GOP presidential cattle call hosted by Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group David founded. And in the last presidential election, David and his wife each gave the maximum $2,300 donation to Romney’s campaign.
From THINK PROGRESS GREEN:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has made no secret of her position against environmental regulation, even going so far as to propose renaming the Environmental Protection Agency as “the Job-Killing Organization of America” during a Republican primary debate.
A glance at her campaign finance records provides some clues as to why she ignores that environmental protections create jobs to take up such a radical stance on environmental deregulation.
Bachmann’s top campaign donors include one of the nation’s largest corporate polluters, Koch Industries.
The Koch brothers’ environmental track recordexplains the attraction to the Minnesota congresswoman:
- Koch Industries has faced over $55 million in civil fine and settlement fees stemming from various oil spills, pollution incidents, and industry cover-ups, including one case in which the corporation was found guilty of negligence and malice in the deaths of two Texas teens in a gas-leak explosion.
- Over 13 Superfund sites currently listed are linked to Koch Industries or one of its subsidiaries.
- They directly lobbied against environmental protection legislation, including the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Act, Clean Air Protection Act and the Superfund Polluter Pays Act.
- Koch Industries and their subsidiaries are attacking current EPA regulations in order to pursue greater profits, ranging from the disclosure of unit-specific or facility-specific greenhouse pollution, national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants from industrial boilers, all of the crude-oil, data-reporting requirements, tighter water-quality standards for stream-dumping, and the monitoring of chemical plant greenhouse pollution.
- An air-pollution study ranks the company 10th on the list of the top 100 air polluters in 2010.
- Koch Industries may face additional costs of anywhere between $1 billion and $40 billion if Congress passed legislation to regulate carbon emissions, according to ThinkProgress estimates.
- Since 1997, the Koch brothers have spent $55 million supporting climate-change skeptics, including the CATO Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and the “Hot Air” Movement.
- After Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli announced that he would be suing the EPA over its claim that climate change endangers human health, David Koch gave the following remark: “In the interest of full disclosure, I figured we may as well let the world know how proud we are of our investment in this guy.” Koch Industries donated $2,500 to Cuccinelli’s 2010 campaign, and the attorney general attended the infamous Koch retreat in Colorado this summer.
It’s no surprise that Bachmann voted for an amendment to the U.S. House spending bill that would stop the agency from regulating greenhouse gases through the end of 2011. Add to that her championing of the infamous climate skeptic, Chris Horner, from the Competitive Enterprise Institute — which has received over $700,000 from the Kochs. In Bachmann, corporate polluters have an anti-science champion eager to defend their toxic interests.