The Koch Brothers: Secret Tea Party Financiers

For decades, the Kochs have manipulated US politics
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2010 11:00 AM CDT
The Koch Brothers: Secret Tea Party Financiers
Look closely at conservative finances, and you'll find the Koch brothers' fingerprints.   (Shutterstock)

The Tea Party may look like a grassroots movement, but follow the money and you’ll see that it’s largely a creation of David and Charles Koch, a pair of billionaires who for decades have been the biggest political force you’ve never heard of. In a huge, 10,000-word New Yorker expose, journalist Jane Mayer shines a light on the brothers, who’ve spread at least $100 million across loads of seemingly independent groups—most of which they’ve founded or run—that push their libertarian ideals.

"The Kochs are on a whole different level,” according to the Center for Public Integrity. “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.” Their politics also nicely dovetail with their oil company's bottom line—watchdog groups say many Koch “nonprofit” groups actually affect their bottom line. Their influence is so deep they’ve even manipulated the Smithsonian—a Koch-funded exhibit on evolution seems to suggest that climate change is a natural phenomenon mankind will easily adapt to. (More David Koch stories.)

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