Koch Brothers Fire Back at Obama Campaign’s Baseless Attack

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jiim messina
Jim Messina
Last week, President Obama’s reelection campaign manager Jim Messina sent a fundraising letter to Obama’s supporters targeted at Mitt Romney. The letter stated that Romney was scheduled to speak to Americans for Prosperity -- a group that Mr. Messina claimed was funded by the billionaire Koch brothers -- and could everyone please chip a little to the Two Term Fund? Also in the letter was a claim that the Kochs make millions by jacking up prices at the pump, that they bankroll Tea Party extremism, and are committed to ‘destroying’ Barack Obama.

Side note: Where is all of this Tea Party funding I’ve heard about for the last three years? I’ve been actively involved with the movement, and I have yet to receive a single check from the Koch brothers.

Without wasting any time, Philip Ellender, President of Government & Public Affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector, fired back at Mr. Messina and smacked down the blatant falsehoods in his ‘irresponsible and misleading letter.’ 

First Mr. Ellender reminds Messina that the Kochs own no gas stations, only oil and gas refineries, which actually lower the cost of gas by increasing supply. This might be my favorite part of the letter: “Either you simply misunderstand the way commodities markets work or you are misleading your supporters and the rest of the American people.”

Well, Mr. Messina? Which is it?

Then he addressed the idea that the Kochs fund Americans for Prosperity and Tea Party extremism. I’ve actually done some work for AFP, and not once have a received a check from Charles or David Koch. Yes, the Kochs do donate some to the foundation, but nearly as much as they do to arts, science, and educational organizations, and no one is claiming that they fund any of those activities. AFP is supported by “tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life.”

Ellender goes on to say that this sort of personal attack does not behoove the Office of the President, and it is a “disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy.”

The Kochs have been fighting against government oppression for a half a century, regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat was in office. They are libertarians, and believe strongly in the rights of individuals to make their own decisions in their homes and in the marketplace.

Barack Obama and Jim Messina better come up with better tactics than easily disprovable misinformation if they want to win reelection this fall. Because right now I’m paying $4 a gallon for gas, and it isn’t the Koch brothers halting drilling in the Gulf or blocking the Keystone pipeline. That’s President Obama’s doing.

 

Image via Fighting For Our Health/Flickr

2012 election, barack obama, tea party

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Tippi... Tippi2112

Great article, Jenny.  Thanks for your contributions to this forum.


 

nonmember avatar dg

Oh good article. you it seems funny to me. Some people like to throw out accusations with out being accountable. Good job!! If the president really wanted to help. We would drill in the gulf,and all of OUR resourses.

witch... witchkiss

 The price is oil is set on global markets, not by the POTUS.  

lga1965 lga1965

It  was not baseless. The Koch brothers' agenda is not good for America and they contribute to the Conservative candidates they want in office and the Tea Party ....not to you Jennifer. You won't be getting a check.And, of course, you KNEW that.

nonmember avatar c g

Why would you want to defend these guys. Do you really want billionaires influencing all policy decisions? These two spend millions upon millions just on climate change denial propaganda alone. They want to destroy the middle class and with people like you defending them, they will.

bills... billsfan1104

Iga, what about George Soros who funds any and every democrats and contributing millions to the Obama campaign?? Are you going to bitch about that??

nonmember avatar cookie

DEAR JENNY,
Oil prices are caused by the events happening in places like Iran, Venezuela, and Africa and oil speculation). No other reason (Nope, not Obama's fault). I respect your opinion but please do not disregard facts because they aren't to your liking.

nonmember avatar SecondJon

"It was not baseless. The Koch brothers' agenda is not good for America and they contribute to the Conservative candidates they want in office and the Tea Party ....not to you"

Perhaps you forgot to read the post you were responding to? The blog you're responding to mentioned that the Koch brothers have given money to "arts, science, and educational organizations" and also a fraction of that to Americans for Prosperity.

You write that "The Koch brothers' agenda is not good for America" - I take it you're opposed to arts, science, education and AFP?

The post says that it's baseless to claim the Koch brothers are hiking up prices at the pump. If there's a basis for this, what is it?

The post says it's baseless to claim the Tea Party movement is extreme. Now, there is a movement out there that is violent and breaking innumerable laws - that's the Occupy movement. The Tea Party movement sits in agreement with the founders of America and the Declaration and Constitution with an emphasis on limited less powerful government. Is that the extreme that is "not good for America"? Are you really afraid of the group that wants less power?

Seems silly, doesn't it?

nonmember avatar SecondJon

@c g wrote: "Why would you want to defend these guys. Do you really want billionaires influencing all policy decisions? ... They want to destroy the middle class and with people like you defending them, they will."

I share your frustration with President Obama, having set records with how much financial backing he has had from billionaires and Wall Street Banks, and having billionaires influence each and every policy decision he makes.

What have the Koch brothers done to destroy the middle class?

nonmember avatar SecondJon

Dear Cookie:

According to President Obama when he was a senator (and Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi), gas prices are the responsibility of the current presidential administration. Please do not disregard facts because they aren't to your liking.

It's disappointing that you believe "no other factor" influences gas prices. No supply and demand influence? No regulatory influence?

If, for example, Americans were allowed to proceed with drilling more of our own oil, there would be more oil here, being refined here, being delivered here. That would cause prices to drop, all as a result of things like allowing drilling and allowing the pipeline. Or do you think that if we had abundant sources of cheap oil that wouldn't affect gas prices?

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