The Kochs’ Quest to Save America
WICHITA, Kansas — In January 2009, just days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Charles and David Koch met in their company headquarters in Wichita with their longtime political strategist, Rich Fink.
The country was headed toward bankruptcy, they agreed. Fink told them bluntly that Obama’s administration represented the worst of what Charles and David fear most: a bloated, regulation-heavy, free-spending government that could plunge the country into another deep recession. That day, Fink advised two of the richest men in the nation that it would be the fight of their lives to stop the government spending spree and to change the course of the country, starting with the 2012 election.
‘If we are going to do this, we should do it right or not at all,’ Fink, 61, recalled telling the brothers. ‘But if we don’t do it right or if we don’t do it at all, we will be insignificant and we will just waste a lot of time and I would rather play golf. ‘And if we do it right, then it is going to get very, very ugly.’
Three and a half years later, Obama accused the Koch brothers of engineering ‘a corporate takeover of our democracy.’
The brothers’ political spending and the network of conservative political organizations and think tanks they fund have sparked protests.
Two years of condemnations and criticism prompted Charles Koch to break his silence about politics. In his most extensive interview in 15 years, Charles Koch, along with his family and friends, talked about why he wants to defeat Obama and elect members of Congress who will stop what he calls catastrophic overspending.
Government recklessness threatens the country and his business, he said.
Aww, they really just want to do good in this country. Shame on us for demonizing them. What a piece of tripe. I wonder how much the reporter got paid to release this drivel?
This is a pretty telling set of quotes:
They won’t say how much they are spending to influence the election.
Charles Koch refuted early media reports that put their tab to defeat Obama at $200 million.
“Well, the Obama campaign said they were going to spend a billion. No, we’re not going to spend that much,” he said, referring to the $200 million.
“We’re going to participate effectively in the election, let’s just put it that way,” David Koch said.
Fink said simply, “We are doing a lot.”
Providing more information, he said, would increase criticism. “Anybody who sticks their head up is going to get shot. We understand that. We’re sticking our head up and getting shot. … Any information you put out there just increases the number of bullets and arrows, so why do that?”