America has a Koch problem—and it's coming to a head this November.
Right-wing oil billionaires Charles and David Koch are two of the wealthiest people in the world.1 They don't hesitate to buy politicians and policies that advance their own business interests. Thanks to the Supreme Court's Citizens United and recent McCutcheon decisions, there's virtually no limit on what they can spend.
The Koch brothers are gearing up to pour at least $125 million into November's elections—backing candidates who'll vote to decimate Social Security, overturn voting rights, block any shot at curbing global warming, and make it impossible for people to get health care or earn a decent wage.2
In order to neutralize the Koch brother's pernicious impact on our democracy, we must first understand it. That's why MoveOn members are gathering on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 at hundreds of "America Has a Koch Problem" movie parties to watch Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition, the critically-acclaimed new release from our friends at Brave New Films. After the film, we'll begin planning a powerful nation-wide campaign to end the Koch brothers' toxic influence on our democracy.
Will you host an America Has a Koch Problem movie party in Inwood on Saturday, June 28 or Sunday, June 29? After you plan your event, we'll mail you a free, limited-edition DVD!
Charles and David Koch—alone—were responsible for one quarter of all the private money spent to influence the 2012 election.3 Yet even with all their money, things didn't turn out exactly as Charles and David thought they would in 2012. The progressive community's field efforts were stronger and more strategic, our message to the American people more compelling.4 Now, as the Kochs scramble to figure out what went wrong, they're feeling the wear and tear that comes from an American public fighting hard for the future of our nation.5
It's the perfect time to turn up the heat.
We'll sit down at the end of June to watch Koch Brothers Exposed so that we can stand up together and fight back. Because when we fight back, we win.
Hosting a movie screening is easy and rewarding. We'll provide an online guide, invite MoveOn members in your area (and help you recruit other folks to join), and supply you with creative ideas for effective local Koch-free organizing.
I know this work can feel daunting. But for the first time, the problem of big money and corporate corruption in U.S. politics has a public face: the Koch brothers, two of the wealthiest Americans who are fueling the demise of everything that you and I—and millions like us—cherish about our nation.6
That's why, across the country, courageous people are fighting back!
- Just last week, hundreds of MoveOn members and allies in New York took this fight to David Koch's front door, staging a bold block party where they projected Koch Brothers Exposed on the side of his swanky Park Avenue apartment building.7
- In Wake County, North Carolina, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a Koch-driven political advocacy organization, led a public school board takeover which effectively ended student busing and resegregated the schools. Thousands of parents and students fought back and voted out the conservative slate!8
- In Detroit, Michigan, community members and legislators fought off a Koch-funded effort that would have cut the pensions of Detroit workers and sold off the city's precious art collection. Community organizing focused a harsh, national spotlight on the Kochs.9
We're building a diverse and dynamic movement to beat back the Kochs' ultra-conservative ideology—and this summer, we're stepping it up.
This summer, we'll tell the Koch brothers that America cannot be bought.
Charles and David Koch will become the high-stakes poster boys for the corrosive impact of money in politics. MoveOn members like you will make sure that politicians who take Koch funds feel the burn that comes from toxic money. Together, we'll save the Senate in 2014 and lay the ground for dramatic wins in 2016.
Here's to making summer 2014 a time Charles and David Koch—and all of us—will never forget.
Thanks for all you do,
–Garlin, Victoria, Jess, Kate, and the rest of the team
Sources:1. "The World's Billionaires," Forbes, May 29, 2014
2. "Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity plans $125 million spending spree," Politico, May 9, 2014
3. "At Least 1 in 4 Dark Money Dollars in 2012 Had Koch Links," OpenSecrets.org, December 3, 2013
4. "Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity plans $125 million spending spree," Politico, May 9, 2014
5. "To Strike at Kochs, Democrats Revive Tactics that Hurt Romney," The New York Times, April 5, 2014
6. "Deficit Reduction Declines as Policy Priority," Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January 27, 2014
7. "'Koch Brothers Exposed' Screening Set for David Koch's Apartment, Roll Call, June 5, 2014
8. "A Win for Integration in Wake County, North Carolina School Board Election," Daily Kos, November 10, 2011
9. "Koch brothers targeting fair bankruptcy deal in Detroit," The Boston Globe, June 2, 2014
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