Brace yourself: The Koch brothers just announced that they plan to spend $889 million on the 2016 election.1
That's right—just shy of a billion dollars. Nearly double the budget of the entire Romney campaign in 2012.2
At that level, it's not about buying a law or a politician. It's about buying our whole damn democracy.
Yeah. We're banging our heads against the wall, too.
But there's also some good news: We know how to fight back. It's political judo: turn your opponent's strength into a weakness. We're going to make Koch money toxic.
It's the strategy that helped us win the Michigan Senate race in 2014. Once voters know the Kochs' long history of outsourcing jobs, polluting the environment, driving down wages, and crushing local businesses, they become suspicious of the politicians bankrolled by the Koch political money machine.3
The Koch brothers are wasting no time—and we can't either. To stop the Koch brothers' takeover plan, we have to get started now. Will you chip in $3 to help fight back?
As scary as the Koch plan might be, the story of what happened in Michigan is a huge source of hope.
During the 2014 campaign, Representative Gary Peters, the MoveOn-backed Michigan Senate candidate, was hit with a barrage of false Koch attack ads.
But the Peters campaign responded by going on offense—calling out the Koch brothers for shutting down a Michigan factory and laying off hundreds of workers after buying out the local owners.4
And it worked. Voters began to associate Rep. Peters' opponent with the destructive corporate practices of Koch Industries, and he was one of the few Democrats to win in 2014.
The lesson? The Koch brothers may be rich, but they have an Achilles heel: their own ugly business practices.
Let's make sure every voter in America knows just who they are and what they stand for:
This won't happen by itself. Even after all of the press coverage in the last few years, too many Americans still don't even know who the Koch brothers are.5That's why, even though the election still seems far away, it's time to start calling attention to the Koch brothers' most notorious business practices—and their blatant attempts to buy our democracy. Later, when the election really gets going, we'll watchdog Koch ads for accuracy and hypocrisy.
We don't have to outspend the Koch brothers to make this strategy work. Which is a good thing, because they'll always have more money than we do. But we do need enough resources to get moving. Will you chip in $3 to help make it happen?
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Justin K., Jadzia, Milan, and the rest of the team
1. "Koch Brothers' Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties' Spending," The New York Times, January 26, 2015
2. "The 2012 Money Race: Compare the Candidates," The New York Times, accessed January 27, 2015
3. "Myths And Facts About The Koch Brothers," Media Matters for America, August 27, 2014
4. "Exclusive: DSCC hits Terri Lynn Land over Kochs, factory," Politico, September 18, 2014
5. "Can Democrats' Koch Attacks Work If Nobody Knows Who They Are?" National Journal, March 25, 2014
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