For years now, I've been wrangling the Kochtopus with limited success. Now Mother Jones has actually done it and succeeded.
Mind you, this is a snapshot. In another six months it's likely they'll have another network of nonprofits we've never heard of before. But for now, this is the most comprehensive list of donations and recipients tied to the Kochtopus I've seen.
Browse the list and you'll find big gifts to universities and mainstream charities right alongside the political organizations. It's a daunting list.
The John Birch Society likes to point out that its members were tea partiers before the tea party existed. And indeed, some of today's conservative fears—from a socialist president to a United Nations-driven "one-world government"—wouldn't have sounded out of place in the early 1960s, when Birch Society leader Robert Welch commanded a right-wing movement that Republican establishmentarians viewed as a mortal threat.
The connective tissue linking the Birchers of the past to today's tea partiers meanders through the libertarian movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and detours into the tobacco wars of the 1980s and the Hillarycare battle of the 1990s. At the nexus of this throughline is the Koch family, which for more than six decades has helped to finance and cultivate the ideological uprising that has now, at long last, established itself at the very heart of Republican power.
A bonus: Want to know who is a wholly owned Koch politician? Check the list of Koch whores here.