In Jane Mayer's new book, Dark Money, she writes about all of the different enterprises the Kochs own, and how those enterprises impact public policy in one way or another.
We all know about tax policy and health care policy, but one area that has flown under the radar for the most part is public lands policy.
"Koch Industries took full advantage of a panoply of federal subsidies, ranging from artificially low grazing fees on the 40 percent of their 500,000 acres of cattle ranches that used federal lands, to a deal with the Bush administration in 2002 to sell eight million barrels of crude oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a federal supply set aside as a hedge against market disruptions," Mayer wrote.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, to discover that the current rumblings about federal land holdings aren't just random disgruntled "sovereign citizens," but affiliated with Koch-funded groups.
Travis Gettys at Raw Story writes,
The American Lands Council, which promotes legislation that would give states and individuals control of federally owned land, posted a video on Facebook accusing the Bureau of Land Management of deliberately starting fires and allowing them to burn out of control.
The ALC video was ripped off from a misleading and “heavily edited propaganda video” that Bundy produced in December, reported columnist Paul Rolly, of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Rolly said the videos were so similar that the ALC’s text repeated the same spelling errors made by Bundy, among 16 militants indicted last week in federal court in connection with the ongoing takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve.
I'm sure we're shocked -- SHOCKED -- that a Koch-funded group would be using video apparently made by Ammon Bundy.
In 2013, the Koch-operated Donors Trust sent out some small grants (by their standards, anyway) to patriot groups in Arizona and California.
The nativist American Border Patrol, based in Arizona, received $5,000.00. Sovereignty Matters, Inc, a group with a California address that received nonprofit status in 2012, received $20,000.00.
The address for Sovereignty Matters, Inc. was also used for a group called "TechnoPatriots," which appears to be defunct. Unfortunately, there was no way at the time to tie the funds sent to these "patriot" groups back to any specific activity, so I made a decision to wait to write about it until such time as the 2014 return was available.
That return is still not available, but when it is, I'm betting we'll see some grants moving from Donors' Trust into other groups besides the ones reported above, groups that not only supported these organizations, but also paid for them to mount the Bundy rebellion in 2014 and the Malheur invasion this year.
It's all for a cause, and not the cause of freedom. This is a big land grab on the part of Koch Industries and their allies so they can use public lands for their private enrichment. Just as it is with every other "cause for liberty" they claim to espouse, so too are they funding these rebellious, destructive, nativist groups for their own gain.