Last cycle, the Koch Industries PAC picked 4 of the most right-wing fringe Blue Dogs to invest in. The PAC helped finance reelection campaigns for Jim Costa (CA), Henry Cuellar (TX), Collin Peterson (MN) and Kurt Schrader (OR), all of whom vote with the Republicans against regulating businesses and in other matters that benefit the Koch bottom line. Late last week, a Koch brothers spokesperson announced that the network of right-wing donors will be more "bipartisan" this year and plan to help "Democrats" in congressional primaries who are "in step with Koch policies."
The Koch policies they put their money behind are not really the nice-sounding ones, like protecting DREAMers and fighting for criminal justice reform. We're not saying the Kochs aren't for those things. We're saying those issues are not the issues their network spends money on. They spend money on backing politicians who advocate for lower taxes for the super-rich, for politicians who oppose regulations that protect consumers, workers and the environment, and, most important, for politicians who are in step with the Koch policies on fossil fuels and against any nod towards the Green New Deal. The Koch brothers and their donor network want to end Medicare, Social Security and even public education. Democrats should not be working with them.
Koch sewer money and the New Dems and the Blue Dogs (the Republican wing of the Democratic Party) are a match made in heaven. No Democrats should be taking any Koch money for any reason. No one should be allowed to call him- or herself a Democrat if they do take Koch money. But that's something only Democratic voters and grassroots campaign contributors can enforce. Let's start enforcing it.
Please consider helping the Blue America-endorsed candidates-- all of whom have eschewed contributions from corporate PACs or right-wing organizations like the Koch brothers network.
The idea of the DCCC and the Koch brothers working hand in hand to elect conservatives to Congress is just sickening. If you can, consider contributing to the congressional candidates running this year and represented on the 2020 Blue America thermometer on the right.
Kara Eastman, an Omaha grassroots progressive, is in a primary with an establishment shill recruited by the DCCC. Kara has been very firm about not accepting corporate PAC money and came within a couple of points of beating GOP incumbent Don Bacon in 2018-- 126,715 (51%) to 121,770 (49%)-- beating him outright in Douglas County. The last thing the Koch brothers want to see is a Democrat winning a House seat in Nebraska-- and the last thing Cheri Bustos wants is a progressive winning in Nebraska-- or anywhere else:
"Rejecting corporate PAC money is not enough for a candidate," Kara told us last night. "We have to stop allowing large corporations and the very wealthy to have such influence in all levels of electoral politics. In my last race, I raised more money than any other Democrat had raised in this district and did it from small dollar contributions. I also pledged that I would represent the people of Nebraska-- not the corporations who do not need my voice. It’s time to change this corrupt system and it starts with candidates like me."
Kathy Ellis is running for a congressional seat in southeast Missouri, the 8th district, the 11th poorest district in America. People should be voting overwhelmingly for Democrats but instead, it's the reddest district in the state. Obama lost badly there both times he ran and in 2016 Trump beat Hillary 75.4% to 21.0%. Ellis has seen the Koch brothers come in and buy up the Republican Party in districts like hers. This morning she warned us that "no self-respecting Democrat, either a progressive or otherwise, should make a deal with the Koch brothers. This is just another way to infiltrate our Democratic values with poison.”
Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team