NPR logo Reports Provide Glimpse Behind Koch Brothers' Political-Fundraising Curtain

Follow The Money

Reports Provide Glimpse Behind Koch Brothers' Political-Fundraising Curtain

The reports by the liberal Mother Jones and Brad Blog about the Koch Brothers' private Vail meeting in June with scores of other members of the superwealthy class are reminders that no matter how rich you are, you still don't have enough money apparently to accomplish all you'd like on your own. You still need help from other like-minded superwealthy.

And what the conservative David and Charles Koch brothers want to accomplish, according to journalists who have examined their activities for years, is an end to threats, as they perceive them, to American capitalism.

Perhaps the greatest of those perceived perils to capitalism in the eyes of Charles Koch at least, based on his remarks picked up on the secret recording of the seminar that Mother Jones has made public, is President Obama and his fellow Democrats.

In making his fundraising pitch to those assembled in Vail, Koch said:

... We have Saddam Hussein, this is the Mother of All Wars we've got in the next 18 months. For the life or death of this country. So, I'm not going to do this to put any pressure on anyone here, mind you. This is not pressure. But if this makes your heart feel glad and you want to be more forthcoming, then so be it.

Koch Industries issued a statement Tuesday to ABC News' Jake Tapper saying Charles Koch wasn't likening Obama to Hussein. But he clearly was setting the 2012 election in existential terms for the U.S.

The Koch's are often portrayed by their opponents as richer than God and able to pretty much get whatever they want.

But even being worth an estimated $22 billion each, they clearly aren't rich enough to get whatever they want on their own, which is why Charles Koch was hoping that those within the reach of his voice would feel so moved as to write a few checks.

The reports are well worth taking time to read not just for the secret thrill you'll get from glimpsing something never intended for the public eye.

Mother Jones has also cobbled together a list of some of those who donated at least $1 million to the Kochs' political efforts. Many of those donors have given quietly to the Kochs' presumably to keep their names out of the public spotlight.

It's a look behind the curtain of how big money is raised in conservative circles that's a worthwhile addition to our sum of knowledge about how American politics is practiced in the early 21st Century.