Friday, February 14, 2014

Koch Watch

From the Washington Examiner.  Thanks to Stephen W. Browne for this. I wonder where this guy fits in.

It turns out the 'Evil' Koch Bros are only the 59th biggest donors in American politics. Can you guess who is number one?

Well, it turns out that Mayer's aim was off just a little, by like 58 slots on the all-time biggest donors in American politics list, as compiled by tallied the top donors in federal elections between 1989 and 2014. Koch Industries -- privately owned by the Evil Koch Bros -- is on the list, to be sure, but doesn't appear until the 59th slot, with $18 million in donations, 90 percent of which went to Republicans.
Unions, unions, unions
So who occupies the 58 spots ahead of the Evil Koch Bros? Six of the top 10 are ... wait for it ... unions. They gave more than $278 million, with most of it going to Democrats.
These are familiar names: AFSCME ($60.6 million), NEA ($53.5 million), IBEW ($44.4 million), UAW ($41.6 million), Carpenters & Joiners ($39.2 million) and SEIU ($38.3 million).
In other words, the six biggest union donors in American politics gave 15 times more to mostly Democrats than the Evil Koch Bros.

Wall Street and Act Blue, too
Three of the remaining four slots in the top 10 were taken by AT&T ($56.4 million), American 
Association of Realtors ($51.2 million) and Goldman Sachs ($44.8 million).
So, if money is the measure of evil in American politics and the Evil Koch Bros only come in 59th,
who is really the most evil donor ever?
Turns out it's Act Blue, which has given just short of $100 million in its lifetime, which only started
 contributing in 2004, 15 years less than the Evil Koch Bros.
Any bets on when Mayer's "Covert Operations II: Act Blue" will appear in the New Yorker?


  1. You are still hung up on that whole fact and logic thing. Remember, the United States is in a post-factual existence. Emotions, intentions, influence of the teacher's union and the latest Hollywood movie are more important than what actually happened. I have one thing in common with the late Walter Cronkite: shortly before he died he stated that the American population was probably too stupid to pick their own leaders.

  2. You're wrong. The Koch brothers funnel most of their money through politically active nonprofit groups designed to hide donor identities. For example, they founded a network of such groups that raised (and presumably spent) about 400 million during 2012. I'll bet they contributed 10% of that themselves, if not more - your typical billionaire isn't nearly as political as they are.

    For comparison's, Karl Rove's similar group raised $325 million. Total union donations for 2012 were about 400 million ( for state, federal, and national).

    In the current situation, anyone who tries to estimate political spending without considering "dark money" is either uninformed or trying to deceive.

    In terms of buying votes, money is not all that effective. People overrate it. In terms of buying intellectuals ( think tanks, pundits, etc), very effective.

  3. I notice there that News Corps gave more to the Democrats.

  4. Stefan Molyneux has pointed out that if you're selling a solution to a problem (in this case Republicanism as an antidote to leftism), you want more of the problem, because having more of it increases demand.