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The Washington Post's Suspect Attack on the Koch Brothers

1:27 PM, Mar 22, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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At the same time, we see that a host of other "green energy" firms and global warming ideologues have been donating heavily to Democrats. Berkshire Hathaway, the company of Obama-booster Warren Buffet, owns a rail line that is responsible for transporting much of the oil from the Canadian sands and could be a lot less profitable if the pipeline is built. (Interestingly, Buffet said earlier this month he was in favor of the pipeline.) But it's hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer who has emerged as the Democratic donor of the moment. Steyer is a big climate change activist, despite profiting off of traditional energy sources he professes to abhor. His campaign cash made a difference in the tight Virginia gubernatorial election. And vulnerable Senate Democrats recently hosted an all-night global warming "talkathon" on the floor of the Senate in a bid to impress Steyer with their commitment to the cause.

Being stuck between unions and environmentalists is a terrible spot to be in for Congressional Democrats up for election this year. Enter the Koch brothers, who are villains to unions for supporting organizations that defended Scott Walker in Wisconsin and helped pass right-to-work legislation in Michigan. And Koch Industries is an energy company, so naturally they are hated by the radical environmentalists who raise money for and agitate on behalf  of Democrats. Consequently, Democrats have a big incentive to campaign against the Kochs directly and portray them as far more influential than they are. They can scare unions into not easing away from writing checks too much and keep the powerful environmental interests close.

Which brings us back to the Post's shoddy report on the Koch brothers. What could have possibly motivated it? While the Post was misleading readers about the Koch's interest in the Keystone XL pipeline, the New York Times reported this yesterday:

Senate Majority PAC, a group that supports Democratic Senate candidates, is preparing a $3 million advertising campaign against Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch, the libertarian-minded billionaire brothers who support conservative causes and have already poured millions of dollars into the 2014 midterm elections.

And all month long, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been railing against the Kochs in slanderous fashion, calling them "un-American" among other things. This is, again, eerily reminiscent of 2010 when Democrats tried to make GOP fundraising interests the central issue of the campaign. Aside from demonizing the Chamber of Commerce, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised to tie the GOP to corporate campaign cash “like doggy-doo stuck on your shoe,” and at one point Democrats circulated a memo claiming that outside spending groups affiliated with Republicans had outspent Democratic groups $200 million to $7 million. In the end, money was not an issue in the campaign. Republicans were outspent and still won a historically large number of congressional seats. “Overall, Democratic candidates in the 63 races that flipped to the GOP had $206.4 million behind them, a tally that includes candidate fundraising and spending by parties and interests,” reported the Washington Post on November 3, the day after the 2010 midterms. “That compares to only $171.7 million for their GOP rivals.” The demonize-GOP-funders playbook is not only hypocritical -- if didn't succeed in 2010, it seems unlikely to succeed in 2014.

Finally, Powerline also reported this interesting tidbit about one of the two authors of the Washington Post's Koch piece:

Who is Post reporter Juliet Eilperin? Among other things, she is married to Andrew Light, who writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress. The Center for American Progress is an Obama administration front group headed by John Podesta, who is a “special advisor” to the Obama administration. CAP’s web site, Think Progress, has carried out a years-long vendetta against the Koch brothers that has focused largely on the environment. Ms. Eilperin’s conflict in writing about environmental issues has already been a subject of controversy at the Post.

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