The Koch Brother-Anna Nicole Smith Connection

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 6 2011 2:39 PM

The Koch Brother-Anna Nicole Smith Connection

Mother Jones uncovers the Hope Diamond of liberal anger circa 2011: Audio from a private Koch brothers et al retreat, in which the names of people who donated at least $1 million to the Kochs' causes are identified. This one jumped out:

Elaine Marshall of Dallas is the widow of E. Pierce Marshall, a son of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall who served on the board of Koch Industries before his death. Elaine was involved in a successful effort to prevent the late Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, who married Howard when he was 89, from inheriting the family's wealth. Before Smith's death, she was investigated by the FBI but never prosecuted in a murder-for-hire plot against Pierce. In the end, Pierce inherited the bulk of his father's wealth because he and his father had previously helped Charles and David Koch thwart a takeover of Koch Industries; Howard's eldest son—also named Howard—sided against his father and was disinherited as a result.
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No surprise: Most of the money on this list is coming from people who stand to make even more money in the energy industry if more leases are given out and more regulations are deep-sixed. And it's just a disgrace that this information is smuggled out of a meeting like a heroin shipment, instead of being disclosed. The Tea Party movement, the GOP, etc -- no one who benefits from this disagrees with the goals of these people in making more money. Why hide it?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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