Koch Zero

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 26 2010 9:13 AM

Koch Zero

You can number me among the people who were impressed by Jane Mayer's storytelling but unimpressed by her revelations in her mammoth New Yorker profile of the Koch family, benefactors of the libertarian movement. Add me to the list of people unimpressed by Koch's lawyerly response .

Among the hundreds of organizations that have received support from Koch companies and/or the Koch foundations are Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation. In 1984, Dr. Richard Fink, Charles and David Koch and Jay Humphries co-founded the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, then known as Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation. Over time the participants in CSE and the CSE Foundation developed different visions. In 2004, CSE became FreedomWorks and the CSE Foundation was renamed Americans for Prosperity Foundation. AFP Foundation created a 501(c)(4) organization, AFP. AFP and AFP Foundation have grown to more than 1.2 million members in all 50 states, with 30 state chapters and affiliates and more than 65,000 donors. David Koch is chairman of the board for AFP Foundation, which has a citizen-education mission. 

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And this contradicts Mayer... how? Because AFP has a "citizen-education mission"? I've got news for you: Everyone has a citizen-education mission. ACORN has a citizen-education mission, as do the New Black Panthers, as does the Flat Earth Society. Mayer was attempting to point out, in an article that would travel further than the quick hits of liberal groups and TV segments, exactly who is funding AFP when AFP passes out "tea party talking points." Look, here's what David Koch said at the 2009 "Defending the American Dream" summit the 2010 one happens today and tomorrow in D.C.

"Days like today bring to reality the vision of our board of directors, when we founded this organization five years ago," said Koch. "We envisioned a mass movement, a state-based one, but national in scope, of hundreds of thousands of American citizens from all walks of life standing up and fighting for the economic freedoms that made our nation the most prosperous society in history."

Hey, your dream came true! You're Tony Montana looking at the neon lights after Frank Lopez has been "taken care of." Just admit it.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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