On Sunday, at the twice-yearly gathering of the libertarian mega-industrialist Koch brothers’ donor network, Charles Koch told some 400 conservative financiers in no uncertain terms that his network of dark money organizations would not be supporting Donald Trump. What is more, Koch said, rumors that he would support Hillary Clinton are “a blood libel.”
Jane Mayer, a staff writer at The New Yorker, has a new book out this month about the political power of America’s wealthiest citizens, including the billionaire libertarian activists Charles and David Koch. Among Dark Money’s myriad revelations—we haven’t finished it yet!—is that one or both of the Koch brothers apparently paid a P.I. firm run by Howard Safir, the police commissioner under New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, to dig up dirt on Mayer to retaliate against her watershed New Yorker profile of the brothers from 2010:
Among the causes to which billionaire and conservative puppetmaster Charles Koch donates his vast wealth, his long support of criminal justice reform sticks out. While many of Koch’s pet issues cater strictly to the interests of his own moneyed class, the idea of curtailing the power of police and criminal courts is a palatable one—even appealing—to the sorts of people his cash-fueled political machine might otherwise have a hard time reaching: liberals, people of color, the poor.
Among the revelations in Dark Money, Jane Mayer’s expansive new book on the Koch brothers and the rise of contemporary American conservatism, is that Fred Koch, the billionaire duo’s father, once helped build an oil refinery in Nazi Germany. The New York Times broke that item last week, but left out a key detail from the book: allied forces bombed the refinery during World War II.
If you live in Anchorage, Alaska, you may have seen an op-ed in your local newspaper a few weeks ago about how occupational certification is specifically bad for your state. Also, you may have seen a similar op-ed if you live in Charleston, South Carolina. Or Oklahoma City. Or Reno. Or Portland, Maine.
Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon, a favorite scientist of climate-change deniers for his theory attributing global warming to variations in the sun's energy and not human activity, has accepted more than $1.2 million from the fossil-fuel industry in the last decade, the New York Times reports. He also failed to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his published papers.