Nowadays it’s hard to find anyone who is comfortable with the absurd amount of money being poured into political campaigns. Progressives,conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party have all lamented the disproportionate influence that exorbitant amounts of money is having on politics in the age after Citizens United. Even Sheldon Adelson, one of the highest of the high rollers in the Republican presidential primary season and who has donated millions of his personal fortune to a Super PAC backing Newt Gingrich, thinks the system’s broken.
But not the Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch, two of the world’s richest men, have bankrolled conservative causes and candidates for years, but only recently have they begun to openly flaunt their willingness and ability to purchase public opinion and—possibly—an election.
Asked about his efforts to sway public opinion, Koch acknowledges his group is hard at work in places such as Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is facing off with public unions and grappling with a likely recall vote.
“We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years,” he says. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”
The Nation reported yesterday that David Koch’s willingness to discuss their family’s efforts to support Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) during the recall being waged by progressives in the state may potentially have crossed the fine line separating the perfectly legal practice of contributing money to a candidate and the illegal practice of directly coordinating with a political campaign.
Legality aside, the Koch Brothers’ candor on their plans to interfere with democracy using loads of money is enough evidence that the system isn’t working.