Ken Langone, the big-spending Home Depot billionaire and ally of Charles and David Koch, clumsily defended his March 2014 comments comparing populist criticism of the 1% with the rise of Nazi Germany, in an interview with Capital New York published this week.
News Articles By Nick Surgey
Before the Heartland Institute became famous for its leading role in climate change denial, the group spent many years working to defend the tobacco industry. Just as the group is now known for its over the top attacks on climate scientists, Heartland once played a large role in criticizing public health experts and others calling attention to the dangers of cigarette smoking.
The Koch family-controlled Claude R. Lambe Foundation (CRLF), one of the routine sources of funding for right wing groups for more than thirty years has dissolved, further limiting what little is publicly known of which groups seeking to change Americans' rights receive money controlled or directed by Charles and David Koch and their operatives.
An internal tracking document-- obtained from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by the Center for Media and Democracy under Texas public records law -- reveals the scope of ALEC's anti-environmental efforts in 2014.
Millions of U.S. citizens have voiced their opposition to the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline in recent months, with more than 2 million public comments opposing the project hand delivered to the State Department last week. At the same time, hundreds of state legislators have been lining up in favor of KXL, seemingly just as passionate and as heartfelt as those opposed to the project. But many legislators have been tasked with promoting the project by oil industry lobbyists who provide them with model bills, talking points and draft op-eds.
An internal ALEC document provided to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), shows that a Peabody Energy lobbyist provided ALEC legislators with a presentation on how to get more cash from corporations like Peabody to attend ALEC conferences. Peabody, a long time member of ALEC, is a frequent presenter at ALEC events and sponsor of several items of ALEC “model” legislation in recent years.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has secretly lobbied for the adoption of its corporate-backed bills and tracked them for years, is likely anticipating or actually under an IRS examination, says a former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, Marcus Owens. He makes this observation in light of recent claims by ALEC staff that it does not track where its bills are introduced or passed, despite extensive evidence that it has done so for years and bragged about doing so.
Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.
ALEC has quietly published some agenda details of its corporate-legislator task forces for its upcoming meeting, while keeping the identities of the corporate lobbyists or special interest groups that drafted any of the bills secret.
In a story most in the media missed, protestors gathered under the dome at the Mississippi state capitol earlier this year to oppose a bill that would allow the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to privatize everything from child protective services to nutrition programs for the elderly.