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Classic Koch: How California's Prop. 32 Could Enrich Two Billionaires

They are the moneyed heads of a sophisticated and organized political machine that serves to back one thing and one thing only—their profits.

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“Our geo-targeting looks at everything from voting data to Census data to consumer-purchasing information,” Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips told  USA Todayof Themis last month. “We know their magazine subscriptions. In some cases, we know the websites they prefer to surf.”

This level of detail will help the Kochs maximize efficiency in rallying conservative support for any conceivable California initiative—distinguishing Christian values voters from small-government libertarians and plastering them with targeted political marketing in the blink of an eye.

The Kochs’ massive donation to the Prop. 32 cause was not a principled ideological stand. It was an investment – an extended warranty on their California possessions. It was also a signal that there is money to be made in California, both from its natural resources and from its taxpayers. Should Prop. 32 pass and smother the political voice of a key anti-corporate foe to the Koch agenda, the Kochs and their political influence machine should have little trouble recouping those funds–and then some.

Seen this way, $4 million is a drop in the bucket.

Matt Fleischer is an award-winning investigative journalist, a former LA Weekly staff writer, and an editor at FishbowlLA.

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