Alex Kotch

As Charles Koch cultivates anti-war image, Koch industries profits from defense contracts

Libertarian billionaire industrialist Charles Koch has gone to great lengths to paint himself as an anti-interventionist. He has funded foreign policy-focused think tanks and university centers such as the conflict-averse Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University and the Notre Dame International Security Center, which is directed by anti-NATO professor Michael Desch.

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Republican Senators Are Making Out Like Bandits with Special Real-Estate Tax Break

When the U.S. Senate takes up the final tax bill this week, more than a quarter of all GOP senators will be voting on a bill that includes a special provision that could give them a new tax cut through their real estate shell companies, according to federal records reviewed by International Business Times. The provision…

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The Secret Right-Wing Donors Behind James O'Keefe's Vile Project Veritas

In the latest in a series of embarrassments for provocateur James O’Keefe, he and his nonprofit Project Veritas were exposed in an attempted sting operation. The group gave a false story about embattled Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore to the Washington Post — the news organization that first published corroborated stories of the Senate candidate’s…

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The Koch Brothers Couldn't Ask for a Politician More Eager to Do Their Bidding Than Mike Pence

In New York City last week, Vice President Mike Pence asked billionaire David Koch and around 100 other wealthy, conservative political donors for help in supporting a Republican tax plan. Since the plan would overwhelmingly benefit the richest Americans — like those he was addressing — Pence probably didn’t need to do much persuading. “To get…

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Is Bernie Sanders Gearing Up for a Presidential Run in 2020?

In advance of a possible 2020 White House run, Bernie Sanders seems determined to fix a problem that may have cost him the 2016 Democratic nomination: his poor performance in the South. The Vermont senator and the nonprofit organization he inspired are deploying resources in support of progressive African-American candidates in key races in the South, potentially building the infrastructure he’d need in a second presidential bid.

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How I Got 'Alt-Right' White Nationalist Leader Richard Spencer Booted from His Podcast Platform

I got the notorious white nationalist Richard Spencer kicked off of his podcast platform.

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Rick Perry's Early Days as Energy Secretary Have Been a Bonanza for Corporations and the Koch Brothers

Most people who know anything about Rick Perry know he’s a friend to the fossil fuel industry. For 14 years, he was the Republican governor of Texas, a state that contains one-third of the nation’s oil reserves and is home to oil giants ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Valero Energy. As a political candidate, Perry received millions in donations from oil and gas companies and their executives. Until recently, he was a board member of Energy Transfer Partners, the co-owner of the dirty tar sands oil transport mechanism, Dakota Access Pipeline, which was approved by Donald Trump in January and runs through Native American lands in North Dakota.

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Documents Reveal a Powerful, Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology, State by State

The billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch get a lot of press coverage about their vast, conservative political spending network that helps elect right-wing officials at the federal, state and local levels and advocates for policies that increase the profits of their fossil fuel and manufacturing conglomerate, Koch Industries. Earning far less publicity but perhaps equally powerful in driving rightward change in America is the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a private foundation based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Ben Carson Is Proving to Be the Bizarre and Incompetent Secretary of Housing and Urban Development We Expected Him to Be

Since neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was sworn in as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on March 2, we’ve barely heard a peep from him. Is it because he’s adjusting to his new position, for which he has no relevant experience? Probably. Is it because, as his surrogate said, that he’s not qualified to run a federal agency? Could be that, too.

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How the Right-Wing Koch and DeVos Families Are Funding Hate Speech on College Campuses Across the U.S.

On March 2, eugenicist Charles Murray attempted to give a lecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, with little success. Protesters shouted him down and he was sequestered in another room to answer questions over a livestream. Afterwards, Murray left the campus, but not before protesters blocked his car and injured a professor.

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Supporters Who Got Trump Elected Are Pursuing Vicious and Divisive Agendas

Plenty of Americans wake up in the morning, remember that wealthy real estate tycoon and pathological liar Donald Trump is president of the United States, pinch themselves, and morosely confirm that yes, he really is president. I sure do. It also happens when I think about a fossil fuel industry shill and climate change denier running the EPA, or a billionaire who wants to fund religious private schools with public dollars in charge of the education department. And certainly a white nationalist, who apparently calls colleagues “cucks” and “globalists,” as chief adviser to the president.

But let’s not forget the droves of political figures, state campaign chairs and other supporters who didn’t make it into the White House but may be just as demented as racist “alt-right” figure Steve Bannon or disgraced Islamophobe Michael Flynn.  

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Kochs Bankroll Movement to Rewrite the Constitution

A constitutional convention, something thought impossible not long ago, is looking increasingly likely. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, if 34 state legislatures “issue a call” for a constitutional convention, Congress must convene one. By some counts, the right-wing only needs six more states. Once called, delegates can propose and vote on changes and new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which, if approved, are currently required to be ratified by 38 states.

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Right-Wing Billionaires Are Funding a Cynical Plot to Destroy Dissent and Protest in Colleges Across the U.S.

As far-right speakers face loud student opposition at their university speaking gigs, conservative lawmakers in several states are introducing legislation that cracks down on protesters. As uncovered by UnKoch My Campus’ Ralph Wilson, numerous states have borrowed their so-called “campus free speech” bills from the rightwing Goldwater Institute, which is funded by conservative plutocrats including Charles Koch and the Mercer family.

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Key Trump Adviser Has Disturbing Ties to Anti-Semitic Groups

Sebastian Gorka, who was named deputy assistant to the president in January and who worked for Steve Bannon at Breitbart, collaborated with members of a neo-Nazi political party in Hungary and even wears a medal associated with the nation’s Nazi collaborationist regime during World War II. He’s also on Bannon’s controversial Strategic Initiatives Group, a pseudo think tank within the White House that is likely an attempt to supersede the National Security Council when it makes recommendations that Bannon and Trump don’t like.

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Why the Christian Right Is Rejoicing Under Trump's Presidency

In early 2016, few evangelical leaders were on Team Trump, as they had Ted Cruz and other conservative Christians to choose from in a crowded Republican presidential field. After Donald Trump embarrassed his GOP competition and became the party’s nominee, prominent evangelicals began changing their tune. Some, including a number of outspoken anti-LGBT activists, worked with the Trump campaign on a large evangelical advisory board. After Trump won the presidency with 81 percent of the white evangelical vote, most far-right Christian leaders who hadn’t endorsed him came around. Many were gleeful, and some even pronounced that God had stepped in and handed Trump the job.

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Trump Adviser Stephen Miller Championed Big Tobacco's Alarming Lies

The alarming past of President Donald Trump’s senior policy adviser has come under increased scrutiny lately after the 31-year-old archconservative repeatedly lied to the American public on several Sunday morning talk shows. Since his early teens, Stephen Miller has espoused hateful views on immigrants, people of color and liberals. At Duke University, where Miller studied political science, he wrote a biweekly column preaching Islamophobia, defending white lacrosse players accused of raping a black woman, denying the existence of racism, and attacking feminism and political correctness.

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Investigation Reveals the Extent the Koch Empire Is Willing to Go to Take Over a University

In 2011, the public found out that the Florida State University Economics Department had signed a deal in 2008 with the Charles Koch Foundation, which would supply the department with $1.5 million over several years in exchange for control over hiring decisions and curriculum development. After public and faculty outcry over undue donor influence, the department renegotiated the deal, signing a new one in 2013. The foundation of billionaire fossil-fuel industrialist Charles Koch, a controversial Republican mega-donor, continues to fund various programs at FSU.

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Questions and Conflicts Surround GOP Mega-Donor Who May Become Our Next Education Secretary

Preparing for a packed first week of confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s numerous controversial cabinet picks, Democratic politicians and advocacy groups had to decide which nominees they would focus their energy on opposing. With so many distasteful characters, several of whom have attacked the very agencies they’ve been nominated to lead, opposing all of them could spread resources too thin. Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Education, is clearly one of the worst. 

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The Koch Brothers Are Smiling: The White House Will Be Packed With Some of Their Most Loyal Servants

The Trump White House is going to be very, very Koch-y. 

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Why the Christian Right Is Head Over Heels About Trump Becoming President

By the time the votes were tallied, 81 percent of white evangelical and born-again Christian voters had cast their ballots for Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. Even though the real estate mogul is an adulterer now on his third marriage who has bragged about sexual assault, a large majority of the Christian right supported him.

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Trump Campaign Leaders Made Movies Comparable to Nazi Propaganda

From before he officially began his campaign for president, Donald Trump hinged his political strategy on his ability to evoke fear in the American people, typically through lies and racism, and to entice just about every news channel into spreading his falsehoods free of charge. After nearly eight years of a black Democratic president who has faced an obstructionist Congress at a time when international terrorism was growing, Trump realized that 2016 was his year to pounce.

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Charles Koch’s Very Questionable 6-Step Guide to Founding a Free-Market Center at Your University

Since 1980, the family foundations of billionaire industrialist Charles Koch have gifted roughly $200 million to U.S. colleges and universities, largely to promote libertarian, free-market economics programs around the nation. Koch gave $108 million of that total to 366 colleges and universities between 2005 and 2014, according to the Institute for Southern Studies. Koch and his brother, David, who are well known for their vast, conservative political spending network, own Koch Industries, a giant conglomerate composed of companies that sell gas, pipelines, chemicals, minerals, paper and textiles, among other products. The brothers have fervently opposed taxation and regulation for decades.

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Koch's Latest Propaganda Disaster: Another Academic Sell-Out Sets Off Controversy With Remarks

Yet another controversy is boiling at a Charles Koch-funded university project to promote an extreme economic agenda, this time at Troy University in Alabama. The libertarian billionaire, who is known for his powerful, conservative political donor network, has led a movement to create academic centers on college and university campuses that promote his brand of tax-slashing, regulation-killing economics, benefiting his massive industrial corporation’s bottom line.

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Lives Are on the Line: The Smearing of LGBTs by the Right Is More Than Disturbing - It's Dangerous

How ironic. The architect of North Carolina’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” which took away the right of transgender people to use the restroom that matches their gender identity, compared LGBT rights activists with the Taliban. Just last week, the killer in the latest major attack on the LGBT community, which left 49 people dead in Orlando, Florida, may have proclaimed his allegiance to ISIS on calls with the police. Some have wondered if the killer used ISIS as a cover for a different motivation involving a possible struggle with his own sexual identity, but the massacre was terrorism against LGBT people, regardless of motive.

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Inside Charles Koch's Plot to Hijack Universities Across America and Spread His Radical 'Free-Market' Propaganda

The public is starting to catch up with the reality that Charles Koch is not only a major spender on building his own ideological institutions. Over the past decade, Koch has funded colleges and universities to bend them in his direction, often funding “free-market” academic centers. Mostly through his personal foundation, Koch gave $108 million to 366 colleges and universities from 2005 to 2014 and still more since then: for example, $10 million for George Mason University’s School of Law, which will be renamed after late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; $2 million to Western Carolina University to establish a free-market center; and over $4.1 million approved for future payment to several schools according to the foundation’s 2014 990 tax form

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Big Men on Campus: The Koch Brothers' University Donations Are a Veiled Political Weapon

Through his family foundations, billionaire industrialist and conservative political mega-donor Charles Koch gave $108 million to 366 colleges and universities from 2005-14, and he’s donated millions more since then.

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The GOP Must Be Proud: When Your Party’s Nominee Is the Darling of White Supremacists

It’s no surprise that white supremacists love Donald Trump. For the first time in decades, a presidential nominee is stating explicitly what many in the Republican Party have been dog-whistling for years: that people of color are subhuman, that immigrants aren’t welcome, that white men have the divine right to run this country.

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The Koch Brothers Are Using This State as Their Right-Wing Laboratory

The state of Arizona will shell out at least $5 million per year to free-market academic centers established with funding from billionaire industrialist and Republican political donor Charles Koch at two of its public universities. Part of a series of budget bills that passed the Republican-dominated state House and Senate, the funding decision met the ire of professors and students concerned that the state had earmarked funds for ideological centers tied to big business and a partisan political figure. Still, GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed the budget on May 10.

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Charles Koch's Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches 'Sacrificing Lives for Profits'

Charles Koch is known for being CEO of industrial giant Koch Industries and a chief financier of the massive conservative political operation he runs with his brother David. In recent years, student activists and investigative journalists have exposed another of Koch’s hats: mega-donor to hundreds of colleges and universities, often funding free-market-focused academic centers housed at public and private schools alike. One Koch-funded program is advocating cutthroat economics to grade school students, even sacrificing lives for profits.

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How a 'Campus Free Expression Act' in North Carolina Actually Aims to Suppress Student Speech

News came on March 7 that North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will propose the deceivingly named Campus Free Expression Act at the state legislature next month. The act instructs the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors to craft a systemwide policy that would impose harsh penalties, including expulsion, on students, staff and faculty members who disrupt classes, public meetings or events.

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Why the North Carolina GOP Has Brought Chaos to the 2016 Election

Because of a slew of election law changes passed in recent years, the North Carolina Republican Party has thrown the state’s 2016 elections into chaos. Racial gerrymandering, unconstitutional judicial election methods and a confusing voter ID law have created a bewildering mess in a state once praised for its accessible elections.  

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