The Koch brothers, a pair of billionaires who run the company that bears their name, have been extremely influential in cultivating the anti-regulatory and anti-climate science ideology now rampant in the United States. By directing millions of dollars worth of funding towards groups that help organize grassroots movements that advance their aims -- a process finely detailed in Jane Mayer's expose -- they've been instrumental in creating the now-ubiquitous Tea Party. But the brothers have long denied the association, telling the press time and again that no, the Tea Party rose up on its own. This following video tells another story: Driven both by a desire to protect their self interests -- Koch industries is one of the biggest companies in the world, and it is almost entirely comprised of coal, oil, and manufacturing operations that emit greenhouse gases -- and to advance their libertarian beliefs, the brothers founded a number of organizations and think tanks to disseminate their ideas and support their causes. One of these, the Americans For Prosperity, was instrumental in mobilizing the Tea Party. The AFP has been one of the most vocal and vehement campaigners against clean energy and climate legislation in the nation.
The video above demonstrates the link between the Koch brothers' funding and the subsequent grassroots action -- grassroots action that hews closely to the aims of its corporate benefactors.
The Wonk Room describes the clip:
Koch, who founded Americans for Prosperity with his brother David, was the guest of honor at AFP's annual Defending the American Dream Summit. Independent filmmaker Taki Oldham filmed Koch beaming as organizers who run AFP's 25 state-level outposts touted their success in mobilizing dozens of tea party events across the nation:It's important to see where much of this anti-climate, anti-clean energy sentiment is originating. Not spontaneously, in the collective minds of outraged voters, as the conventional narrative holds, but at least in part from the interests of a handful of the wealthiest men in America -- and men responsible for a significant portion of the nation's pollution.
AFP CALIFORNIA: We helped organize huge tea parties all throughout the state. And on April 15, Tax Day, over 10,000 Californians joined us on the steps of the state capital and we held one of the largest tea parties in the country. . . .
AFP MICHIGAN: ... We have held the largest tea party in the state ...
AFP GEORGIA: ... the largest Tax Day tea party in the nation on April 15 ...
AFP OKLAHOMA: ... we've held 29 tea parties ...
AFP MARYLAND: ... we organized dozens of tea parties ...
DAVID KOCH: This is a phenomenal success in my judgment. Eight hundred thousand activists from nothing five years ago. This is a remarkable achievement. And we're being effective in so many ways.
H/T Wonk Room
More on the Koch Brothers
Billlionaire David Koch : 25 Years of Disinformation Campaigns and Climate Denial
Oil Billionaires Fight Climate Legislation (Video News)
Koch Industries Backs Formaldehyde Council, Fighting Regulation