strassel

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel either has no understanding of campaign finance, or is willfully misleading her readers. In either case, her column today about the Koch brothers’ political spending — which parrots a meme that has bounced around conservative blogs and websites like a bad chain e-mail — gets the facts about Koch spending versus union spending completely wrong.

In her column, “The Really Big Money? Not the Kochs,” Strassel cites a Center for Responsive Politics list to claim that unions “collectively spent $620,873,623 more than Koch Industries” on political races. Of course, if you actually visit this page on the CRP website, the list runs below a disclaimer noting that it does not include certain Super PAC spending or most undisclosed dark money spending, the preferred route for the Koch brothers for decades. In fact, the CRP site notes that union spending might appear inflated since unions traditional PAC spending is coupled with outside Super PAC spending. For the purposes of this chart, union spending is inflated compared to the giving of companies like Koch or Super PAC donors like Sheldon Adelson.

For the last election, Koch PAC spent $4.9 million in disclosed contributions (figures that appear on the chart referenced by Strassel). But they also spent over $407 million on undisclosed campaign entities, which does not show up in the CRP chart.

Republic Report broke down the figures for the last election and found that Koch groups alone spent more than double the combined political spending (including to undisclosed group) for the top ten unions combined. The chart includes union spending on dark money Democratic groups and Koch spending on dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity. See below:

kochspending

 

This undisclosed campaign system is nothing new for the Koch brothers. In 1995 and 1996, Koch set up a shell company called Triad Management to spend millions in secret money to help the Republican Party. Of course, this type of spending never shows up in databases like the one cited by Strassel.

All NRLB-regulated unions, on the other hand, disclose every outside payment. Payments that cannot be found through the FEC can be found on a database maintained by the Labor Department. Individuals and corporations are under no such similar disclosure rules. The Koch money identified recently by the Washington Post, the $407 million, relates only to they money filtered through foundations and nonprofits. The money Koch spends as a corporate entity, which it has in the past, may have gone unreported.

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  • Kizar_Sozay

    Of course any sensible reader would recognize the footnote on the OpenSecrets page ONLY refers to the KOCH brothers. NO union could possibly donate to a Super Pac. They just wouldn’t do it. Organizing for America, MoveOn and all those little spiders created when ACORN was dismantled would never ever receive a dime of union money. Thanks for pointing out the footnote so obvious.
    Now let’s turn to the chart posted as the result of RepublicReports diligent research. Following the links in the article the chart uses itself as a reference for its veracity. Most charts actually cite where the info came from. Not this one.

    Lastly, let’s remember the Koch Brothers are spending their own money. The unions are spending money coerced from members who have little say in the matter. The unions hold a hammer over the employee. Without the union card there is no job. The dues are taken from wages and the unions spend on election campaigns that may well be in opposition to the views of the workers who are footing the bill.

    File this lame column under ‘unsubstantiated’.

    • Hymie

      OK, first the unions are acting as a republic (representative leadership). Secondly, unless you’ve done a poll, you have no idea what those members are thinking (do one and get back to me).
      The Kochs are buying elections, and making laws, and apparently that’s OK by you. File your response as shill.

      • John Perry

        Unions are buying elections as well so stupid response. Unions are notorious for going against their members unless you think that all Union members are Democrats. There have been actual union revolts against their leadership doing this and it is also part of the reason Unions have the reputation they have today. Unions used to be for the worker and the champion of the little guy but now the majority are just power-hungry thugs who just care about the money. I come from a Union Family and grew up watching the change from a middleclass champion into a political stooge for the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party and it makes me sick. The Koch Brothers I do not agree with all they do but they are spending Their money not someone else’s not sure what the limit is but it is their money.

        • rozlee

          Your claim that you’ve watched any evolution of unions doesn’t pass the smell test. With the decline of unions has come the decline of the wages of the American worker. Right-to-work states have more jobs, but lower wages. Southern states that have the highest concentration of right-to-work laws have attracted a lot of new jobs. Most of them low-paying ones. There are even jobs that were outsourced to China and Mexico that are coming back to Southern states because the wage scale is so low in those states now that they can afford their new depressed wages. At one time, when unions were strong, the American middle class was at its zenith. You can trace the stagnation of workers’ wages over the last 30 years to the supply side economics that have waged war on unions and the middle class.

          • John Perry

            Doesn’t pass the smell test well you best check your sniffer. I watched my father a proud member of the UAW go from working full time making nice money to having to strike every other year because somewhere in the US another part decided to go on strike or the local union wanted more money. If anyone crossed and worked because they needed to feed their family things happened. Behind us and one house up the couples house got shot up with 5 shots with one going about 3 inches above their newborn sons crib. So as for the smell test I believe you need to check yourself. My grandfather ran a Yellow freight when I was a kid and it was pretty good then but by the late 70′s early 80′s the major corruption started setting in and things got really out of hand at least in my little world of Illinois. The decline is due to lack of work if there was more work and lower unemployment Businesses would have to offer more to get the caliber of worker they wanted that part is easy to understand. The union had its place and still does to a certain extent and hopefully they can make a comeback and be for the worker again and not for themselves and I hope this does occur.

          • Hymie

            What part of representative do you not get? Do I have to educate you as to what elected representative means? If the union members don’t like what their leaders are doing – throw the bums out. The Kochs are part of the oligarchy that runs this country… make that this world. Dreamer.

          • John Perry

            You really think everyone is a lot dumber than you are don’t you. The way you respond to people and try to down talk to them is very ugly and unseemly of someone trying to make a point. and Yes the Kochs, Soros, Corrupt officials and yes the upper Union Leaders even, Run this country atm and that is what needs to be stopped. Not coalescing around each other and fighting for what WE want. These sorry excuses are more than happy to flame the fires to keep the people yelling at each other and ignoring what they are all doing. I do not hold Democrats responsible for the actions of the liberal left wing of their party. I do not hold Republicans responsible for the Right Wingers of their party. The problem is WE in the middle both Dem and Rep and Ind. are not standing up as one to get rid of these bums and replace them.

          • Hymie

            “Unions are buying elections as well so stupid response…” Your reply to my post John. Who’s trying to talk someone down? Methinks this dialogue has become unproductive. How about we’ll agree to disagree? Or agree on that which we can…

          • John Perry

            Did I say just Unions?? Hmm answer no. So what now with your attempt to belittle?? We can disagree on whether it is right for these people and or groups to do this but that the vast majority of them are corrupt people I do no think we will disagree on. Our elected representatives for the most part are part of the machine and will not go against it. Now as for name calling you are apparently an expert at it and it comes natural to you but I would rather discuss ideas and how WE get things going again.

          • Hymie

            Calling my initial response “stupid” was YOUR attempt to belittle John, or did you not notice the quotation ” ” marks (from your rant) on my post? Stop trying to spin this thing to look like you’re the injured party, when you’re doing the same thing. I think politicians are all pretty much bought and paid for, and far more likely by the Koch Bros. and their ilk than by unions. Believe what you will… dreamer. Goodnight now!

          • John Perry

            lets see you first post to me as a shill:
            1. pretended customer or gambler: an accomplice who pretends to be an interested customer or gambler in order to lure others into buying or gambling
            2.self-interested promoter: somebody who promotes somebody else or makes a sales pitch for something for reasons of self-interest
            So lets see did you not think I actually did not read your post? Calling me a mouthpiece and con-artist was really polite of you as well don’t you think?? Nice try on being offended and attempting to make me the first offender but guess that was not the case. I am a dreamer thank you very much. I am a veteran who loves his country and has a little bit of an attitude at those who are destroying it and that includes the Kochs but apparently that doesn’t matter to you that I said they were bad as well. You are too busy defending the actions of the others who are not of their political bent to notice. So good morning talk to you later.

          • Hymie

            My original post was to someone named Kizar_Sozay,
            so that’s you eh? John = Kizar. Hmmm. Well, K (or J), I think the column has merit, and was defending the author against insults from the commentator. But if we can agree that the Kochs (in very high probability) are bad for democracy (though perhaps peerless as plutocrats – pun intended), excellent – that’s progress. I’d like to continue this discussion (no, really), but I have a business to run. So… yes I’m blunt, no I’m not smarter than everybody else, and if I’ve offended you, well that was not my objective – no malice intended. Be well, and thanks for your service to this country.

          • John Perry

            No but you clicked me with the comment so I responded lol and here we are. Koch’s, Soros, and all their Ilk I am in with you on that. I only respond with shortness when shortness or snide comments are made to point it out usually. As you can tell by us actually having a conversation we are not that far apart and no where near apart as these powermeisters and the sellouts in Washington would have everyone believe. Have a great evening.

          • BiIIy

            Got to laugh at “liberal left wing”, google “neo-liberalism”. “Liberal left wing” is an oxymoron.

          • John Perry

            we say Military Intelligence is that as well and it is pretty funny too.

          • greg zurbay

            In the greatest % of cases the far right is the force dedicated to stealing the most money they can, from whomever….

            https://www.republicreport.org/2014/colin-powell-veterans/

          • John Perry

            Stealing how? Example of their theft and then example of the other side please. So wait so Collin Powell who backed Obama for political reasons apparently and is the media darling the left point to as a good Republican?? And for profit colleges and him sitting on a board equals Right wing theft?? Please give some real examples that have some meat.

          • rozlee

            Your anecdotal stories are just that. The evidence speaks for itself. The decline in American wages had its genesis with the decline in unions. Union jobs pay more and have better benefits than their non-union counterparts. In places in the US where there are no unions, wages are low, the opportunity for job advancement is poor and the only job growth is in minimum wage and barely subsistence labor. Most right-to-work states are in the South, where most of the nation’s poverty and low-paying jobs are concentrated. These maps are interesting: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/maps-of-the-south-bad-place_n_4855191.html.

          • John Perry

            So lets see belittle real life experience as anecdotal stories but cite a leftist site as something newsworthy tells a lot about your political bent. The problem we have is too few jobs and manufacturing being regulated out of existence. If you agree with this then I will revise my view of your beliefs. When unemployment is low wages rise naturally as businesses are in competition for quality workers. When there are 10 or 20 people fighting for each job out there they can offer less to reach the same objective.

            And a little article for you from CNBC

            When it comes to America’s Top States for Business 2011, when it comes to a quality workforce, 18 out of the top 20 states are Right-to-Work states. Moreover, all 22 Right-to-Work states are in the top 25 states for having the best workforces.

            CNBC defines its criteria as this:

            Many states point with great pride to the quality and availability of their workers, as well as government-sponsored programs to train them. We rated states based on the education level of their workforce, as well as the numbers of available workers. We also considered union membership. While organized labor contends that a union workforce is a quality workforce, that argument, more often than not, doesn’t resonate with business. We also looked at the relative success of each state’s worker training programs in placing their participants in jobs.

          • rozlee

            Yes, I quoted the Huffington Post, but the maps are from sources like the USDA, the CDC, The non-partisan Urban Institute, and Gallup among others. And it’s no secret that the country’s poverty statistic’s are dragged down considerably by the Southern states. It’s been that way for decades, if not since Reconstruction. All you have to do is google, “Ten Poorest States In US.” With the exception of Montana, they’re all in the South.

            Yes, manufacturing was relegated out of existence. It’s the reason places like Detroit and other cities in the Rust Belt fell into depression. But, no, there aren’t too few jobs out there. There are “Help Wanted” signs everywhere. All for low-paying McJobs.

            And you’re quoting what businesses are saying are their ideal workers and workplaces? Of course it’s right-to-work states! The ideal of all businesses is to have workers with the lowest pay and benefits and the most productivity. It’s the ideal of businesses. But, it’s not the ideal of the workers. Walmart is one of the biggest welfare queens in the US. They operate most of their stores in the Southern states and pay their workers so little that many of them are on some form of public assistance. Taxpayers are subsidizing the richest retailer on earth.

          • John Perry

            Even when I was a kid Mc’d Hardees and all of them have always had help wanted signs. Those businesses are starter jobs and turnover is high because of it. You like charts so ok me too go here for the cost of living per state and you will see they also cost less to live in. http://www.cityrating.com/costofliving.asp#.UyGqkhXD_b0 Also Welfare recipients by state. http://www.statemaster.com/graph/eco_wel_cas_tot_rec-economy-welfare-caseloads-total-recipients Also Best states to live in. http://www.statemaster.com/graph/lif_bes_sta_to_liv-lifestyle-best-states-to-live and then there is population density. http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/usadensityh.htm Added up together not a real big difference except in the welfare recipient category where Cali my home state has a pop of 12% of US but 33% of welfare recipients. Not sure what your thoughts are on this but I will await your reply.

          • rozlee

            Seriously, you pointed me out to a website that verified my positions that the northern states are the richest, have the best educated populations and, contrary to your above claim, are The Best States To Live In. That statemaster.com has categories you can find on the left to click on that display this information. And many northern states have better social programs for their citizens. Their governors don’t have in place draconian qualifications for them to be eligible for assistance. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are being thrown off welfare rolls in Southern states by ‘compassionate conservative’ governors, which has worsened conditions of homelessness and hunger in the south, especially in North and South Carolina. And if California does have more welfare recipients, it is, after all, the biggest state, and has had only 14 years of Democratic governors in 47 years. It has a lot of catching up to do. It’s got a good start. It’s got a balanced budget now.

          • John Perry

            lol ok if you say so. It sates that while the income may be lower they cost less to live in. and you feel that 12% of the countries population having 33% of all welfare recipients in the nation is a good thing?? FYI Arnold does not count as a Republican I’ll split it with you for sake of argument so you may want to shift your number a little. California state legislature has been controlled by Democrats since 1970 except for 95 and 96 So not sure how you calculate laws and bills that get passed but this is where it is supposed to happen. So the evil Republicans are going around and just throwing people off welfare and do not care about the little people how novel a talking point. Lets throw granny off a cliff while we are at it eh?? A compassionate conservative is just as worthless as a Liberal(Not a Dem there is a difference.) The welfare role in California has actually increased so not sure how that equates to a good thing. Oh and the draconian statement classic, nicely done btw. oh and lets see North Carolina has a 15% poverty problem and California has a 22% problem and South Carolina a 7% these are Census Bureau stats anyways don’t know if you hold them as a good source but I looked it up for you just in case.

          • rozlee

            ‘A compassionate conservative is as worthless as a liberal.’ Talk about your novel talking points among conservatives that consider themselves such good Christians. Here in Texas, pRick Perry has thrown 200,000 Texas children off Medicaid and attempted to cut Medicaid funding for preemies because they cost 42 times more than normal deliveries and post-natal care. Some pro-life. And South Carolina has a 7% poverty rate? Where are you getting your information? I’ll go along with California having a lot of poverty, but South Carolina having only 7% poverty? I don’t know what census bureau information you’re looking at, but it’s not the same as the one I’m seeing: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104529.html. California’s rate of poverty in 2010 was lower than many of the Southern states. And it was deregulation that caused a lot of your problems. The false promise of free market competition and lower prices from Enron and other utilities created your rolling blackouts and energy crisis. Arnold a liberal? Only on social issues. And a lot of proposed legislation from Democrats was destroyed by the power of the veto from Republican governors. As you can see from the census, it’s the liberal blue states that have the less poverty.

          • John Perry

            Didn’t call him a liberal did I? I just said he wasn’t a Republican lol. SC update that was an outdated model pre 2007 it is 17.6%. And you assume a lot by saying the Republicans destroyed laws and that is the cause of the problems. Over Deregulation in the housing market is a major misstep and that was a Dem thing so How is it that everything wrong with the country is the Republicans fault?? I blame both parties for being bought and paid for stooges for big business and big money.

            http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/october/poverty-index-california-100113.html

            http://www.law.unc.edu/centers/poverty/quickfacts/default.aspx

            http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/45000.html
            Got you the best info I could hope you like it.

          • rozlee

            Thank you for providing an article that states that social services such as food stamps and other anti-poverty aids are what are keeping many residents in California from slipping into worse poverty than they are. And, as I said, hopefully with a new liberal governor and legislature in hand things will start to look up. Deregulation of the housing market a Dem thing? Wrong. You conservatives love to blame the CRA, but can’t explain how it was that mortgage owners weren’t defaulting on their loans throughout the years. The defaults all happened in one year, as a result of mortgage fraud in the banking industry in the form of mortgage bundling and credit default swaps. It would have never happened if the Glass-Steagall Act had never been repealed. The Glass-Steagall Act protected us from a Great Depression for 70 years. It was replaced by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, named after the three Republican senators that sponsored it. The act removed the ban against commercial banks engaging in investment business, which was what had caused the first Great Depression and what caused Wall St. to crash. Glass-Steagall was the cop on the beat, and they should have known better than to deregulate the banking industry. The S&L bailouts should have taught them that much. And I blame Clinton as much for not vetoing Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

          • John Perry

            Just 2 quick quotes for you on it:
            “I think that the responsibility that the Democrats had may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress, or by me when I was President, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” – Former President Bill Clinton (D-AR), September 25, 2008

            “Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.” – Congressman Artur Davis (D-AL) , September 30, 2008
            So I blame both sides for our total current mess and you call me a conservative does that not seem strange? It all happened in one year is like saying the dotcom bubble happened in 1 year. It is called a bubble for a reason the pressure to manipulate and move bad assets comes to a head and pop! The housing problem started in the mid 90′s it was not an overnight thing. Lower down payments on houses, higher mortgages and lower credit scores that ever before. Then Fannie and Freddie started buying these up and well history tells it all. Is it just a Dem thing no but they were the last to see it coming and did not heed the warning signs that others saw and so for years it just got worse and worse until it collapsed.

          • rozlee

            Bill Clinton made those comments before the full story of the malfeasance of the too-big-to fail banks was laid bare and the shadow banking system was brought to light with its hedge funds, mortgage bundling and credit default swaps. The first victims were the ones at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder and everyone immediately put the blame on them. As the crisis deepened, it became apparent that the entire banking and investment system had been running risky speculation and dangerous gambles with people’s mortgages and investments. The fact remains that people that took out loans using the CRA weren’t defaulting systematically throughout the years in any numbers that raised flags. They defaulted as a result of fraud secondary to the deregulation of the nations banking system.
            But, a housing bubble did exist on a level plain across the board. I live in a subdivision where people own tracts of 10 to 30 acres. Many of them can’t afford these houses. But, they buy them anyway. And the place was littered with “For Sale” signs after the bubble burst. Conservatives are delusional if they think poor people are the ones that were mainly living beyond their means. Too many middle class people were trying to live like upper middle class and too many upper middle class people were trying to live like they were rich before the crash. In September of 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the first casualties, but Clinton and the rest of the nation didn’t realize that they were just looking at the advance guard and that the main army was right behind them.

          • John Perry

            Who bought the bundles from Freddie and Fanny and then passed them on to others and thus made all of them a mess. But as I have said before It is both sides I feel that have messed everything up and we need to get rid of the powerbrokers in Washington and replace them all. Wishful thinking but hey can always hope.

          • rozlee

            The greed of deregulation. It’s supposed to encourage competition and free enterprise to flourish, but all it does is give a green light to the sharks to go on a feeding frenzy. That’s what happened in California when they deregulated the utilities, when we had to bail out the S&L’s to the tune of $600 billion and since deregulation of television and cable, prices have doubled and will probably be tripling as cable giants merger. The first and second Wall St. crash came about because of crooked banks and investors and now, without any real teeth in them, regulations put in place after the Wall St. crash have been helpless to effect any real reforms. Banks are still using credit derivatives, as we found out when JP Morgan lost 2 billon in 2012.

          • John Perry

            Yes it is but it has a fine line that needs to not be crossed or we get what happened. The cause was noble but they did not think it all the way out because they are politicians. You need to have regulations to keep things in check but go too far one way and stagnation happens go the other then boom and bust. Hopefully they will get it right soon.

          • rozlee

            They haven’t got it right yet. The new regulations put in place after the Wall St. crash have no where near the oversight that Glass-Steagall did. There are too many loopholes that weren’t closed and credit derivatives are still flourishing. We have another bubble forming on Wall St. right now as we’re moving from a job economy to a financialized economy that can’t be sustained. There are conservative predictions that say it might last as long as ten years and some that think that it’ll all crash later this year. Maybe you’ve heard of all the bank and company executives that have been committing suicide in the last couple of months. It could be coincidence. Coincidences happen. It seems so odd how many of them chose jumping from high buildings as their form of demise though. Maybe it’s a banker thing.

          • John Perry

            True like I said hopefully they will quit squalling like little brats at each other long enough to get it right soon.

          • greg zurbay

            Loopholes are intentionally inserted by republican legislation. The republican party also refuses to fund oversight when they are unable to pass legislation which prevents any accountability by business.

            If you believe that the democratic party is just as responsible for this type of behavior feel free to post any examples you have handy.

          • John Perry

            So then why when they had supermajorities in both houses and the Presidency did they not close them?? The reason is they have interest in them being open as well. How do you think both parties get the majority of their funding?? Loopholes and carve outs that’s how. So don’t need articles just plain actions. If they are so against loopholes then they would have taken them out when they had the power to do so any other action shows their duplicity in these acts.

          • greg zurbay

            http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/achievement/chap7.html

            Everyone accuses the Democrats for pushing home ownership. Everything changed when companies like Citywide could sell a mortgage, take a huge immediate commission and then dump that likely subprime ( but industry rated AAA ) mortgage on the investors – who had no idea that paper was worthless.

            The owner of Citywide was a friend of Bush.

          • John Perry

            See I say it is both sides and you just plow on by and say oh everyone accuses the Dems. I said both sides please re read if you need to. It started under Clinton and continued through Bush. I do not care if someone at Citybank knew Bush or that this other bank knew Clinton or that Barney Franks Boyfriend ran Fannie Mae those are sideshows for the uninformed. The passing of bad papers hidden in with good ones to mask them is the culprit and that it went on for so long is the disturbing part. A lot of our government saw it coming in their view yet no one did anything to try to avoid it.

          • greg zurbay

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouriel_Roubini

            Here ya go John, – read up.

          • John Perry

            yup him and many others saw it coming but our congress was weak and just hid these facts and pretended all was well ty for the confirmation.

          • greg zurbay

            I don’t know if the below link will get you there – you can google

            Nouriel Roubini and the housing crisis – Wiki

          • greg zurbay

            Fanny and Freddie were tasked to keeping money for mortgages available, – THAT’S ALL. They NEVER forced any bank to write a single mortgage – that is internal bank business, – a friend of mine worked at one, and due diligence changed according to who had to hold the paper.

            BOTH SIDES MESSED UP? Yeah. Democrats trusted republicans to be responsible – that’s on the democrats. All the subterfuge and cheating – that goes to the monied interests – republicans for the most part.

            Wall street sold the defective paper, and stretched the truth by rating it as AAA. Do you think there is a huge population of Democrats in Wall street?

          • John Perry

            No they didn’t that’s was our wonderful congress that set the rules and Fannie and Freddie held 75% of new mortgages at the time of the crash. So who was monitoring them and approving all these final approvals?? When congressmen on both sides questioned about the stability of these practices they were told all was fine and a few years later Poof the bubble happened. How is it that Democrats somehow trusted Republicans to be responsible when Barney Frank was in charge of the committee?? So when the band of Dems and Reps questioned the practices Frank assured them all was fine. That those Dems and Reps did not have the backbone to force a review to verify this assurance. It was a noble Democrat idea that once again went wrong because government thought they could run something like this. A lot of the Dem ideas have merit but the vast majority have no place being ran by the government. When they realize this fact then they will have a major advantage in the political arena.

          • greg zurbay

            Again, Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with originating loans – period. Banks, and mortgage originators were the authorities approving people for home loans, in many cases the home buyers were steered to variable rate loans – BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE WHO HELPED THE HOME BUYER WITH PAPERWORK WOULD MAKE A HIGHER COMMISSION ON THE PLACEMENT OF THOSE LOANS.
            The mortgage originators were only interested in processing the damn loans – the more they wrote, the more money they took in. CountryWide was ONE OF THE LARGEST and worst actors in the whole scam.

            There were no ” FINAL APPROVALS ” as soon as the BANK originated the loan – it was a done deal. Did you really think that banks go to the Federal Government each time someone applies for a home loan?? Fannie and Freddy AQUIRED loans so ORIGINATORS would be able to process loans for OTHER PEOPLE trying to buy a house. In some cases people were buying MULTIPLE HOUSES and renting them out, and again the Banks were happy to give a person MULTIPLE mortgages CAUSE THEY MADE A BIG CHUNK OF CHANGE ON EACH ONE – in days – and because they could sell the paper they were divorced of any loss.

            In all the cases it was the financial industry ( banks and mortgage originators ) who decided how to sell which mortgages to what people. As long as there was big money in it they could give a shit what happened down the road. If the bond ratings had been honest there would have been NO INVESTORS BUYING THOSE BONDS. Wall street was the criminal there. Absent Wall street rating junk as AAA there would have been no deception and no loss in confidence in the value of all those dishonestly rated commercial paper.

          • John Perry

            Again how did they get the guidelines to approve these risky loans? By federal mandate. Fannie and Freddie were the backer so yes they had final say as they were the monetary backer and holder of the mortgage. The shady working of some you hold up as example of all which is not true in most cases. Your main goal is to blame Republicans and not the system and our government which is what they want. They are both at fault and that should be apparent by actual information that you can find if you look for it. I do not take either side as both are guilty.

          • greg zurbay

            Excellent commentary.

          • greg zurbay

            Fannie and Freddie were no problem since their 1930′s creation. A few years after the 2000 legislation prohibiting the regulation of derivatives it blows up on the banking system and screws the entire economy.

            Use your brain. The only difference was the Wall Street use of derivatives w/o any controls as to their actual valuation. Any economy is dependent on the perception of transparency of value. When no one ( including the banking system ) can be assured a bunch of commercial paper is worth anything at all – and it is a huge % of the financial system – well shit always flows down hill.

          • John Perry

            Actually it started here http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=50176 and went downhill from there. By hiding good mortgages with bad ones and passing them off to this bank or that bank is what infected the whole thing. If Fannie and Freddie had not bought them up then packaged them and sent them out that way I am not sure about the outcome but feel it may have been a far different result. The forcing of banks to process usually ineligible applications and allowing those who either could barely make it or who were doomed to fail by threatening fines if they did not was not helpful either. This continued under Bush as well so no this is not a Dem thing only but rather a pox on both sides for not paying attention to what was going on.

          • greg zurbay

            They convinced Clinton that American Banks would be at a disadvantage – unless the law were changed. It would have be perfectly all right to change Glass-Steagall, if DERIVATIVES would have remained a regulated industry. Phil Gramm made sure this last control on the too big to fail banks was removed. No one anticipated that would be the case, although UBS must have realized the possibility existed.

            Big mortgage companies ( such as CountryWide ) sold mortgages to homeowners as fast as possible, and then sold that paper – which was bundled and resold to banks and pension funds and investors as AAA – when in fact they were in no way AAA.

            It was a huge scam by people and organizations who knew better, – but there was sooo much money there that that’s where the money was, and that’s where the “bank robbers” are.

          • rozlee

            Phil Gramm really screwed the country over by putting in that ‘Enron Loophole’ in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. He’s a real bastard and has enriched himself nicely by cheating many Americans out of their financial trusts and investments.

          • greg zurbay

            Republicans are professional LIPSERVICE experts. Mandating the birth of every possible fetus is an easy position to take, as is refusing to then provide ANY HELP AT ALL in the support of education – nutrition – health care – housing – job placement – transportation – ETC., ETC.

            They even have the balls to bitch about people who advocate for union wages, which would enable parents to spend at least a minimum of time with their children.

            Ever see a far righter advise parents not to work a second job, – as this would take away from those good old family values they are so expert in?

            Me neither.

          • BiIIy

            You should look them up again because your figures that you’re basing your argument on are completely wrong, idiot.

          • greg zurbay

            The chart for welfare was from 2003 – is this a bit out of date?

          • John Perry

            Actually yes it is ty for the catch. The new numers are posted below in my convo with Hymie. They are acutally as up to date as could be found 2013. ty again for the catch.

          • BiIIy

            Yes how on Earth could anyone trust a news organization which cites it’s respectable sources clearly, over your dumb and probably made up stories. Just shut up idiot.

          • John Perry

            Please refer to other post made below. And Billy get out of your Mothers basement and check out the real world. Yes Billy so CNBC is not good enough for your little world I am so sorry for you so try the post below it has pretty little charts and graphs for you. If you live in Florida this Vet would love to meet with you and solve your idiot calling and shut up statement in person please. so secure and safe in your little computer station come out and play Billy. I usually don’t ask for this because I am a nice guy but to accuse me of out right lying is a deal buster you could have said singular case or rare incident or something similar but you didn’t so please let me know where and when we can meet up.

          • BiIIy

            Well I don’t live with my parents or watch CBS. This inaccuracy makes me think all of your other assumptions and anecdotes are probably just as misguided. lol calm down Internet thought guy, I’m not going to Florida to beat up and old man you pathetic old fool.
            I did check out your post below, I also checked out the reply below it from rozlee which showed you don’t even understand your own links. Good job.

          • John Perry

            Lol nice coming from and fragile little geek but as you can see anyone can call people names. You apparently didn’t read it because if you read it and understood it it shows while income may be lower so is the cost of living there and that the welfare roles are lower in the majority of them as well. Example from census bureau California 22% poverty issues, North Carolina 15% problem and South Carolina 7%. So as you see if you actually do your homework and research things there are all kind of stats that can define a point with clarity. If you have not noticed I am not usually an angry person but if you attempt to call name or state falsehoods about me I will respond. I am not PC nor do I claim to be. That being said I enjoy a robust and lively exchange of ideas and information because both involved will learn from the exchange. Unions can be great but the members need to take action if the leadership gets out of control and decides to do things they do not want them to do. They are leaders not royalty lording over their vassals they are supposed to be the voice of the masses and voice what they want not the other way around. Well that’s my rant for now back to you.

          • BiIIy

            Yes it’s clearly me whose the fragile one when you’re such a baby that when people don’t accept your personal stories from years ago as fact you get so irrationally mad that you literally challenge people to a fight over the Internet. I haven’t noticed at all that “you’re not an angry person” in fact I’ve noticed the complete opposite as that’s the first time someone’s ever been pathetically angry enough to call me out for a fight in real life.
            Poverty rates are considerably higher in the South than the North and your figures are as false as your pretend anecdotes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_poverty_rate

          • John Perry

            With DC and California leading the way oh yeah so devastating. When giving links make sure to check the results on it and not just the pretty colors. This will probably be our last convo seeing as how you have no interest in proper conversation just name calling and pretending to be a big and bad enjoy your ignorant bliss I hope life never catches up with you so you don’t have to live in it just observe it as you apparently do now.

          • BiIIy

            Bit ironic this coming from a guy who obviously doesn’t even understand basic numbers, it’s very clearly the southern states leading the way with impoverishing its citizens. In case you can’t read California’s household poverty is actually lower than South Carolina even though you’ve been repeatedly claiming the opposite. Mississippi, Lousiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Texas and about half a dozen more red states all have worse poverty than California. You should stick to your anecdotes, at least when you make those up nobody can immediately click a link to see you made them up like your pretend poverty figures. Have fun being a moron and challenging people to fights over the Internet, I’m sure there’s a 13 year old online somewhere who will indulge your juvenile threats.

          • John Perry

            But you are the 13 year old. So 12% of the nations population accounting for 33% of the welfare recipients in the country is a good thing by your common core math I take it? So who is the moron as you so eloquently stated??
            The Southern states do have a problem with lower wages but they are also cheaper to live in so if you go by national poverty level income levels they have lower income but that does not equate to them living in poverty in that state. Example in California the poverty line for a family of 4 is 18,400, South Carolina is 23,050 and in Florida it is 30,000 so you would think Florida would have more percentage of people showing in poverty by that example but that is not so.
            California has lowered their line to lessen the numbers on their rolls even though there are a lot more people in that state that need this help so I do not know what that number would be but it would seem it would be substantially higher. They have done this because they have to in order to keep the state running which is not a bad thing but just what they have to do for now until their economy recovers.

          • rozlee

            The poverty level for a family of four in California is $44,700, according to the 2014 California Department of Healthcare Services.

          • John Perry

            Could not find that stat do you have a link??

          • rozlee

            It’s in a PDF format, so it’s hard to link, but I googled “Federal Poverty Level Chart For Presumptive Eligibility Medi-Cal 2014.” You click on the pdf when it gets highlighted and the table pops up. Only I’ve got to correct my earlier post. I was looking at an older pdf from 2010-2011. The new one increased the poverty level for a family of four to $50,000. Ask.com has the old level from dhs charts listed on its site for what that’s worth. http://www.ask.com/question/what-is-considered-poverty-level-in-california.

          • John Perry

            I found it ty. The listing is the Federal Presumptive. Medi-Cal is set for 133% instead of the national level of 213%. Here is the Most current link for it http://californiafamilyresource.org/assets/WCLP%20ACA%20outline%20CFRA.pdf

          • rozlee

            That’s not the one. Pdf files are hard for me to write down as they always run out of room on the screen. Try googling, ‘FPL Chart for PE. df dhsc.ca.gov or maybe this one might work, but no guarantees, http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/…/eligibility/Document/FPL%20Chart%20forPE.pdf.

          • BiIIy

            If I were 13 I probably would have responded seriously to your offer to meet up and fight, rather than just laughing at the enraged pathetic old fool you are. I see now that statistics have said the exact opposite of what you’re trying to prove you’ve gone back to making stuff up. I ask you, when you quotes specific statistics that turned out to be garbage. Why should I trust your current unsourced opinions on poverty? Especially when the actual data contradicts your claims.

          • John Perry

            I am sorry that simple stats confuse you and that clearly stated sentences are beyond your reach. You state actual data as if you actually understand them which is not apparent if you cannot grasp the simple items I gave you to review.

          • greg zurbay

            Exactly HOW is manufacturing being regulated out of existence? People producing stuff is of course necessary, – but when people who are in charge of companies subvert their responsibility to be ethical and environmentally responsible where do you think it will end up? When in history do you see an example of unregulated business being concerned with anything but profit – at any cost? You would never consider letting everyone drive a car w/o regulation, – doesn’t it occur to you the potential damage to society from unregulated business could be far, far greater?

            Guarantee business would be accountable, and I would guess there would be much less call for regulation.

            We have conducted that experiment, – the results are unequivocal.

          • John Perry

            Where did I say unregulated everything?? Nowhere that is where. I said that regulation is a tricky thing go too far one way and stagnation as we have now. Go to far the other way and quick profits then BOOM! So now that your assumption has been refuted please do not assume to put words in my mouth please.

          • BiIIy

            Your father probably only made “nice money” in the first place due to the union. Sorry that you’re such a self centered selfish idiot that you resented your father having to strike so that others could also make “nice money”, I guess the unions should all have just packed in as soon as your father personally had enough money.

          • John Perry

            No I never said it wasn’t because of Unions I said the pitfalls of it and that Unions are basically good but that the leadership becoming corrupt and greedy are the problem. strikes are necessary at times but every other year is a bit extreme.

          • BiIIy

            I’m sure your antidotal “evidence” that you remember from your childhood is both very accurate, detailed and an accurate representation of unions nationwide in general, I don’t know what I was thinking earlier questioning it.

          • John Perry

            It is accurate and detailed from where I lived. The Teamsters who my grandfather and great uncles were members of only went on strike like every 10 years give or take. I only remember a couple times they did it. You must understand this is in Illinois so the corruption I speak of might be because of that political climate(the Daley Machine in Chicago). The food workers union my great aunt belonged to didn’t seem to have that problem either. My pointing out that Unions can get out of hand apparently offends you but you have yet to state what Union you are in or your family members were part of why is this?? If you grew up in a union family be proud of it Unions helped build this country.

          • greg zurbay

            When unions were trying to represent workers in Minneapolis a few of them got shot, by police…..

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Teamsters_Strike_of_1934

          • greg zurbay

            There is a big reason the wealthy hate unions, – they push EVERYBODY’S wages up. As Rozlee said, all you need to do is look at the wage structure during strong union employment numbers. It’s damn obvious.

          • Donny Zunker

            Please explain the problems in Detroit, without blaming Republicans or George Bush.
            Please explain the various bankrupt cities in California, without blaming Republicans or George Bush.
            Please explain why taxes and other fees are so high in California, without blaming Republicans or George Bush.
            Please explain why Chicago Mayor Rahm is asking for another $900 million in bonds, to run his city, without blaming Republicans or George Bush.
            Please explain why there is a 10% sales in Cook County (Chicago), when so many other states, counties, and cities’ sales taxes are less. again WITHOUT blaming Republicans or George Bush.

          • rozlee

            Please explain why the entire southern United States is so fucked up on conservative politics and has been that way since the Civil War. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/maps-of-the-south-bad-place_n_4855191.html.

          • Hymie

            Donny! Ha! You want to someone explain a problem, and ignore one of the sources? Repos & Bush might not be all the issue, but can’t be left out of the answer.

          • Donny Zunker

            Really? Detroit has been controlled by the Dems since the mid 1970′s and you want me to believe that Republicans and George Bush have some small blame to answer for?
            The 10% Sales tax in Cook County is George Bush’s fault?
            Perhaps George was on the grassy knoll in Dallas, Nov 1963??
            Go for it!!! Make me a believer!!

        • greg zurbay

          They are spending the money they have been ripping off from consumers, they own lots of companies you don’t realize – how about bounty paper towels? What do you guess is the overcharge on that product alone?

          • John Perry

            I don’t buy Bounty and I guess you are saying Russell Simmons and Gabriel Union and their stooges because they are helping with the clean up American Schools campaign?? The United Food and Commercial Workers Union might take offense at them being called Koch Stooges as well P & G Union which is the maker of Bounty.

          • greg zurbay

            No, John, I am saying exactly what I said. Anyone other than the Koch bros has only the business ties with them, – the Kochs also fund science – they are interested in covering their butt on prostate cancer. But their overriding interest is being able to pollute at will, and bend each and every regulation to their own end – making as much money as possible and having as much power as possible.

            If in this country the actual reality was one man one vote – no one would bitch. The Koch brothers have been dedicated to ignoring any and all the tenants of democracy. They simply wish to be king.

          • John Perry

            I agree that the Koch’s and Soros’s and all the others are making a mess of things and their meddling should be eliminated or limited. Not sure they are as evil as you portray but not going to argue it because I do not study them. Please remember we are a Republic not a Democracy as there is a difference.

          • greg zurbay

            Republic, Yes. We also steadfastly ignored 1/2 of the citizens of the US. Women were denied the right to vote. And persons who did not own property, and slaves. Now with the Koch brothers we are ignoring the idea of a Democracy which we should embrace, – that which requires each citizen get ONE vote, irrespective of gender, social position, financial wealth.

            If you wish to reward people with extra votes it should be on the basis of performing some function of great value to the majority of citizens, absent that it enriches that one citizen. That would likely be acceptable of most of the population of the USA.

          • John Perry

            Irish Immigrants were slaves at one point in this country. If you were white and did not own property you could not vote at one point in this country but we evolved passed that as a nation so what is your point with that?? You are also ignoring Soros and a bunch of others but unlike you I recognize all of them as bad can you see the difference between them? They are all power hungry people trying to manipulate things their way so just because the Liberals(Not Dems., there is a difference.) are trying to use them to deflect from other things does not mean that you should simply jump on board and not research all of the power brokers and what strings they are trying to pull. Once again though we are a Republic not a Democracy.

          • greg zurbay

            “If you were white and did not own property you could not vote at one point in this country but we evolved passed that as a nation so what is your point with that??”

            Answer: You yourself state that we “evolved past that”. So doesn’t it occur to you it might also be advantageous to evolve into 1 person one vote??

            If I grant you the argument that “all the power hungry are trying to manipulate things their way” – would it also occur to you that it might benefit all of us in the 99% to side with those who might at the very least ACCIDENTALLY BENEFIT THE 99%??

            Why in GOD’s name would anyone be irresponsible enough to themselves, and their family to support the FAR RIGHT ASSHATS who have ALWAYS been the bastion of the wealthy? Please PLEASE, realize the republicans go out of their way to disenfranchise the average person, – BECAUSE THEY GET A HUGE CHUNK OF THEIR MONEY from the uber wealthy, – or like Rommeny they are the uber wealthy – who can’t remember what it is not to be totally autonomous.

            Please, quit playing the false equivalents – you are being a co-dependent drone.

          • John Perry

            You start out ok then go on a zealot like rant about the Far right nothing about the far left calling out the 99% Liberal creation and saying the right is nothing but uber wealthies. Did you know there are just as many if not more uber wealthies on the left as the right? I have no support for the far right nor the far left but I guess that is where we part ways as I blame both sides you simply accept the party line of all Republicans are bad and they are all stupid. You call me a drone so tell me how it is that you are not acting like a leftist drone spewing forth what they put forth for you to regurgitate by what you have posted above? You spit out their vile accusation and libelous assumptions toward any who do not think as they do yet accuse others of exactly what you are doing. The 99% you talk of are a conglomeration of Democrat, Independent, and Republican so how do you justify demeaning the right but still wanting the people in a % of the population that are in that grouping to join your cause how does that make sense??

          • greg zurbay

            Yes the 99% are a mix. They are a mix of everything other than being wealthy.

            The far right which happen to be in the 99% will always support the wealthy – because people like Rush and Murdoch have done such a good job with “the liberals” propaganda.

            You can count the liberal wealthy on your fingers, among them Gates and Buffet. They actually walk the walk, unlike the far righters who rail about persecution like that of Crystal Nacht. There is a difference, and I recognize that. I also call them on it. ASShats deserve no less.

          • John Perry

            Wrong the vast majority will support someone who is willing to tell them the truth and not tell them the evil boogie man is Republican and they need to be protected by the government. We have to face the cold reality that we are spiraling downhill and need to stop the insanity. Neither party has yet to have the cojones to tell this truth. The person who does this and actually gives a concrete path to end it and asks for our help to make it happen whether it is higher taxes for awhile or cutting the government somewhere does not matter just that they tell it as it is. This putting us in neat little boxes such as African American, Asian American, Hispanic community or White America needs to stop as we are all American and do not fit neatly into anything.

      • Donny Zunker

        IF the Kochs are ‘buying elections’ , please explain why the Dems control the Senate and the White House?
        Please explain why California, Illinois, New York, and several others, plus some of America’s largest cities are controlled by Dems, IF the Kochs are buying elections…
        Other detail… during election season, there is a lot of work, done by PAID union ‘volunteers’ … NONE of this money paid to people to fill envelopes, make phone calls, go door-to-door, etc., is REQUIRED to be reported to any election commission, like the FEC…
        And lastly, Tom Steyer, a Dem who supports cap & trade, EPA regs that shut down coal power plants, and other emission control rules has pledged $100 million to any and all Dem canidates that support ‘save the planet’ laws and regs…
        Will you be as passionate in opposing all of this money, when you can’t get online, cuz your solar power panel can’t provide enough energy to power your computer or charge your smart phone?

        • Hymie

          Yeppers Donny, I’ll oppose the Kochs and their money (passionately) no matter what…

          • Donny Zunker

            Will you oppose the money being spent by the Steyer Brothers, with the same passion?

            There are a lot of arguments against any and all private monies…

            Do you oppose any and all private money?

            Or do you oppose only conservative money?

          • Hymie

            What I oppose is using financial incentives to influence an election, or a representative after being elected. But thinking that folks won’t try to do that is just a wee bit green, so moreover I oppose the candidates taking the money past a certain limit. The whole process has gotten so warped, that restrictions should be imposed. Our Supreme Court however, doesn’t agree and has opened the gates that lead to excess and corruption. Do they really think these guys are going to do the honorable thing, or do they just not care if the 1% gets to write the laws?

            And yes, left or right should not be able to buy votes or write laws (you do know that many bills are actually drafted by lobbyists, right?). I don’t know how the Steyer bros spend their money, but the Kochs are notorious for spending whatever it takes to get what they want. If we really knew what goes on behind the scenes I’m sure we’d throw the bums out – right and left… most of ‘em anyway.

            So no, I don’t oppose private money… but there need to be spending limits.

            And while we’re at it, let’s have term limits as well!

          • Donny Zunker

            We can agree on the term limits… and since you know nothing about the Steyer Brothers, Tom in particular, let me help.

            Tom has pledged $50 million of his own money, he says he will raise another $50 million. And all of this will be spent in a SINGLE election cycle

            That said, the Koch Brothers have spent a mere $18 million, over multiple election cycles. That’s like 5 times more for a single election cycle.

            So are the Koch Brothers really as ‘notorious’ as you claim or are the Koch Brothers just the victims of a PR campaign against conservative monies?

            Liberal money good? Conservative money bad?

          • Hymie

            I know who the Steyers are. I have not researched their
            spending. If they promise money for leverage, they should be stopped… like the
            Kochs. You also only know what the Kochs have spent in terms of contributions,
            not lobbying efforts, and other influence peddling – I’m sure it’s significant.
            I’ve seen reports that put the K bros spending at between $35 & $60M, so I’m
            not buying your figures. There’s also a difference in pledging & spending,
            so cite those figures with regard to the S bros – how much have they actually
            spent (not pledged to spend)? Sheldon Adelson is worse than the Kochs – $93M in
            one year.

            Liberal and conservative are bogus terms Donny – I’ll accept left and
            right – for example: too many conservatives are liberal with regard to natural
            resources (drill, frack, use, use ,use), and too many liberals are conservative
            when it comes to letting people make their own way (they think gubment should
            do it for them). No individual or corporation should be able to make law, or be
            above the law.

          • Bruce

            Try 600 million not 18, look with your eyes

          • Bruce

            Wake up, name a SINGLE elected Dem who hasn’t publicly opposed Citizens United, now name a SINGLE republican who HAS. Why ask such a dumb question?

          • Sally

            Only conservative and libertarian money are allegedly evil “dark money.”

          • Donny Zunker

            So it seems, given the replies I was given… I see the list of people, organizations and the amounts given, but it seems the Koch Brothers, some how give more than $600 million, with no record of that giving…
            That said, assuming it to be true, then how do we know those supporting libs and Dems haven’t done the same thing, giving even more, since the number of Dem donors out number the GOP donors?
            Thanks for the support!

          • Sally

            Methinks they have them some Koch Envy.

        • O Green

          The Kochs and their coordinated political network are doing their utmost to spend their way into to control of our democracy’s elective process.
          They are bankrolling this effort with money donated by billionaires and multimillionaires. They take in the money through nonprofit tax exempt 501(c)(4) organizations and in this way they can receive unlimited money from anonymous donors.
          The Kochs have not been highly successful with their gambit so far, but their plan is to spend even greater amounts of “dark money” in order to become successful in their quest to get their candidates elected to office and their political agendas enacted in to law.
          Actually, what Tom Steyer is hoping to do is to spent 100 million dollars in the 2014 mid-term election on a campaign to make climate change a major in the forefront issue and help elect candidates who share his believe that we must combat global warming which is the driver of climate change.

          • Sally

            And unions and rich progressives are donating to progressivism.
            So?

        • http://hintswithhunches.blogspot.com/ Patrick Doyle

          It’s because most people can tell when they are being manipulated.

          • Donny Zunker

            Who is being manipulated, by whom?

            People like Harry Reid are using the Koch Brothers as the Boogeymen for the 2014 elections… yet there are any number of liberals with money, doing EXACTLY the same thing as the Koch Brothers…

            I have NOT heard any liberals or Democrats, demonizing other liberals using their money to ‘buy’ the next election… like the Steyer Brothers…

          • http://hintswithhunches.blogspot.com/ Patrick Doyle

            You asked for an explanation why Dems control the Senate and the White house in spite of all the Koch money. I gave it. I don’t care if you don’t like it.

      • ginny

        All you need to do, Hymie, is consult the union’s own voice. The largest political contributor, the NEA, has admitted that his members are fairly split among Democrats, Independents and Republicans. But VIRTUALLY EVERY CENT of their political spending goes to buy far left candidates, causes and votes. And their influence is HUGE. (For instance, thanks to the teachers union, it is virtually impossible to fire ANY of the 400,000 teachers here in CA — we got rid of two — 2! — last year for incompetence. Meanwhile, you can’t fire teachers that molest children either; Mark Berendt was arrested after teaching for 30 years and doing things like blindfolding his 7-year-old Hispanic students, tieing them up and feeding them cookies with his semen on them. WE COULDN’T FIRE HIM (had to pay him $45,000 to “retire.” And we get to cough up another $450K per family of the students molested; btw, CA is bankrupt.) The NEA spends more every year buying this kind of influence than AT&T, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Walmart, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Disney & FexEx COMBINED. Lastly, though CA has the 3rd highest paid teachers in the country (Washington Post), we are 2nd from the bottom academically, and the students and their parents have had to file a lawsuit (thanks to the unions’ stranglehold on our legislature) against the state because their teachers and “education” is so miserable. “…apparently that’s OK by you…”??? Where is the influence of the Koch brothers so insanely pervasive and damaging???

        • Hymie

          I’m not going to get into a debate with you
          about unions, there’s plenty to criticize there, but do you really believe that
          the Kochs aren’t buying influence with their enormous “donations”?
          For example, one thing the Koch bros are currently trying to do is influence
          legislators on the state level to impose a surcharge on people who install
          solar panels and sell the energy back to the grid. Why? Because Koch Industries
          is a petrochemical conglomerate, and renewable energy is a threat… it’s a
          disincentive for installing solar. They are huge deniers of climate change,
          because they don’t want any disruption to their fossil fuel based cash flow.
          And do you really believe that campaign contributions are their only method of
          influence? Do they not hire lobbyists to curry (buy) favor as well? And who
          knows what else? Billions of dollars are at stake. No Ginny, the Kochs will get
          whatever they can buy, and it will all be in their interest… not mine – not
          yours. If you choose not to see that these guys couldn’t care less about you or
          the middle class, and if you really buy trickle-down economics… you are, to
          put it gently, naive. The Koch brothers and their ilk (including some on the
          left) will write/make laws if we let them.

      • Sally

        Unions aren’t representative in that employees are forced to join them. And people are not allowed a say in the only-progressive causes the unions represent.

        George Soros is buying elections – and no one makes laws except the legislative branch. Except that Obama thinks his job is to make laws. Needs to read the Constitution so he can preserve, protect and defend it, yes?

        • Hymie

          “… no one makes laws except the legislative branch.” Ha! You really don’t know how congress works do you? Who do you think writes these bills? Lobbyists, that’s who. Your government is bought and paid for – mainly by rich folks, and there are a helluva lot more on the right than on the left. Like I said, if union members don’t like what leadership is doing, throw the bums out… y’know, that’s a good idea for congress as well – how ’bout some term limits? Or does that scare you?

          • Sally

            (Eyeroll)

    • Billy Husher Jr.

      Right! And of course there are not right-wing funded 501(c)3 or (c)4 advocacy organizations created by Koch money . . . . . . Actually, here in Colorado we have seen them playing in several races at the school board level and state legislative races. This isn’t just big money in big politics. This is ideological extending down to communities that don’t affect them.

    • Mel Boss

      I too have many mixed opinions on this subject. Tax payers are shouldering the burden of corporations unwilling to enact a business model that embraces paying their employees a living wage and respecting our environment. We do so in many ways. Aren’t we all then effectively subsidizing these corporations’ bottom line?

      There is a delicate balance of power necessary between labor and management – between imposed regulation and self-regulation. In those cases where there is an extreme imbalance, a bad situation arises. I’ve experienced first hand, unions out of control with power in Chicago and Detroit in organizing trade shows at McC and Cobo where participants are bullied into payoffs. We see excessive retirement programs, designed in many cases to offset low wages, threaten to bankrupt the entity… Whenever, it remains more cost-effective for corporations to lobby legislation than it is to be responsible corporate citizens, a situation emerges that will, over time, rot the economic and governmental structure from the inside out.

      • Kizar_Sozay

        Then perhaps the solution is to take the power out of DC and put it in the hands of the individual states. If the central government has power to bestow largesse on favored corporations and unions because there is a central place to go to curry favor, it might be best for the federal government to be reduced in size and power returned to the states. At least then those seeking favors will have to go to fifty different sources. Not a perfect solution but its easier for the citizen to monitor contamination of their government on a state level than from an ever more distant DC.

        • Mel Boss

          There is a balance between state and federal control as well, but many of the same problems exist. State and federal politicians are equal in their greed – Illinois, Virginia, SC, Fl, Wi et al. If you can influence legislation rather than remedy your offense for at less cost for a long term solution and go on – polluting, poisoning, dumping into the environment or under compensating your employees, well then – that’s the preferred business solution. I think that there needs to be more cooperation between state level and federal regulatory agencies to a common end.

    • http://plus.google.com/+OleOlson novenator

      You might have “gradeated the 8th graed”, but your spinning is idiotic. “Organizing for America, MoveOn and all those little spiders created when ACORN was dismantled”. No. OFA and Moveon both predate the unjust destroying of Acorn (that was based on lies by Breitbart). The rest of your comment is similarly distorting.

  • TS

    Where is the mention about George Soros? When he’s not beating up his old lovers, he donates a ton to only anti American, er, Democrat politics. Why don’t the liberals every look into him. He’s a monster.

    • Donna Tabor

      Nonsense. George Soros made way, way less contributions in 2012 than he ever had before. http://www.businessinsider.com/george-soros-2012-donations-2012-9

      What about Karl Rove’s groups? During that same period as the Kochs’ $412 million dump Rove’s groups shoveled in $325 million. And Sheldon Adelson committed more than $36 million to the same cause.

      And yet they still could not buy Mitt Romney into the White House. Hunh.

  • Craun

    What are the sources for this article? It seems to be citing itself as a reference. I want to believe what is shown here, but how can I take this article seriously if it cites itself?

  • Cyfir

    The very WaPo article you cite for Koch figures estimates “roughly $400 million” dollars of union contributions in 2012…

  • Nels Nelson

    Honest question: Why were the figures used in the Republic Report chart (http://www.republicreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/kochspending.png) exclusive to the 2012 election? Weren’t the figures used in Strassel’s column aggregated from 1989 to 2014? It seems like it would be more suitable to provide the numbers for union contributions for the same time period, so that a apples-to-apples comparison could be made. Just to be clear, the point is understood that the Kochs outspent unions in the 2012 election.

  • Mel Boss

    There wouldn’t be a need for unions if all employers treated their employees fairly and paid a living wage. When wages paid by a corporation are low, that entity benefits in its profit margin. Their low paid employees who qualify for public assistance are unable to make ends meet without working multiple jobs. The family unit suffers, and more social issues arise as a direct result (no time to raise kids responsibly). Tax payers are shouldering the burden of corporations unwilling enact a business model that embraces paying their employees a living wage in many ways. Aren’t we all then effectively subsidizing these corporations’ bottom line?

    There is a delicate balance of power necessary between labor and management. In those cases where there is an extreme imbalance, a bad situation arises. I’ve experienced first hand, unions out of control with power in Chicago and Detroit in organizing trade shows at McC and Cobo where participants are bullied into payoffs. We see excessive retirement programs, designed in many cases to offset low wages, threaten to bankrupt the entity… Whenever, it remains more cost-effective for corporations to lobby legislation than it is to be responsible corporate citizens, a situation emerges that will, over time, rot the economic and governmental structure from the inside out.

  • https://twitter.com/TheDanLovingood Dan Lovingood

    How many Koch shills can populate one comment section? As many as Koch money can buy.

  • Richard Brown

    The Koch Brothers are a couple of !st class stinkers!!!!!!

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  • Anchovy Rancher

    When I worked under the umbrella of the I.L.W.U., Local #3, out of Anchorage, Ak., while in the employ of Bumble Bee Seafoods (Castle and Cook, Inc.) I was NEVER “coerced” to donate to anything other than the General Fund of the union itself. That General Fund was used to facilitate the meetings, provide for emergency funds for membership, etc..

    Eat your hat and don’t forget to leave your head in it, Kizar.

  • Sally

    So? George Soros donated more to progressive causes than the Koch brothers donated to conservative and libertarian ones.

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