Billionaire and right-wing Tea Party funder David Koch has next to nothing in common with the Virginia working families Ken Cuccinelli wants to represent as Governor. But tonight, Cuccinelli will be collecting big checks from Koch and his right-wing buddies, not working for Virginia families.
Virginians know how this works — corporate sponsors who fund multi-million dollar political campaigns call the shots once their candidates are in office. Given Ken Cuccinelli’s history of memory lapses when it comes to fully reporting gifts from well-heeled friends like Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Virginians certainly have cause to worry.
Cuccinelli has already received $50,000 from Koch Industries for his gubernatorial campaign and tonight’s invitation plainly states, “Please note that ‘Ken Cuccinelli for Governor’ is able to accept unlimited corporate, personal, and PAC contributions.”
What’s with the Koch addiction? Cuccinelli’s priorities are far more in sync with David Koch than with Virginia families. Consider:
Gun Violence Prevention
Koch is a major funder of the gun manufacturers’ lobbying arm, the National Rifle Association. Cuccinelli has voted at least seven times against background checks on gun sales. Virginia families? They overwhelmingly support background checks, including support from 91% of gun owners.
David Koch and his brother, Charles, made billions off of polluting oil. They’ve funneled millions of dollars in to organizations like the Heartland Institute, which are dedicated to denying climate science and the existence of man-made global warming. Ken Cuccinelli is a notorious climate denier, even going so far as to sue University of Virginia researcher Michael Mann over his climate research. But Virginia families? According to the Virginian-Pilot, “three out of four Virginians think global warming is real and most want government at all levels – federal, state and local – to take actions to fight it.”
The Koch Brothers have spent hundreds of millions of their over $60B fortune lobbying Congress and funding political campaigns across the country. Ken Cuccinelli has taken lavish gifts from wealthy donors since joining public office, including free vacations, gifted travel, and tickets to sporting events. Virginia families? The average Virginia family makes $63,000 a year and doesn’t employ an expensive lobbyist to secure lucrative tax breaks. We rely on our elected officials to work for us. So, good luck with that.
- Cuccinelli for Governor has already received a $50,000 contribution from a Koch controlled corporation and $35,000 from Koch Industries directly. Koch Industries has also contributed $7.500 to Cuccinelli for Attorney General and Cuccinelli for Senate received $2,250. [Huffington Post, Cuccinelli for Governor VPAP, Cuccinelli for Attorney General VPAP, Cuccinelli for Senate VPAP]
- Between 2003 and 2010, the Koch brothers, their companies, and their employees made political contributions of $273,402 in Virginia. [Center for American Progress]
- “Reports reveal that the Koch Brothers are running a corporate empire that secretly traded with Iran, falsified records of cancer-causing pollution, and gutted safety protections that left American children dead.” Americans for Prosperity, the political front group for oil giant Koch Industries, spent $45 million in the 2010 election to help elect Republicans — including 70% of that year’s GOP freshman Members of Congress. Between 2006 and 2011 Koch Industries “spent more than $50 million lobbying Washington politicians.” [Media Matters]
- Bipartisan research conducted on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns found broad support in Virginia for stronger violence prevention measures. 88% of Virginians support requiring gun owners to pass a background check. 91% of Virginia gun households support requiring gun owners to pass a background check. [Mayors Against Illegal Guns]
- “Three out of four Virginians think global warming is real and most want government at all levels – federal, state and local – to take actions to fight it.” [Virginian-Pilot]
- “Charles and David Koch, of Wichita-based Koch Industries Inc., are each worth $34 billion, according to an estimate from Forbes. That puts them tied at No. 6 on the magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires.” [Wichita Business Journal]
- “The NRA’s electoral efforts this year  seem to offer an example of how the Kochs’ strategy can work, according to the three GOP fundraisers. The NRA, they say, has already received a hefty cash infusion from the Koch donor network this year, enabling the 4 million-member pro-gun behemoth to expand voter registration and get-out-the vote drives.” [Huffington Post]
- “Leaked documents from the free-market conservative organization The Heartland Institute reveal a plan to create school educational materials that contradict the established science on climate change. The documents, leaked by an anonymous donor and released on DeSmogBlog, include the organization’s 2012 fundraising plan. It lists Heartland Institute donors, from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (established by Koch Industries billionaire Charles G. Koch), to Philip Morris parent company Altria, to software giant Microsoft and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.” [Christian Science Monitor]