Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index shows Charles and David Koch’s combined net worth as now surpassing the $100 billion benchmark, far beyond Bill Gates’ $79 billion, Sheldon Adelson’s $36 billion, George Soros’s $26 billion, and Tom Steyer’s $1.5 billion.
The Koch Brothers hit $100 billion just as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional any limits on an individual’s aggregate contributions to candidates and political parties. Countering the Kochtopus, as IFG maps here, requires new thinking and new activism.
KOCHTOPUS ON STEROIDS: THE MEANING OF McCUTCHEON
Acting as a single financial/political entity, Kochs’ carbon cronyism already outspends:
- all other individuals in political spending, estimates at almost a half billion dollars in 2012 elections alone;
- all other oil companies- even Exxon- to stop laws limiting carbon pollution;
- all other ultra-conservative donors for attacks against women, workers, communities of color, and the poor, among others.
Why spend so much to shape policy? IFG’s work in “following the money” shows that Koch seeks to derail and delay any government action that might cut into its carbon-based wealth. The two brothers’ 2014 offensive to seize the Senate and replace the President in 2016 is as a force more threatening to global stability than perhaps any oil dictator today. The Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision adds more financial muscle to the Kochtopus.
Globalization’s extreme concentrations of wealth and power are converging three unprecedented forces: the increasing impacts of an accelerating global climate catastrophe, the Kochs’ record rise in net worth, and now, the Court’s liberation of Koch Cash to elect even more extremists.
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
IFG’s Plutonomy Program has been, for the past few years, uniquely examining and explaining the phenomenon of Koch Cash, and organizing opposition to its rising power, while the stakes get bigger every day.
We have visually mapped their money and influence network and we believe that we know what Kochs’ end game is. IFG has a plan with a growing list of partners from key constituencies who want to act collectively and urgently.IFG is ramping up a steady-stream of hard-hitting and rigorously researched reports, like Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb: The Koch Brothers and the Keystone XL Pipeline Koch is furious we told the Washington Post they have over one million acres in Albert worth another fortune if pipeline is approved.
We hope this not only kills Keystone (whereby avoiding insane increases in dangerous emissions and possibly reducing Koch wealth and power) but also builds broader awareness and action among our allies to counter Koch in today’s crucial battles.
IFG will also reconvene key Koch critics to explore an emerging set of strategies to counter Koch comprehensively and decisively. As we’ve done for two decades, IFG identifies today’s biggest threats to a better world and inspires collective action among multiple movements for just and ecological economies.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
This matters because life on Earth depends on America urgently cutting its carbon emissions and Koch is by far the single biggest blocker of meaningful U.S. action.