The Koch Brothers Exposed

Today Brave New Foundation announces our latest campaign. A campaign where we will take on one of the single greatest threats to our democracy: The Koch Brothers.

With Outfoxed, we exposed the unbalanced propaganda that is Fox News.

With Wal-Mart we uncovered the damage done to our country by the high cost of low prices.

We exposed the war profiteering in Iraq For Sale, and we were on the frontline of questioning what we are doing, and doing wrong, in Rethink Afghanistan.

We fought against insurance company greed in the battle for health care with Sick for Profit.

We halted the history channel from smearing President Kennedy.

And now we aim our focus at the Koch brothers.

With a net worth of 43 Billion the Kochs have already spent decades of their lives and over 324 Million of their wealth exerting their influence. The Kochs accomplish their goals by funding a massive array of right wing front groups, think tanks and tea party efforts. They largely operate outside of the public eye, and target their funding to infiltrate public opinion, the media, judicial decisions and legislation. Over three dozen organizations are funded by the brothers, and they spend additional money lobbying and backing conservative candidates. Everything the Kochs do is to fight for a country free from protections and any degree of a social safety net for working Americans.

You might recognize names of some of the organizations that the Koch brothers fund. Americans for Prosperity is their Tea Party effort. They fund the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Reason Foundation, the Institute for Justice, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and many many more. Through their massive funding efforts, they have fought against health care and are fighting against protecting social security, as well as fighting efforts to halt climate change, and fighting against LGBT rights, Immigration rights, unemployment insurance, environmental protections, the rights of unions to organize and educational opportunity, just to name a few areas they focus on.

When we started our research four months ago – inspired by Jane Mayer’s brilliant New Yorker article and Lee Fang’s great investigative work at ThinkProgress – we thought that a big part of our job was to bring attention to the Koch brothers. Boy have things changed over those months!

With their secret meeting in Palm Springs, brought into the light, and with their involvement in the atrocious happenings in Wisconsin, the Koch brothers have worked their way into the attention of a concerned public.

Now, as we get set to launch our investigative campaign, we circle back to the reason we began this project. As with the best of our work at Brave New Foundation, The Koch Brothers Exposed allows us to connect the dots. To understand how the system works. And how the system doesn’t work. To understand that there is a different set of rules for those with power and access than the rules faced by those without money and access. The Koch brothers play this game by using their wealth and foundations to fund efforts that will increase their wealth at the expense of others.

The Koch brothers are using their BILLIONS to make more money, and to advance their right wing agenda on the backs of those who have less; a lot less. They are not alone in this effort. Their size, wealth and scope makes them noteworthy (as was Wal-Mart), but it is important, even as we call attention to so many of the horrific groups and issues they are behind, to realize that they don’t exist in a vacuum.

The Koch Brothers represent the latest reality in our country. A reality where the wealthy use the system to get wealthier. A world where the powerful game the system so as to access even more power.

Brave New Foundation will work tirelessly to expose the Koch brothers. This new campaign will be like none ever done before. The film will be broken down into issue-focused chapters, each released individually with a flurry of action around them. This campaign will live in film, online actions, grassroots efforts, community gatherings, ground actions, multi-media coverage, artistic components and collaboration with the larger community that is ready to take action. We have the wonderfully talented AgitPop onboard to help expose the Koch brothers, and will be working with many other progressive organizations to increase the shared impact of this effort.

As we begin to investigate, expose and connect the dots, we’ll need all the help we can get. We have a number of surprises in store for the Koch brothers. At this point, it’s those of us who care about the future of our country verses those who believe they can buy that future for their own profit.

Join us in this fight.


  1. Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    A interesting video.

    Awhile back I wrote a article titled “An open letter to George Soros and Charles & David Koch”…

    I should have added Rupert Murdoch to the title.

    I have to wonder if the producers of this video also realize that what these people are doing is wrong, but if we continue on the path we are on, ultimately not only will the war that these billionaires are waging destroy our economy here in America, it also will destroy the newly created middle class in China and India once our large corporations believe that China and India are now charging too much and they move their production to Vietnam and Cambodia.

    As somebody that has experienced the destitution that is being forced on America by these Billionaires, I just wanted to congratulate you on the project and if you will take the donation in easy payments, you can put down Keep America At Work as one of the producers.


    Virgil Bierschwale

  2. Gregor
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely hilarious!!! I used to find it hard to believe that there were people in this world like the ones who publish this website and those who support it, but in this day and age of extremes, all I can really do is shake my head. I am sorry that you all feel so agrieved about whatever has happened in your lives, so here is a bit of free (you wouldn't have it any other way you know) advice: Take responsibility for your own lives and the decisions that you make, and stop blaming others for your failings.

  3. kfreed
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “Take responsibility in your own lives.”

    Interesting Tea Party comment and one on which every single one of you hangs his hat to justify the criminal behavior of the criminal class. Way to deflect, but let's be precise here: according to your worldview, personal responsibility applies only to the have-nots. When it comes to holding the haves responsible for their actions it strikes you as unconscionable that anyone should suggest the same for them.

    Maybe you should wait for the film releases and actually watch them before spouting off. Or will your handlers not allow it?

  4. Bill Thompson
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I like it.

  5. Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    About the Koch Brothers not answering the question of how many homes they own: I am certainly no fan of the Koch Brothers, but: who cares how many homes they have/own?  And whose right is it to ask that question?  I could imagine the IRS being interested, but: we private citizens shouldn't expect to answer such questions from anybody.  I thought it – to say the least 'ill-advised' that President Obama gave in, 'caved', really, when he gave his long form birth certificate to Donald Trump, a private citizen.  It's none of Trump's business, and it is none of my business to look into the homes owned or lived in by the Koch Brothers.  (If one or the other of them was running for President, then it would be different, but: they are in the position to decide who will be President under their rule).
    Michael S. Cullen, Berlin, Germany

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