It's yet to be seen whether Rep. Mark Kirk's flip-flop on cap-and-trade will help or hurt him at the ballot box in 2010. What we do know is that the decision appears to be attracting major right-wing donors. According to their latest FEC report, which was filed ...
It's yet to be seen whether Rep. Mark Kirk's flip-flop on cap-and-trade will help or hurt him at the ballot box in 2010. What we do know is that the decision appears to be attracting major right-wing donors.
According to their latest FEC report, which was filed yesterday, Koch Industries PAC sent the Kirk for Senate campaign a $5,000 donation in November, the highest contribution allowed under federal law. What is Koch? It's an enormous oil and gas conglomerate that specializes in bankrolling right-wing lobbying efforts in D.C. The Wonk Room produced a useful primer earlier this year:
Koch Industries, the oil and gas behemoth, bankrolls the astroturf groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. These groups were instrumental in orchestrating the anti-Obama tea party protests, where thousands gathered to display racist signs directed at the President, absurd calls for an impeachment, and more recently, protesters hanging Democratic leaders in effigy. In addition to the anti-Obama protests, these groups provide a useful front for industries as they hire dozens of field staff to spread misinformation about clean energy and bus people around the country to create the guise of public distrust of global warming. Koch has funneled its money not only to these astroturf efforts, but has been a prolific leader in all the aforementioned strategies that industries pursue (Charles Koch even founded the Cato Institute, a leader of global warming skepticism and has spent nearly $4 million in lobbying this year alone).
As we noted over the summer, climate change denialist and fellow Illinois Republican John Shimkus has also benefited from Koch's largesse. So has GOP Rep. Peter Roskam, who received $1,500 from their PAC last month.
It's obvious that Koch isn't rewarding Kirk for his past environmental stewardship. To the contrary, they're celebrating his rightward drift and welcoming him to the fold.