Home > Uncategorized > The Koch Brothers Buy A US Senate Candidate – Welcome to Chris Christie’s NJ

The Koch Brothers Buy A US Senate Candidate – Welcome to Chris Christie’s NJ

 Koch Brothers, AFP, ALEC and Tea Party Black Helicopter Crowd In Christie’s Garden Party

Steve Lonegan, AFP - I'll let the picture speak for itself.

[Updates below]

In all the news coverage of the announcement of the US Senate candidacy of right wing activist Steven Lonegan, I was surprised by the deafening silence of the links between Lonegan’s outfit, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the billionaire Koch Brothers.

Even by so called progressive media outlets, like NJ Spotlight.

That’s like writing about Jeff Tittel running for office without mentioning the Sierra Club. WTF!

The Koch Brothers are notorious and well documented billionaire backers of climate change denial (AKA “kingpin of climate science denial”) and the creators of the right wing front group, AFP (see Jane Mayer’s New Yorker expose on how the Koch’s created AFP and the Tea Party right wing “grass roots movement” to advance their own greedy corporate interests: Covert Operations).

Most recently, the Kochtopus was back in the news, when Mayer wrote another amazing expose of how they censored and killed an independent documentary film aptly titled “Citizen Koch”, by pressuring PBS New York affiliate WNYC , see: “A Word From Our Sponsors”).

[Oops, forgot to mention that Koch’s are buying up newspapers too]

And now, the Kochtopus is ramping up right here in New Jersey – and doing huge damage politically.

(there is also evidence that the corporate front group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has made deep inroads in NJ political and legislative circles, for example, see this: Meet ALEC’s NJ State Chairman – Senator Oroho).

To borrow from Hillary Clinton – there actually is a vast right wing conspiracy and it is shocking that so little is being written about it by NJ media outlets, especially when no conspiracy theory stuff is necessary, when facts like this are right in the open, in plain sight: (as reported by John Mooney of NJ Spotlight)

Picking Their Fights, Lobbyists See Spending Soar


In a surprise result, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, came in third among special interest groups in communications spending at $564,218, behind only the NJEA and the AFL-CIO.

The conservative group spearheaded efforts to convince the Christie administration to pull New Jersey out of the regional greenhouse gas initiative, a 10-state cooperative to reduce emissions that contribute to global climate change.

In a move that drew criticism from clean energy advocates and Democratic lawmakers, Christie pulled New Jersey out of RGGI last spring, although the move did not take effect until the end of the year.

The group has been active in New Jersey in the past, but never to the extent that it was in the past year. Previously, the group had lobbied against bond issues to preserve open space and farmland. All but $7,240 — which went to travel and expenses — of the total $571,458 spent by Americans for Prosperity was allocated to communications.

Besides opposing RGGI, Americans for Prosperity also lobbied against proposals aimed at developing an offshore wind industry off the coast of New Jersey, a priority of the administration and lawmakers. The lobbyists contend the wind farms will spike electric bills for ratepayers.

So, it was no accident that Gov. Christie killed RGGI and is engaging in climate change denial.

And now all that billionaire Koch money – in addition to putting political wind in Governor Christie’s sails – has just bought them a US Senate Candidate.

Even though Lonegan has very little chance to win, his Senate campaign provides a platform for more right wing money to fuel organizing and message  (for how this all works, Google “Overton Window”).

And, of course, our fair and balanced media will lend legitimacy to Lonegan’s warped ideas – all without exposing the puppet master Billionaire Kochtopus.

Not bad work, if you can get it.

[update #1: 6/10/13 – In an otherwise piece of conventional wisdom, Mike Symons of the APP wrote this today (which I was not aware of):

Christie met with AFP activists in January in the governor’s office when they were in Trenton for a grass-roots training event.

Update #2 – 6/12/13Star Ledger profile of Lonegan notes Koch billionaire’s backing of AFP, but you’ve got to dig to find it.

Curious to compare Lonegan’s treatment with Buono’s. Buono is repeated described as having gotten the nomination by default because no other Dems were willing to take on the “inevitable” Christie.

But while mainstream republicans abandoned the US Senate seat race in an apparent concession to Dems, Lonegan – a fringe candidate with no real governing experience – is not tagged as a “default candidate” and gets treated as a legitimate candidate not the radical right wing lunatic his is.

What explains that double standard? I think reporters and editors are afraid of right wingers.

Or could the respectful treatment be because Koch’s are buying up newspapers and some outlets are looking for that kind of sugar daddy?

[Update 3 – 6/13/13 – As predicted, more mindless favorable Lonegan coverage that ignores Koch’s manipulation:  Atlantic County backs Lonegan – disgusting]

[Update 4 – 6/17/13 – More brain dead favorable coverage of Lonegan from Star Ledger  – remarkable. Again, note the difference in how Buono campaign is treated.]

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  1. scott olson
    June 9th, 2013 at 12:54 | #1

    Koch cash & Democrats’ infighting (http://blog.nj.com/njv_tom_moran/2013/06/for_barbara_buono_going_from_b.html) is going to make for some scary elections in the Fall.

  1. May 11th, 2015 at 23:19 | #1
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