Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kochfacts debunked: Exposing a Koch whopper

In 2012, attacked Jacqueline Palank for a line in an article she wrote for the Wall Street Journal.1 In this line, Palank wrote that Koch was “funding an ad campaign criticizing the Obama administration's support for the bankrupt solar company, Solyndra LLC.” wrote that Koch was among the tens of thousands of contributors to Americans for Prosperity, but that Koch had no control over the campaign and had not directed funding toward it.

Koch provided 84 percent of the funding ($13 million) for the predecessor to Americans for Prosperity (AFP), Citizens for a Sound Economy, before 2003. Koch also provided $1 million to AFP through the Claude R. Lamb Charitable Foundation, a Koch front group, which represented about a tenth of AFP's total income for that time period 2006-2008. In 2010, AFP received $2 million in contributions from a Koch-funded organization, Protect Patients Rights, that spent $55 million attacking Democratic candidates in 2010.

Someone who donates $16 million to an organization is not just one among thousands of contributors. Furthermore, Koch has a history of attacking projects he opposes. Koch has been chairman of the board of AFP. They will spend his donations as he recommends.

A strong inference can be made from these facts:
  1. Koch donated at least $15 million to AFP.
  2. Koch has elsewhere written against Solyndra.
  3. AFP ran an ad campaign against Solyndra.
  4. Therefore, Koch funded the ad campaign against Solyndra.

This inference might not be convincing in a court of law, but it is strong enough to support Palank's assertion.

Koch could settle this argument by releasing his income tax records (including all the front groups he has set up to conceal his political activities) for the years 2004-2012, when he is believed to have donated millions to AFP. But Koch has not done that. Until he does, his attacks on Palank cannot be believed.

1 Exposing a Factual Error by the Wall Street Journal's Jacqueline Palank,, Feb. 13, 2012,

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