The lawbreaking Kochs

The Koch Brothers claim that government regulations hinder U.S. business. Koch Industries is so hindered by regulation that it makes only in excess of $100 billion a year. The Kochs pass out a pittance in charitable contributions to clean up their unsavory reputation.

Corporate polluters David and Charles Koch are running ads in Nevada through their front group, Freedom Partners Action Fund of Virginia, that accuse Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Catherine Cortez Masto of enforcing the law against Uber, which operated illegally in Nevada until she succeeded in shutting them down at the request of the state Transportation Authority.

How would you have liked being in an accident while riding with an illegal, unlicensed car and driver? Of course, it’s not all that surprising that the Kochs fault Cortez Masto for upholding the law. After all, the Kochs are chronic lawbreakers. That’s why they need to make those charitable contributions.

In 2011, Bloomberg Business reported that its investigation of the Kochs “found that Koch Industries—in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East—has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism. Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada. From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn’t pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting. Koch paid a $25 million settlement to the U.S.”

Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone: “Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch’s pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers.”

Under a government that protects its citizens and curbs rogue corporations, Koch Industries would have been put out of business long ago. Instead, the Kochs go their merry way, trashing the environment, consumers and the airwaves.

So every time you see a television or online ad accusing Cortez Masto of driving Uber jobs out of Nevada by enforcing the law, or any time you see an ad signed by Freedom Partners, remember that it is paid for by men who routinely break the law.

And next time you are shopping, keep in mind that the Kochs own the companies that make Angel, Brawny, Mardi Gras, Perfect Touch, Quilted Northern, Sparkle, Zee and Vanity Fair paper products; Lycra fiber and Stainmaster carpet; Dixie cups; Georgia-Pacific office and building products; and AGROTAIN fertilizer.