PLEDGE NOW
'Citizens United' And The Koch Brothers

“Citizen Koch.” A new documentary goes hard on the Koch Brothers and their imprint on American politics.

In this Aug. 30, 2013 file photo, Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch speaks in Orlando, Fla.  (AP)

In this Aug. 30, 2013 file photo, Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch speaks in Orlando, Fla. (AP)

Everyone knows the story of big money blowing up in American politics.  It’s happening again right now, for mid-term elections and the 2016 vote ahead.  Filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin went out to show how it really works, on the ground.  Not just big money.  Super-sized money.  They named their documentary “Citizen Koch” – as in the billionaire Koch brothers.  Then things really got hairy.  Funding pulled.  Kickstarter to the rescue.  The push for a constitutional amendment on campaign spending.  This hour On Point:  giant money in our politics and “Citizen Koch.”

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Carl Deal, documentary filmmaker. Co-director and co-producer of the new documentary “Citizen Koch.” Also director of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Trouble the Water.”

Tia Lessin, documentary filmmaker. Co-director and co-producer of the new documentary “Citizen Koch.” Also director of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Trouble the Water.”

Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation. (@HvonSpakovsky)

Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation. Co-author of “The Cheating of America” and “The Buying of the President 2004.” (@bill_allison)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: An amazing map of the Koch brothers massive political network — The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents. The filings show that the network of politically active nonprofit groups backed by the Kochs and fellow donors in the 2012 elections financially outpaced other independent groups on the right and, on its own, matched the long-established national coalition of labor unions that serves as one of the biggest sources of support for Democrats.”

New Yorker: Covert Operations – “The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a ‘kingpin of climate science denial.'”

The Wall Street Journal: Charles Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society — “A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.”

Watch A Trailer For “Citizen Koch”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

 
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
1 Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment