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Big Oil Billionaire Koch Brothers Drop At Least $1.9 Million Into Oregon To Buy Monica Wehby A Senate Seat – First Time They've Spent Money In Oregon

Wehby Has Adopted Koch Brothers’ Agenda & This Is Her Reward

Portland, Oregon – For the first time, the Big Oil billionaire Koch brothers are funneling their fortune into Oregon to buy our Senate seat for Monica Wehby, who couldn't name one part of the national Republican/Koch brothers agenda that she'd disagree with in Washington D.C.

As Politico reports today, the Koch brothers "secret bank," Freedom Partners, has just bought at least $1.9 million in television advertising in Oregon, beginning in August, with even more coming in as we speak. Freedom Partners is a group so secretive that virtually no one even knew that it existed until after it had raised more than $250 million in 2012 to pay for hundreds of millions in attack ads against Democrats. As Politico wrote after the 2012 election, "a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election."

It's no surprise that the Big Oil billionaire Koch brothers are all-in for Monica Wehby. As Wehby herself put it back May, she "went out and sold herself" to national Republicans, and her policy agenda mirrors the agenda of national Republican and the Koch brothers.

For example, the Koch brothers spent hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Mitt Romney in 2012 and enact his tax plan to save them millions, and Monica Wehby copied her plan to give more tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires (like the Koch brothers) and corporations that ship jobs overseas straight from Romney's 2012 policy agenda.

And the Koch brothers' flagship attack group Americans for Prosperity fought to enact the same extreme Tea Party budget proposal that Monica Wehby just endorsed this morning. That extreme budget proposal, "Cut, Cap and Balance," would force massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare and be a disaster for Oregon.

Wehby has embraced the Koch brothers' anti-middle class agenda and this is her reward.

"The Big Oil billionaire Koch brothers want a rubber stamp for their leave-no-millionaire-behind, anti-middle class agenda in Washington D.C., and that's why they're dropping millions into Oregon to buy our Senate seat for Monica Wehby," said Merkley campaign spokeswoman Lindsey O'Brien. "The Koch brothers hate how Jeff's stood up on behalf of middle-class Oregonians to powerful special interests just like them, but in Monica Wehby they've found a candidate who will give them everything they want. Wehby's plan to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and corporations that ship jobs overseas would mean millions more for the billionaire Koch brothers, at the expense of seniors and working families – that's the wrong agenda for Oregon and we'll reject it as we have before. Monica Wehby has adopted the Koch brothers' anti-middle class agenda as her own, and this is her reward."

BACKGROUND

Freedom Partners Reserved TV Airtime in Oregon, Claimed $1.9 Million Between August and November. “Freedom Partners, the Koch-linked nonprofit, has been making more fall TV reservations today, according to a source tracking the air war. The source said Freedom Partners has now claimed $1.9 million in Oregon airtime and $1.8 million in New Hampshire airtime between August and November.” [Politico, 7/17/14]

Think Progress: Koch Industries Should Be Called ‘Big Oil’: “The Koch PAC is the largest oil and gas contributor — donating more than even ExxonMobil — spending over $1 million in each of the last two cycles. This cycle, it has spent almost $750,000. Koch Industries sends 90 percent of these contributions to Republicans” [Think Progress, 5/14/12]

BOTH WEHBY AND THE KOCHS SUPPORTED ROMNEY TAX IDEALS

HEADLINE: GOP Senate Candidate Revives Mitt Romney Tax Cuts. [The Huffington Post,6/18/14]

Huffington Post: “Much-Derided” Romney Tax Plan “Enjoying An Unlikely Renaissance Thanks To GOP Senate Candidate Monica Wehby.” According to The Huffington Post, “The aggressive high-end tax cuts from Mitt Romney’s much-derided 2012 tax plan appear to be enjoying an unlikely renaissance thanks to GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby.” [The Huffington Post, 6/18/14]

The Koch Brothers Were Major Supporters of Romney, Romney Estate Tax Plan Could Save Koch’s Billions. “The Koch brothers, in turn, have been major supporters of Romney. David Koch endorsed him in 2008 and held a fundraiser for Romney at his Southampton home in 2010. Bill Koch and his coal company, Oxbow Carbon, have donated $1 million to the Romney Super PAC, Restore Our Future. At a recent retreat in California, David and Charles Koch pledged to spend $60 millionduring the 2012 election to defeat President Obama, which would no doubt give a major boost to Romney if and when he becomes the GOP nominee. Romney’s estate tax plan alone could save the Kochs billions of dollars. His advocacy of the oil, gas and coal industries would also be a major boon to the Koch brothers’ many energy interests.” [The Nation, Ari Beman, 2/24/12]

LIKE THE KOCHS, WEHBY SUPPORTED THE CUT CAP AND BALANCE PLAN…

Wehby Would Have Voted For a Balanced Budget Amendment. “The Balanced Budget Amendment: On Dec. 14, 2011 (S.J. Res 10), the Senate voted 47-53 on a party-line vote against a Republican proposal requiring a balanced budget. Merkley's vote: No Wehby: Would have voted yes.” [Oregonian, 7/17/14]

CBPP: “Cut, Cap, and Balance” Measure Cites Three Balanced Budget Amendments, One of Which Was S.J. Res 10. “The “Cut, Cap & Balance” measure cites three constitutional balanced-budget amendments (H.J. Res 1, S.J. Res 10, and H.J. Res 56) and states that Congress must approve one of them or a similar measure before the debt limit can be raised. All three of the cited proposals would require cuts deeper than those in the Ryan budget. “ [CBPP, 7/16/11]

In 2011, American’s For Prosperity Announced Support for “Cut, Cap, and Balance” Would Urge Policymakers to Commit to the Pledge. “As the August debt limit debate approaches and Congressional Democrats continue to clamor for a clean increase, more than 40 organizations today formally announced their support for a “Cut, Cap and Balance” approach to the issue — the same approach favored bythe Republican Study Committee and solid conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). At a press conference on Capitol Hill that also featured supportive lawmakers like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), coalition leaders called on all members of Congress, candidates for federal office, presidential candidates and the public to pledge not to support a debt limit increase unless Congress first passes a plan to cut spending, institute statutory spending caps and initiate the balanced budget amendment process. The member groups — including FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Let Freedom Ring and the National Taxpayers Union — will bring the heat on Twitter and elsewhere to urge policymakers to commit to the pledge.” [Hot Air, 6/22/11]

Director of Government Affairs for AFP Urged Representatives to Support the Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan. In a letter from James Valvo, Director of Government Affairs for AFP, “As you know, runaway spending has buried the United States Government in debt, causing us to hit our statutory ceiling at $14.3 trillion. For months, lawmakers have been debating whether we should raise that debt ceiling and how to get the government’s finances in order, but only now has a plan emerged that will satisfy the American people’s desire for fiscal restraint in Washington. On behalf of more than 1.7 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I urge you to support H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. Any increase in the nation’s debt limit must be paired with a plan to cut spending and put our future spending on a sustainable path. I urge you to vote YES on H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap and Balance Act when it comes to a vote in the House this week. Americans for Prosperity will rate this vote in our congressional ratings.” [EIN Presswire]

American’s For Prosperity Were Known as the Main Political Arm Of the Koch Brothers. “The Koch brothers’ main political arm intends to spend more than $125 million this year on an aggressive ground, air and data operation benefiting conservatives, according to a memo distributed to major donors and sources familiar with the group. The projected budget for Americans for Prosperity would be unprecedented for a private political group in a midterm, and would likely rival even the spending of the Republican and Democratic parties’ congressional campaign arms.” [Politico, 5/9/14]

…A LARGE REDUCTION IN PERSONAL INCOME TAXES…

Huffington Post: Wehby “Goes Further Than Romney” In Calling For Top Personal Rate Of 25%. According to The Huffington Post, “Like Romney, she suggested reducing the top corporate income tax rate to 25 percent, and she goes further than Romney in calling for a top personal rate of 25 percent. (Romney had proposed a modest-by-comparison 28 percent while he was in the presidential race.)” [The Huffington Post, 6/18/14]

Huffington Post: Wehby Tax Plan’s Benefits “Would Be Most Significant At The Upper End Of The Spectrum.” According to The Huffington Post, “Wehby’s plan doesn’t get more specific than a top rate of 25 percent, which would result in a tax cut for every individual making more than $89,350 and married couples making $148,850, although the benefits would be most significant at the upper end of the spectrum.” [The Huffington Post, 6/18/14]

Koch Funded Americans for Prosperity Advocated a Large Reduction in Personal Income Taxes. “Last year, the Koch-Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity released a 37-page report laying out the group’s vision for what it calls ‘tax reform.’… Some of the details of how AFP would achieve its goal include: a large, although unspecified reduction in the top personal income tax rate, lower taxes on capital gains, and what amounts to the virtual elimination of the corporate income tax.” [Citizens for Tax Justice, 6/19/14]

…AND IN CORPORATE INCOME TAXES

Wehby Proposed Reducing the Corporate and Individual Tax Rates to 25%. “Wehby released a series of bullet points on tax policy in late April that included proposals to reduce corporate and individual tax rates to 25 percent, reduce deductions and credits and move towards a system for international business that doesn't tax companies on their overseas earnings and assets.” [Statesman Journal, 6/20/14]

Wehby Proposed Reducing the Corporate and Individual Tax Rates to 25%, Reduce Deductions and Credits. “Wehby released a series of bullet points on tax policy in late April that included proposals to reduce corporate and individual tax rates to 25 percent, reduce deductions and credits and move towards a system for international business that doesn't tax companies on their overseas earnings and assets.” [Statesman Journal, 6/20/14]

Koch Funded Americans for Prosperity Advocated the “Virtual Elimination” Of the Corporate Income Tax. “Last year, the Koch-Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity released a 37-page report laying out the group’s vision for what it calls ‘tax reform.’… Some of the details of how AFP would achieve its goal include: a large, although unspecified reduction in the top personal income tax rate, lower taxes on capital gains, and what amounts to the virtual elimination of the corporate income tax.” [Citizens for Tax Justice, 6/19/14]

IN SEPTEMBER 2013, A NEW SECRETIVE KOCH BROTHERS GROUPFREEDOM PARTNERS WAS REVEALED, WHICH SPENT $250 MILLION IN 2012 (MORE THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER CONSERVATIVE GROUP) WITHOUT ANYONE’S KNOWLEDGE

Politico Headline: “Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Secret Bank.” [Politico, 9/13/13]

September 2013: A New Mysterious Koch Brothers Entity, “Whose Existence Until Now Was Unknown To Almost Everyone In Politics” Was Revealed – Freedom Partners Raised And Spent About $250 Million In 2012.“An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide. The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly. The 38-page IRS filing amounts to the RosettaStone of the vast web of conservative groups — some prominent, some obscure — that spend time, money and resources to influence public debate, especially over Obamacare.” [Politico, 9/13/13]

“A Totally Unknown Group Was The Largest Sugar Daddy For Conservative Groups In The Last Election, Second In Total Spending Only To Karl Rove’s American Crossroads And Crossroads GPS, Which Together Spent About $300 Million.” “The group [Freedom Partners] has about 200 donors, each paying at least $100,000 in annual dues. It raised $256 million in the year after its creation in November 2011, the document shows. And it made grants of $236 million — meaning a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election, second in total spending only to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, which together spent about $300 million.” [Politico, 9/13/13]

Freedom Partners Does Not Disclose Its Donors. “Freedom Partners is organized under the same section of the Tax Code as a trade association, a 501(c)6, which allows the group to conceal its donors from public release, although the amounts and recipients of its major grants are public.”[Politico, 9/13/13]

FREEDOM PARTNERS WAS THE CENTER OF THE KOCH NETWORK THAT RAISED $400 MILLION LAST CYCLE

Koch Brothers Universe Raised At Least $407 Million During the 2012 Cycle, Most For Voter Mobilization and Ads Attacking President Obama. “But they have substantial firepower. Together, the 17 conservative groups that made up the network raised at least $407 million during the 2012 campaign, according to the analysis of tax returns by The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics. A labyrinth of tax-exempt groups and limited-liability companies helps mask the sources of the money, much of which went to voter mobilization and television ads attacking President Obama and congressional Democrats, according to tax filings and campaign finance reports.” [Washington Post, 1/5/12]

Posted on July 17, 2014 in Press Releases.
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Meet Jeff Merkley

Jeff Merkley was born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, the son of a sawmill worker.Jeff Merkley and Family As an advocate and a state legislator, he always fought hard for working families in Oregon. And now, as U.S. Senator, he's working every day for families in Oregon and across the country.

His progressive commitment is clear - working for economic recovery and family-wage jobs, clean energy that puts Americans to work and combats the climate crisis, affordable health care for all Americans. Learn more about Jeff Merkley.

Connect with Jeff Meet Jeff Merkley

Jeff Merkley was born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, the son of a sawmill worker. As an advocate and a state legislator, he always fought hard for working families in Oregon. And now, as U.S. Senator, he's working every day for families in Oregon and across the country.

His progressive commitment is clear - working for economic recovery and family-wage jobs, clean energy that puts Americans to work and combats the climate crisis, affordable health care for all Americans. Learn more about Jeff Merkley.