by Robert Maynard
Whenever money in politics becomes an issue, the media and the left cannot resist conjuring up the imaginary boogeyman of the dreaded Koch brothers as an unlimited money supply for right wing causes. In an earlier True North Reports piece, I pointed out how figures on the left pointed to the possibility of money from the Koch brothers flowing into Vermont as an excuse to set up the fist super PAC in the state. They did this despite the fact that there was no evidence of any such funding making its way into our state. I also pointed out in that article that a lot of the money flowing into Vermont politics from out of state goes to the left. It appears that this imbalance between perception and reality is being played out on the national level as well, where the amount of political contributions on the part of the Koch brothers is vastly overestimated and the amount of political contributions going to the left is vastly underestimated.
This vast gulf between perception and reality was exposed in a recent American Thinker article entitled “Busting the Democrat myth of the Koch brothers”. The article is based on an OpenSecrets.org list of the top political donors from 1989 to 2012 and lists the top 100 donors. Here is how it describes where the Koch brother rank:
Given all the noise from Democrats, we’d expect to see the Kochs in, at least, the top ten. Not there.
Or, the top 20. Not there either.
Certainly the top 50! Nope.
They rank 75th on the list.
One of Saul Alinsky’s rules in his book “Rules for Radicals” — required reading in the state university in Illinois I attended long ago — was to “demonize the opposition”. It works because attach credibility to repetition.
In other words, the dreaded money machine of right wing causes ranks 75 out of 100 on this list of top political donors. If you follow the link and look at the list it becomes obvious that unions are prominent among the top political donors and their money predominantly goes to Democrats. At the top of the list is a group called ActBlue, followed by the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, with the National Education Association coming in at number 5 and the Service Employees Union number 6. ActBlue is an online 527 organization that gives exclusively to Democrats.
Most of the corporate sources of political contributions are evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, but the major finance oriented corporation Goldman and Sachs, which was listed at number 7, favored the Democrats by a 56% to 40% margin. Entertainment giant Time Warner favored Democrats by a 73% to 25% margin.
Our media plays a role in spreading this gulf between perception and reality and the left uses this perception to portray themselves of underfunded champions of the little guy fighting a David vs. Goliath battle against dark and sinister right wing forces backed by nearly unlimited corporate resources. This comic book like portrayal would be laughable if it were not for the fact that so many buy into its misrepresentation of the truth.
Keep in mind that this is a list of strictly political donations and does not take into account the influence on the political debate of non-profits and their supposedly “non-political” advocacy of ideologically slanted “education” efforts that eventually end up as a part of the political dialogue. None of this is counted as political contributions, but it is a major source of the promotion of “progressive” ideology. This is a subject that I wrote about here.