Friday, October 03, 2003

Koch Industries is the 2nd largest privately owned company in the U.S. Here's a story from today's Journal World in Lawrence Kansas describing how Koch, and other special interests like Indian Casinos, use so-called 527 PACs to funnel huge amounts of money into campaigns. Jane Fonda has used the technique to give more than $13 million to pro-abortion campaigns and other causes aimed at putting ultraliberals in office.

New federal regulations will prevent federal politicians, such as Senator Sam Brownback who is featured in this article, from running these 527 PACs. But, Koch Industries and people like Fonda can still set them up on their own as a way of bypassing the already sky-high limits on what they can give to politicians directly.

Another story in yesterdays Oil and Gas World indicates that Koch has agreed to pay a fine for spewing pollutants into the air in violation of the Clean Air Act. Politicians wouldn't accept contributions from street criminals, so why are they willing to allow corporate criminals to help them get elected?

Here's yet another story from the Des Moines Register indicating that a Koch subsidiary spilled 58,000 gallons of amonia fertilizer into a river.

"State biologists using sampling methods set by the American Fisheries Society estimated that 1,156,066 fish worth $118,431 died along 31 miles of Lotts Creek, and 139,139 fish worth $29,282 were killed along 17 miles of the East Fork of the Des Moines River," says the paper.

You can bet that Koch is making sure that politicians who are sympathetic to their point of view are getting into office, but where does that leave the rest of us? Who is speaking up for the people who make their livelihood or feed their families from the fish in that river? What has Senator Brownback, who Koch likes enough to give $30,000 to his PAC, said about these law violations of Koch?

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