Koch to Obama Campaign: Unbecoming a President – Irresponsible Misleading

The low-brow Chicago thugs involved with Obama’s fundraising sent out a scathing fundraising appeal with the Koch brothers who generally support Conservatives, the target of their wrath. In the letter they tell Democrats the Koch Brothers make “millions by jacking up prices at the pump….” The letter said the Kochs have “bankrolled Tea Party extremism and they have tried to “destroy” Obama. They ask for donations to the “Two-Term Fund.” Phillip Ellender, head of Government Affairs and Public Relations for Koch replied. I personally think Mr. Ellender is talking over their heads.

Charles and David Koch


The Koch brothers David and Charles are Libertarian and they donate to organizations that further that message. On both sides of politics, philanthropists fund those who will move their message into the community, and their monies give a voice to the people. These days, that voice coming from the Liberal side is an ugly one, always accusing, always conniving, always smearing. That’s what the fundraising letter from Jim Messina tried to do to the Kochs.

Here’s just some of what David Koch has contributed back:

As a prostate cancer survivor, David Koch’s gift of $100 million in 2007 created the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, which opened March 3, 2011. Other cancer-fighting gifts include:

In 2011, Mr. Koch received the Humanitarian of the Year award from the American Apparel and Footwear Association for his long-standing support of organizations working to find a cure for prostate cancer. The awards gala raised more than $1.1 million for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In 2007, Mr. Koch was honored with the Double Helix Medal for Corporate Leadership from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for supporting research that, “improves the health of people everywhere.”

Education & Science

Mr. Koch supports science-related projects including funding of the long-running PBS documentary series, “Nova,” and a science and technology center at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. As the national sponsor of The Bill of Rights Institute’s 2009-2010 high school essay contest, Mr. Koch’s philanthropy helps educate young people about the words and ideas of the nation’s founders. Winners of the “Being An American” contest were honored at a gala held in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Koch’s $15 million gift to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., created the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins that opened spring 2010. The 15,000-square-foot exhibit offers visitors an immersive and interactive museum experience. In 2006, he made a $20 million gift to the American Museum of Natural History, creating the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing.

Public Policy

A passionate believer in free societies, Mr. Koch has funded research and education programs that analyze how freedom creates prosperity and advances social progress.  He serves on the boards of the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation and Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Arts & Culture

Gifts to the arts from the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation have benefited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and theAmerican Ballet Theater. In 2008, the foundation gave $100 million for the preservation and renovation of the State Theater of New York at Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera. The theater has been renamed the David H. Koch Theater.

Charles Koch and David Koch were among Newsweek’s 2008 list of America’s Biggest Givers, with donations of $440 Million and $246 Million respectively. Among others, funds went to The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $100 Million to renovate the New York State Theater, which includes the Lincoln Center, Florida State University, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Salvation Army George Mason University and the Bill of Rights Institute.

Compare that to George Soros’ donations to Liberia, Moldova and to microfinance in India.

The following is the letter from Ellender, showing the Obama fundraising letter to be as small and mean as it is:

Mr. Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Dear Mr. Messina:

Because every American has the right to take part in the public discourse on matters that affect the future of our country, I feel compelled to respond directly about a fundraising letter you sent out on February 24 denouncing Koch. It is both surprising and disappointing that the President would allow his re-election team to send such an irresponsible and misleading letter to his supporters.

For example, it is false that our “business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump.” Our business vision begins and ends with value creation — real, long-term value for customers and for society. We own no gasoline stations and the part of our business you allude to, oil and gas refining, actually lowers the price of gasoline by increasing supply. Either you simply misunderstand the way commodities markets work or you are misleading your supporters and the rest of the American people.

Contrary to your assertion that we have “committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama,” we have stated publicly and repeatedly since last November that we have never made any such claim or pledge. It is hard to imagine that the campaign is unaware of our publicly stated position on that point. Similarly, Americans for Prosperity is not simply “funded by the Koch brothers,” as you state — rather it has tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life. Further, our opposition to this President’s policies is not based on partisan politics but on principles. Charles Koch and David Koch have been outspoken advocates of the free-market for over 50 years and they have consistently opposed policies that frustrate or subvert free markets, regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican was President.

If the President’s campaign has some principled disagreement with the arguments we are making publicly about the staggering debt the President and previous administrations have imposed on the country, the regulations that are stifling business growth and innovation, the increasing intrusion of government into nearly every aspect of American life, we would be eager to hear them. But it is an abuse of the President’s position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy. The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.

This is not the first time that the President and his Administration have engaged in this sort of disturbing behavior. As far back as August, 2010, Austan Goolsbee, then the President’s chief economic advisor, made public comments concerning Koch’s tax status and falsely stated that the company did not pay income tax, which triggered a federal investigation into Mr. Goolsbee’s conduct that potentially implicated federal law against improper disclosure of taxpayer information. Last June, your colleagues sent fundraising letters disparaging us as “plotting oil men” bent on “misleading people” with “disinformation” in order to “smear” the President’s record. Those accusations were baseless and were made at the very same time the president was publicly calling for a more “civil conversation” in the country.

It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be “tired of hearing” that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint. Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.
We agree with the President that civil discourse is an American strength. That is why it is troubling to see a national political campaign apparently target individual citizens and private companies for some perceived political advantage. I also hope the President will reflect on how the approach the campaign is using is at odds with our national values and the constitutional right to free speech.

Philip Ellender
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

Read PowerLine’s remarks regarding the Messina letter here.

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook

  • Nicole Schuman

    Good point. I hope that the president will not neglect his country men.

  • Rose.Ann

    How I wish people will make a change using their one vote to attain the greatness, everyone want for the government…

  • Nancy37

    I’m so excited to hear the words of leadership from our running president, debating is the best way to know who are the worth leader for or lovable country…

  • Brien27

    How I wish there such a leader that will stand for the greatness of life, a leader that will bring a huge changes and improvement to all…