democracy, latest, USA

Koch Brothers Now Supporting Hillary Clinton

by Eric Zuesse

On July 20th, a Republican U.S. Senator lost his main financial backers for having urged Republicans to vote for Donald Trump instead of for Hillary Clinton.

The Koch brothers speak with their words, which can’t be trusted, but they also speak with their money, their investments, which are always honest expressions of their actual beliefs and desires. This time, the Kochs spoke with their money, just a day after that Senator spoke with his words.

They spoke with their investments on July 19th, when they yanked their money from a U.S. Senator whom they had always financially backed, until now; and they did it immediately after that Senator not only went to the Republican National Convention where Donald Trump was to be nominated, but he gave there a powerful argument for Republicans to vote for Trump.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, from Wisconsin, told the assembled Convention (and the far larger number of people outside the Convention), on July 19th (and this is what the Kochs abandoned him over):

Let me repeat that — RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS — slaughtering and brutalizing their innocent victims.

So the question is, when will America actually confront this terrible reality?

We certainly won’t if Democrats win in November. …

Hillary Clinton is asking America to give her Obama’s third term.

The world is simply too dangerous to elect either of them [either Democrat Russ Feingold who is running to win the Republican Johnson’s Senate seat, or Hillary Clinton].

Instead, America needs strong leadership. Leaders who will jumpstart our economy, secure our borders, strengthen our military, and accomplish the goal President Obama set over twenty-two months ago [but failed to fulfill]: We must defeat ISIS, and then remain fully committed to destroying Islamic terrorists wherever they hide. …

It is a fight we absolutely must win.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence understand that these must be America’s top priorities. They will be strong leaders, working with Republicans in the House and Senate to achieve a goal that can unite us all: A safe, prosperous, and secure America.

Our future hangs in the balance. We must unify, work tirelessly, and together, save this great nation.

Unlike John Kasich, who had refused even to attend the Convention at all, or Ted Cruz, who did attend but refused to say anything at all in favor of Trump, Johnson was now actually campaigning for Trump against Hillary.

The next day, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel bannered “Koch brothers pull ad buy backing Ron Johnson”, and reported that, “A day after U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin spoke at the Republican National Convention, a group affiliated with the conservative Koch brothers pulled more than $2 million in ad time in the Badger State.”

In other words: immediately after one of their owned Senators campaigned for Trump, they cut off his main monetary lifeline.

This is a warning to any other Republican who might still be considering to campaign for Trump; it says, loud and clear: If you do that, you lose us.

The Koch-led contingent of Republican billionaires and centi-millionaires is one of two Republican financial-backer contingents. The other is led by Karl Rove.

The Koch-led network of billionaires (who rely upon hiring academia and media for manipulating voters), and the Rove-led network of billionaires (who rely far more heavily upon garnering Wall Street money and Evangelical clergy for manipulating voters), have long been the two financial mainstays of the Republican Party. The Kochs have now made unmistakably clear that they want Hillary Clinton to become the next President (and, thus, academics and the media will overwhelmingly support Hillary). Previously, there was question as to whether the Kochs would go so far as to help a Democrat; but, now, there is no serious doubt about it: they already do (though as quietly as possible, and not in their own — often lying — mere words).

The Rove-led billionaires’ faction are also strongly inclined to prefer Hillary, but can’t afford to alienate the Republican electorate, and so they will continue to support other Republicans but not Trump. (Consequently, Ron Johnson, for example, still can get their money.) They aren’t as emphatic about their backing of Hillary as the Koch-led faction is. They won’t withdraw their financial support from Republicans (such as Johnson) who campaign for Trump. They aren’t really pro-Hillary; but the Koch-contingent now are.

And then, of course, there’s Rupert Murdoch. On 17 May 2016, Gabriel Sherman headlined in New York magazine, “Why Rupert Murdoch Decided to Back Trump”, and he wrote:

According to one Fox News producer, the channel’s ratings dip whenever an anti-Trump segment airs. A Fox anchor told me that the message from Roger Ailes’s executives is they need to go easy on Trump. ‘It’s, ‘Make sure we don’t go after Trump,’ the anchor said. ‘We’ve thrown in the towel.’”

However, Sherman also noted that Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal was supporting Hillary. Murdoch has long been fond of her; and, in the pages of the WSJ, he still enjoys the freedom to shape the ‘news’ to favor her (something that would lose him audience if he were to do it at Fox). (He also supports both Obama and the Bushes. In one photo at a lobbyists’ dinner, he’s surrounded at his left by Obama’s longtime aide Valerie Jarret, and at his right by Jeb Bush, all three smiling like friends; but, in any case, all three are supporters of that same far-right Republican lobbying organization. At the top in American society, there is real bipartisanship. Another photo displaying such bipartisanship is of Donald and Melania Trump, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, warmly socializing together. These people aren’t at all enemies of one-another; they just play that on TV, in print, and etc. Those are the roles they play, not really who they are.)

Even as early as October 2015, it was clear that the Republican Party’s mega-donors were already contributing more money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign than to Donald Trump’s. They also were contributing more than they were to Clinton’s campaign, to each the Republican Presidential campaigns of: John Kasich, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and (the most of all, to) Jeb Bush. So, in the ultimate 17-candidate Republican field, Hillary was already getting more of the 2012 Romney donors’ money than was each campaign of Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, and (the least of all, they donated to) Jim Gilmore. So, if she were added to that 17-candidate Republican-candidate list, she’d have been #7 out of the 18 recipients of Republican money. (And that’s not even counting the money from Democratic-Party megadonors — virtually all of whom donated and donate only to Clinton.)

Perhaps Trump is hoping to get lots more contributions from Democratic donors than previous Republican Presidential nominees have. But he certainly won’t be able to come even close to matching Hillary’s campaign warchest, which is widely expected to break all previous records — and for good reason. (In fact, Hillary as the State Department chief, was, behind-the-scenes, ferociously assisting the Koch brothers, regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline project and other government-policy matters. She’s a proven dynamo for the super-rich.)

The question regarding Trump as President would be: would he sell the government (perhaps at low prices to his friends and at high prices to his enemies) for various prices (as Clinton already has done — sold it to both her friends and her ‘enemies’ — but which sales she now only needs to deliver on); or would he, instead, refuse to sell it, and actually try to run the U.S. government for and on behalf of the American public? He has no actual record in public office; so, there’s no way of answering that question, unless and until he becomes President. But if Hillary Clinton becomes President, then the outcome would be much more certain, because she already has a lengthy record in ‘public’ service. It’s one that the Kochs probably appreciate very much. (Hillary’s record as the U.S. Secretary of State is informative about the type of President she would make. Her real priorities are clear by her actions, though not at all by her words. By contrast, Trump’s priorities are, and might long remain, a mystery.)

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


    • Brian Harry, Australia says

      The article is dated 22 July 2016, and your link is dated April 2016………..

  1. allan scott says

    i wonder if all the libs who kept claiming the the COCK brothers were behind every single thing against libs will now sing their praises?

  2. Brian Fisher says

    With Koch financial backing – the USA may soon have have an ultra-right wing fascist Republican president. Hillary Clinton will also be the first female POTUS.

  3. Beth D says

    Both HIllary and Trump are liars. Trump is big mouthed and self-serving and most probably hangs out with other wealthy self-servers. Hillary is untrustworthy, also self-serving, and (if the Clinton Chronicles are anything to go by) there is strong evidence that in the good old days in Arkansaw, she and Billy-Jeff may have been implicated in fraud and possibly a multiutde of accidental deaths and suicides. She does worry me with her grandstanding toward Russia, which worries Russia, too. Putin said she’s pushing us toward atomic war, and of course, our media is so savvy that it didn’t even make the back pages as far as I know. It certainly didn’t headline–that one of the major world leaders thinks we’re on the brink. So if she wins, shut your eyes, whitewash your windows, hold your breath and hope for the best. If Trump wins, get out your bricks a trowels and start building the biggest wall since the Great Wall of China.

    It looks as if they’ve dredged the canals for these two candidates. Which mud pie covered in frothed scum of the great waters do you want to eat? Deary me. Thanks, but i’ll pass. None of the above.

    • elusive talent says

      You are soooooooo uber- sophisticated that you will NOT vote? Enjoy yourself in your small, self appreciating world.

  4. Come on this has got to stop. R we that ignorant and naïve? yes we the sheeple have form and history tell us as much. IE: Mussolini
    IE: Hitler
    IE: Ben Gurion
    IE: Reagan
    IE: Thacther
    IE: Berlusconi
    IE: BUSH 1 and Bush 2
    IE: Bubba Clinton
    IE: Nixon
    We r a sad lot. The western education system has guaranteed multiple generations of ignorance is bliss mentality .
    People still think that their r only two candidates for POTUS . Jill Stein for POTUS should be the new paradigm. Yes I believe in Santa Clause and the tooth Fairy. YESTERDAYS NEWS GETS WRAPPED IN TODAY’S FISH.

  5. Antodav says

    Wow, what a wonderfully misleading, dishonest clickbait headline. Good for the Kochs for refusing to open their wallets to anyone who supports the orange fürher.

    • SEJMON says

      We hope KOCHS will lost much more than MERCER lost on TED CRUZ.

  6. Reblogged this on Puppet Master's Slave Market and commented:

    Jill Stein for POTUS. The Green Party and A revitalized Sanders coalition could swing the election either way. That still means Trump, the lesser evil will seize the throne.

  7. Larry says

    This link is broken, or does not exist, and it is an important evidence for this story:
    Even as early as October 2015, it was clear that the Republican Party’s mega-donors were already contributing more money to Hillary Clinton’s campaign than to Donald Trump’s. They also were contributing more than they were to Clinton’s campa

  8. Tom says

    This is simply an example of poor journalism and analysis. There is simply no evidence of the Kochs supporting Clinton. The author here ASSUMES, out of ignorance or bias, that this election is a binary race between Clinton and Trump. Thus he speculates, since the Kochs, who have very Libertarian leanings, cannot support the madness of Trump, they must support Clinton. Well, this is hogwash. The fact is, and people are waking up to this as we speak, we have a multi candidate race occurring. The Libertarian ticket of Johnson/Weld is polling well into double digits and are likely to make the debates. As they grow in popularity and visibility, the threat to the two “major” parties becomes clear. In an election where the vast majority of Americans are repulsed by the two major party candidates, the media has a responsibility to highlight the other options and stop undermining democracy in our nation.

    • Larry says

      The Kochs, in a broadcast TV interview, said they were willing to support Hillary, if they could just have 30 minutes with her, behind closed doors, to define some issues. That means, they are willing to spend mega millions supporting her.

    • ruki says

      The reality is, the media has no such responsibility. Since its inception here, or at least since the start of the industrial revolution, it has always been used to support the wealthy citizens.

    • The only candidate who had an opportunity to make this non-binary was Bernie Sanders — he chose to endorse Hillary, instead. Even if the majority of his supporters opt to back Jill Stein, whose platform is the closest to that Sanders ran on, Stein can’t do much in this election than make her name known to more of the public and attract more support for the policies she advocates.

      As far as who gets to decide if the nuclear button gets pressed 2017-21, the choice is now between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

      • Seamus Padraig says

        If the Greens win at least 5% of the popular vote, they will qualify for federal matching funds in 2020. That’s yet another reason to vote for Jill Stein!

      • wanagiakicita says

        If you think the looney toon Stein comes closer to Sanders, you are slandering him…..she’s a wacko from the word go….you better check her out big time….she’s nothing but a Republican in GREEN clothing!

        • Mediagr says

          Jill Stein is currently running commercials in my area which are Pro-Trump/Anti-Clinton. She is very much supporting Trump which means many, myself included won’t even consider researching her. That commercial is all I need to know about her and all I need to know she will never get my vote.

    • Media in the USA never accepts responsibility! They, along with liberal educators own the problem!

    • The MSM is run and owned by the anglo-zionist and they have stopped functioning as the fourth estate way bak during the federal reserve act of 1913. The internet has been the liberation of the fourth estate and that is where one might get constructive independent analysis. U will never get it from the MSM. Fascism is well and thriving in western sphere countries . Has been for the majority of last century and into this new century

    • Rich Sklar says

      Anti Trump is not necessarily pro Hillary. Kochs are Libertarian and Gary Johnson is running as the Libertarian candidate. Plz stop perpetuating the 2-party duopoly. It’s about to be broken.

      • Brian Harry, Australia says

        Gary Johnson? The guy who’s been completely ignored by the mass media?…………If he’s still in the running, American voters would do well to vote for him, if for no other reason than to send a STRONG protest to the corrupted duopoly, that “Americans are not going to take it any more”!!

  9. SnoopMama says

    I agree that money severely taints the American process. However, I think Australia’s process is rotten too. People are forced to vote and penalized if they don’t. That may seem like a good idea but I’m not sure people who may have no understanding, knowledge, or concern about politics should be voting. They simply pick randomly to avoid a fine. Furthermore, there are SO many confusing political parties—The Single Parent Party, The Greens, The Sex Party, The Animal Friends, etc. This complicates the process and confuses people. And don’t get me started on the process of numerically ranking your choices for each and every office from least to greatest. It must take hours to vote. It’s no wonder so many Australians simply draw penises on their arm’s length voting paper. I guess we all have problems 🙂

  10. Bob781 says

    There is no real difference between the Bushes and the Clintons on policy. So it’s no surprise that the Koch brothers favor Hillary over Trump.

    • SEJMON says


    • michael straus says

      Your kidding we all know that it cannot be Trump//Pence. Lord help us all if that’s how it turns out!

  11. Dante Ardenz says

    I see some people caught in the Left\ Right matrix are missing the point here .
    Donald Trump has broken open the Republican Party .He has by media savvy ,celebrity ,and independent means highjacked it from the Neoconservative \ Fundamentalist \ Globalist \ Wall Street coalition which has dominated it since the 90 s.
    He is opposed to TTP,NAFTA ,NATO expansion ,and wants Glass Stegall returned to law ….he wants the empty paper wealth of hedge fund managers taxed.
    He sees the revival of the use of Constitutional Tariffs .

    He opposed war with Iraq ,and supporting terrorism to overthrow sovereign nations in the Middle East .

    The Koch Brothers know if Clinton\ Kaine ( Wall Street ,War Globalism ) win,she and their Republican puppets ,Ryan ,McCain, McConnel , Toomey will give them what they want as President Clinton gave thrm in the 1990 s as ” A New Democrat “.

    A Trump loss will give them back real leverage and power on the GOP.

    Take note ,Mrs Clinton have Bernie Sanders ZERO .
    She knows stupid ” Liberals ” caught in the left \ right matrix will vote for her anyway .
    Think about it .

    • Louis says

      So well spoken Dante. I hope people understand the picture you just painted. Excellent analysis.

  12. Alan says

    What a cluster f***** we have ! A Reagan based rational GOP backed third party alternative to Trump will stop Clinton from getting 270 EC votes and send presidential election to House, where the GOP can claim a victory. Koch political machine will provide needed funding. We must move forward TODAY !!

    • michael straus says

      And never let Trump even get close to the big house!

      • Sandy says

        I’d love to see him in the big house. A federal penitentiary!!!! He’s broken laws, cheated people with that trump university, etc. Yeah. The big house for Trump. Don’t drop the soap asshole. Ha!


  13. D3F1ANT says

    Who cares if the Koch brothers don’t support Trump. He’s got his own money. He doesn’t need them. That’s exactly why I love the guy. He’s not beholden to ANYONE.

  14. Hated by Greenpeace for their opposition to legislation to fight climate change, the Koch brothers are powerful players in the oil and coal industries the US, but they have their fingers in a lot of other pies too. Along with “Big Oil”, they are rumored to be funding “climate denial”. At least, that’s what the climate alarmists say.

    There has never been a clearer choice on the issue of how America should act regarding fossil fuel exploitation. Clinton is on record as saying she wants to close down the coal industry while Trump says he will restore it to its former glory. She is against the Keystone pipeline and fracking while he is in favor of them.

    If the Kochs are who their detractors say they are, they should be backing Trump over Clinton this time around, but they aren’t. Something doesn’t add up here. Either they are backing Hillary out of their devotion to progressive causes, or they’ve been given assurances by her that her presidency would not damage their business interests.

    • Frankly there’s something wrong in the entire “nice oligarchs v. nasty oligarchs” paradigm that forms the basis of so much discussion about the Koch bros. Faux oppositional distraction “politics” is replacing real debate and real opposition everywhere.

    • Hillary flip-flopped on Keystone (and will again, if elected, fear not); as for her position on fracking, as Politico says, “her current position leaves more wiggle room than Sanders’ statement [charging her with supporting it] suggests.

      Flip-flops and wiggle-rooms are her trademark, and simply not good enough.

  15. rtj1211 says

    Well, I guess if people don’t think there is a real choice they should organise a mass campaign to spoil ballot papers.

    What would be the reputation of the USA if 100 million voting cards were spoiled?

    • Vretas says

      We don’t have “ballot papers.” We vote electronically and our choices are also recorded as a hard copy on a paper– like a cash register receipt but it is sealed inside the voting machine. It’s viewable through a little plastic window so you can see that your vote was recorded. The process may vary in different states but I’m wondering if you are in a difernt country that votes differently?

  16. The pantomime of politics writ big here by Eric Zuesse. How the main patrons get to call the tune and even the script [US, UK, EU it’s all the same].

    Studying form [or in Trumps case- no form] Koch Bros. have jumped horses. So Trump is clearly the wild card that many won’t now back. All except the Dirty Digger who’s backing both horses.

    So it looks as if the American people might have to decide who is the least crazy horse in the quadrennial dumb ass derby…

  17. Brian Harry, Australia says

    No further proof required that America’s elections are rotten to the core, and so called “Freedom and Democracy” is a total sham. Is it any wonder that only about half of American voters(if that) bother to vote, and given the choice facing them in November, they really have no choice at all.

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