We call it Minnesota Nice.
We already know that Koch Industries was co founded by Anna Nicole Smith's former husband. I'm sure that revelation curled some toes in conservative Central Minnesota.
It seem also that a high profile GOP staffer, who now is employed by Koch Industries, may have assisted former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in his illegal lobby dealings. Whether they knowingly or unknowingly assisted is at question now, per the story cited above.
It's pretty clear where the Koch family charitable interests go as well.
David and Charles Koch, sons of the ultraconservative founder of Koch Industries, Fred Koch, direct the three Koch family foundations: the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.
Following in the footsteps of their father, a member of the John Birch Society, the Kochs clearly have a conservative bent. Charles Koch founded the Cato Institute, and David Koch co-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) [now FreedomWorks], where he serves as chairman of the board of directors. David also serves on the board of the Cato Institute. The Koch foundations make substantial annual contributions to these organizations (more than $12 million to each between 1985 and 2002) as well as to other influential conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, media organizations, academic institutes and legal organizations, thus participating in every level of the policy process.
Their total conservative policy giving exceeded $20 million between 1999 and 2001.
Curtis Moore argues that "Koch money funds industry-friendly messages that fill our airwaves and editorial pages, and influences outcomes in the halls of Congress and courtrooms across the country." CSE produces numerous policy papers that reach every congressional office as well as hundreds of newsletters and op-ed pieces. Representatives of the organization may be seen on a number of radio and television shows. Cato's influence also extends to policymakers and the public.
In touting limited government and free markets, these organizations doubt the dangers of various chemicals, environmental pollutants and global warming, as well as challenge research efforts documenting these hazards. One CSE paper argued that "environmental conservation requires a commonsense approach that limits the scope of government."
In writing these papers and making these appearances, individuals associated with these organizations often conveniently decline to acknowledge the substantial funding they receive from Koch and other corporations from the oil, coal, auto and other industries. By withholding such information, they are able to front as unbiased the public-minded associations promoting rigorous scientific research and economic autonomy, when, in fact, the individuals are mere mouthpieces for industries like that of the Koch brothers.
These organizations influence not only public opinion and policy but also judicial outlook. For example, in 1999 CSE subsidized the creation of amici
briefs providing reasons to proclaim the Clear Air Act unconstitutional. CSE received $600,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation that year. The foundation also provided substantial funding to the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), which holds seminars for federal judges at its ranch near Big Sky, Montana. Many influential judges attend these seminars, including those who heard arguments made by legal representatives receiving funding from CSE. It makes sense that the Kochs would fund such anti-environment organizations, given their seedy past of environmental violations and lawsuits.
Most significantly, the U.S. Department of Justice charged Koch Industries with
97 counts of defying federal hazardous waste and clean air-acts when it
knowingly emitted benzene fumes and then lied about its actions when questioned.
In 2001, Koch Industries agreed to a $20 million settlement, a drastically smaller sum than it would have paid if convicted.
I suggest going to the main link to view the sources used in this piece as well.
This is the company that wants a pipeline built in rural Central Minnesota.
More research pending!