Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.

October 3rd, 2011 2:16 PM

There Are Many More Koch Brother Secret Sins (VIDEO)

The Bloomberg news investigation into Charles and David Koch has uncovered unlawful and unpatriotic environmental crimes, political donations and business decisions benefiting Iran. There are so many secret sins committed by the Koch brothers no one story can cover it all.

But this is the story everyone will be talking about. We've documented many of the Koch brothers' attacks on middle class families, and detailed their commitment to ending public education and resegregating communities.

The Koch brothers have smeared us and journalists who investigate their misdeeds. But the totality of evidence is clear: through our Koch Brothers Exposed film series, as well as reports in the New Yorker and now Bloomberg Markets magazine, there exists beyond a shadow of a doubt the Koch brothers' culpability for the onslaught against Social Security, the environment, our public education system and much more.

The Koch brothers use their $50 billion personal wealth to distort and shape policy to grow their corporate profits. The Koch brothers hate public service, and work to deny the government and public sector any chance at success and social good. So when a Southern school board began blazing a trail by growing academic achievement in a diverse community, the brothers acted to reverse the community's gains.

The video is about a school district that sets the agenda for communities across the nation. Wake County, NC was unique for its ability to grow successful outcomes for students with varying ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The achievement gap between race and class continued shrinking, and educators everywhere attributed the success to how the school board assigned students to school.

The Koch brothers are keen to let their think tanks and front groups do their dirty work for them. They have donated more than $5 million to Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group that allied with like-minded organizations in North Carolina. The Koch brothers put their money to work, and the result was external groups laying the groundwork for a long, subtle campaign to elect a new school board majority.

The Koch-supported candidates won and promptly began reversing the student assignment plan. They favored one that would lead to segregated schools. The Koch brothers' plan to resegregate schools hit a roadblock when students, parents, teachers, and civil rights leaders united to stop the return to Jim Crow.

Bloomberg's findings about the Kochs' approving sales to anti-American agents in Iran, bribing African officials and the Koch way of stealing oil from Native Americans and lying to regulators is truly disturbing, but there's so much more to the Koch legacy of sin.

The Koch-supported school board members in North Carolina face an election this month. An anonymous campaign flier, which could come back to Koch-supported groups, accuses the NAACP of indoctrinating local anti-resegregation candidates. It's drawn scrutiny from state officials. The Kochs' wealth has been behind similar smear campaigns and stunts in Michigan and Wisconsin.

In the aggregate, the Koch brothers are the personification of what's driving hundreds of people to occupy Boston, Los Angeles and elsewhere, and the thousands of protesters and sitting-in outside Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. The Koch brothers have been chipping away at the American social contract and grand bargain: that people who want to work can have a decent standard of living. That promise is in tatters, and that's why so many people, young and old, find it necessary to make their voices heard in our cities.

Before the Bloomberg report was published, the Koch brothers were playing defense through friendly media outlets. They attacked Bloomberg loudly and routinely, often questioning the integrity of the Fourth Estate and attempting to chill a free press. The Koch brothers are the subject of press and activist scrutiny because they embody a generation of excess. Whether it's chartering a vacation yacht for $500,000 per week or donating $28.4 million to think tanks that attack Social Security, the Koch brothers are leading the corporate charge to put profits before people.

The Koch brothers' defenders in friendly media outlets lump the brothers in with the excess of dozens of corporations that regularly violate laws and skirt punishments. This is simply more grist and motivation propelling the protestors who are occupying our cities.

May it be the first step toward our own Arab Spring, or in other words, a path toward ending the Koch Winter.

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? Ray McGovern Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity Donna Smith The dysfunction of the US health care system...

Feb 27th
1:40 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles