Billionaire Koch brothers losing patience as the GOP wavers on the Obamacare repeal.
Faced with angry voters at Town Hall meetings, GOP lawmakers are thinking twice about repealing Obamacare. But the deep-pocketed fossil fuels industrialists Charles and David Koch are losing patience and plan to remind these errant members of Congress who they really work for.
The New York Times reports the Koch brothers are launching yet another campaign called “You Promised,” and are “prepared to spend heavily.” Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-fueled Americans for Prosperity says they plan on doubling down on their Obamacare repeal efforts.
“We’ve been patient this year, but it is past time to act and to act decisively. Our network has spent more money, more time and more years fighting Obamacare than anything else. And now with the finish line in sight, we cannot allow some folks to pull up and give up.”
Phase one involves more internet ads with more phony testimonials from people claiming they’ve been hurt by Obamacare. FreedomWorks, another Koch-backed group also plans to kick off its “month of action” with a rally in Washington, D.C. on March 15. They’ll also be sending so-called “activists” to hunt down errant Republicans and hand them printouts with their own calls to repeal Obamacare.
Noah Wall, another paid “activist” and FreedomWorks’ national director of campaigns, adds that if these lawmakers keep listening to constituents who are terrified about losing their health care, he’ll find some “really angry constituents” to harass them.
“I’m going to fill their offices with really angry constituents, and they’re going to listen. And if they don’t I’m going to go back into their district and fill their district offices with angry constituents. And we’ll do this again and again.”
Through Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers have already spend tens of millions of dollars on taking people’s health care away. Obamacare has its faults, mainly because for-profit companies are involved. But without it, CNBC reports, 32 million Americans would become uninsured by 2026 and the cost of premiums for those of us who don’t get health insurance through our employers would double.
The GOP’s president Donald Trump and other Republicans keep howling about “paid protesters,” but Politifact reports there is “no evidence that protesters are paid to disrupt Republican town hall meetings.” If you listen carefully to right-wingers, you’ll find that they often assume their opponents resort to the low-down tactics they themselves employ.
As the Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch explains, the Koch brothers have built a multi-million dollar political army. They’ve built a voters database that the RNC envies, and a former president of the Koch’s Freedom Partners has even referred to their backers as “our investors.” And their latest secret weapon is their so-called Grassroots Leadership Academy (GLA), which has operations in 35 states.
The Grassroots Leadership Academy (GLA) is the new boot camp for the AFP ground game. Its mission, as stated on its website, is to develop the leadership skills needed “to fight for freedom and against the progressive policies and false narratives of the left” through its three-step educational program.
GLA holds classes where right-wingers can earn “grassroots activist” and “community mobilizer” certificates. As of March, 2016, they’d already held 116 trainings in 26 states, were adding more daily, and claimed to have over 2.8 million people “mobilized.” Six states alone have over 100,000 Koch-trained “activists”: California, Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida
Of course, groups like Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners are set up as 501(c)(4) nonprofits and claim they’re non-political. But if that’s the truth, why did they spend $400 million in 2012 and and $220 million in 2014 — both election years — but only $57 million in 2015? Charles and David Koch spent $220 million. In 2016, they were set to spend a whopping $889 million but dialed it back. This was in part because of their lack of enthusiasm for Donald Trump and partly because they’ve been rightly vilified.
But after the millions they’ve invested in the GOP’s hostile takeover of America, the Koch brothers need to keep their bought-and-paid-for GOP lawmakers in line.
The scary reason why the Koch brothers care about Obamacare so much.
But why do Charles and David Koch have such a grudge against Obamacare? After all, Koch Industries has received millions in subsidies through the ACA. Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks hit the nail on the head back in 2014: They want to undermine the public’s faith in government. As quoted from a 2014 article from The New York Times:
They are also trying to present the law as a case study in government ineptitude to change the way voters think about the role of government for years to come.
Here’s the video, with Cenk Uygur explaining why Charles and David Koch are spending so much to attack Obamacare.
Featured image: LC Indivisible via Twitter.