Six Degrees of David and Charles Koch
Sometimes I act. Several years ago I acted in a two-woman play with a talented young actor who, unlike me, was young enough and pretty enough and thin enough to go pro. A few days ago I saw her in a television commercial.
More recently, I was in a show that needed some additional male actors. I put out the word and a friend responded. He and a male friend of his joined the cast. A day after seeing the television commercial I learned that a female cast member from that later show and the friend’s friend who joined it have since dumped their spouses and moved in together. His divorce attorney is the husband of the young actress in the commercial. It turns out we also both had parts in different films that were screened at the Wisconsin Film Festival this year.
Some might attribute such odd happenstances to the quirks of fate. I tend to think everything is connected. Like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, nothing is truly chance.
We laugh at people who believe in conspiracy theories. We scoff at the idea, convinced it is no more real than the boogeyman. But who can prove the boogeyman isn’t real?
Look carefully in that closet, because the vast right-wing conspiracy may soon be coming to a neighborhood near you. Or more than likely it is already there. And closing the closet door will not help you. Information and knowledge might.
Without them, the entwined and interwoven forces behind far-right organizations remain invisible, snaring ordinary, everyday people who support and donate to them, unaware that they are being manipulated. And the trail always leads back to the Kochs and their cronies. The Koch brothers being the uber-secretive, uber-conservative uber-billionaires who are uber-intent on reshaping government on the local, state, and national levels to allow them to make greater profits.
Don’t believe it? Pick a group, any conservative group, and look who’s behind it. I’ll give you some examples to get you started.
1. Kirsten Lombard is currently running the “Wisconsin 9-12 Project.” Kirsten is half of a political consulting firm that promotes conservative Republican candidates by manipulating people at the local level, in part through control of social media.
3. a. The Kochs funnel money to the Republicans, including $1.1 million given to the Republican Governors Association, which spent more than $3.4 million in support of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker.
3. b. American Majority is a right-wing group that trains Tea Party members. Co-founder Drew Ryun was a deputy director at the Republican National Committee. His brother and co-founder, Ned Ryun, was a writer in the George W. Bush White House.
4. American Majority is funded in large part by the Sam Adams Alliance.
5. Eric O’Keefe, the chairman and CEO of the Sam Adams Alliance, and who helps lead American Majority, has been a Koch aide and attends and also helps lead Koch strategy meetings. He sits on the Board of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a branch of the Koch connected Club for Growth.
The Rock River Patriots claims to be a non-partisan grassroots activist group.
1. Rock River Patriots self-identifies as a Tea Party Patriot Group.
2. Tea Party Patriots is a conservative group organized by FreedomWorks; the principal organizers of Tea Party events are Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works
3. a. Americans for Prosperity was founded in part by David Koch (the chairman of the board of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation) and his company funds Americans for Prosperity.
3. b. FreedomWorks was created from the merger of Citizens for a Sound Economy and Empower America. Citizens for a Sound Economy was co-founded by David Koch.
United Sportsmen of Wisconsin (USW) states that its mission is to protect the rights of and advocate on behalf of hunters, fishermen, trappers and gun owners in Wisconsin. Apparently that required it to send out misleading (possibly illegal) absentee ballot applications to Democrat leaning voters in the summer 2011 elections of recalled Republican senators. The applications were designed to result in a invalid vote.
1. The USW website subscription page linked to http://jconnorsandco.com
2. J Connors & Company, founded by John Connors, is a Milwaukee political consulting firm supporting conservative Republican candidates.
3. John Connors has been a local Wisconsin leader of Americans for Prosperity. In 2008, Connors was listed as AFP’s “Students for Prosperity Director.” He has also been tweeting AFP events in recent months.
4. Americans for Prosperity was founded in part by David Koch (the chairman of the board of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation) and his company funds Americans for Prosperity.
Connections. Chance? Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Go ahead – you try it. Are you getting scared yet?