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Spending Billions of Dollars to Control Judges & Buy Politicians

Progressive Politics 101 book graphic

Over many decades, the Koch network used think tanks and nonprofit political advocacy organizations to carefully cultivate, train, and brainwash judges.

  • They spent hundreds of millions of dollars to put their favorite judges on state, local, and federal benches and to support them in Supreme Court confirmation battles.
  • They spent tens of millions of dollars to put John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
  • They fund these efforts using dark (secret) money, like the nonprofits Judicial Crisis Network and the Federalist Society.
  • The Judicial Crisis Network bragged that in promoting the nomination of Neil Gorsuch alone, its media campaign had been viewed 1.2 billion times.
  • Between 2014 and 2017 alone, the Federalist Society collected over $250 million in donations to support extreme right-wing judges.
  • They funded the group Independent Women’s Voices to appear nonpartisan while fighting for extreme right-wing judges.
  • For example, the president of Independent Women’s Voices went on Fox News to express doubts about the memory of the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

The Koch network uses polls to craft the most persuasive:

  • messages
  • misleading or completely false advertisements
  • opinion essays
  • quotes for news stories
  • television pundit appearances
  • online videos
  • Facebook ads

In these ways, they support their favored judges and sabotage the judges they don’t want.

Under our terrible laws now, we can’t even find out who is funding these campaigns.  So these superrich conservatives may actually be spending money to eliminate judges who ruled against their business interests.

This is very dangerous.  It’s especially dangerous on the federal bench because federal court judges are lifetime jobs.

Buying Politicians

The Koch network spent plenty of money over decades constantly suing to loosen campaign finance rules, so they could buy politicians far more easily.

They finally won their long battle when the John Roberts Supreme Court ruled on the Citizens United case.

  • The Roberts court ruled corporations were “people” with “free speech” rights to secretly and massively finance political campaigns.
  • The effect—the Roberts court basically ruled it was unconstitutional to stop billionaires from buying politicians and elections!!
  • This unleashed a flood of dark money corrupting our elections and government.
  • Very often, you can’t even find out who is behind the ads.
  • In many Congressional races, dark money now outspends both the candidates and the Democratic and Republican parties.
  • We have no law requiring campaign ads to be truthful, so wealthy people and corporations can buy election ads with completely false information.

Research shows campaign funding alone gives you a very high chance of predicting who wins.

This means wealthy people can use money to poll, carefully manipulate people’s emotions on issues, lie, mislead, and usually control enough votes to win.

This is why studies show our government policies no longer reflect what most Americans want.

Billionaires now use their money to effectively manipulate and control voters, politicians, and judges.

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