Last week, we broke national news that the Koch brother’s fake grassroots organization, Americans for Prosperity, was pulling out of New Mexico ahead of the state’s 2014 elections. That’s good news for New Mexicans. Even the conservative Rio Grande Foundation blogged about it, saying it was “bad news for conservatives and good news for left-wing liberals.”
But just because the Koch brothers are closing the doors on their fake grassroots operation doesn’t mean they are giving up their tried and true tactics of simply buying support the old fashioned way: with cash. And they have lots of cash. (Forbes estimates they’re worth $36 billion each.)
All this got us thinking about how the Koch brothers first got really interested in buying New Mexico politics. Answer: Allen Weh, the former NM Republican Party Chair and current Republican candidate for US Senate.
It wasn’t until Weh was state Republican Party Chair that the Koch brothers gave their first big five-figure contribution to a New Mexico party or politician.
Chemical & Related Manufacturing
|NEW MEXICO REPUBLICAN PARTY||WICHITA, KS||$10,000||10/23/2008|
Source: FollowTheMoney.org, Federal Election Commission Reports, 2008
Since then they’ve been giving more and more (click the table to enlarge):
Source: New Mexico Campaign Finance Information System (CFIS)
As you can see, the billionaire Koch brothers don’t just spend their money and attempt to exert political influence through the many tentacles of their fake-grassroots political organizations like AFP. (Another one their ersatz grassroots operations is trying to trick young people into believing their corporate conservative hype.) The Koch’s have an array of outlets from which they can funnel money into the campaigns and candidates that will advance their corporate bottom-line and their ultra-right agenda.
The moral of the story is this: Though the Koch’s disbanded their AFP operation in New Mexico we should expect copious amounts of money from their other organizations (like KOCHPAC and Koch Industries) to continue flowing into the campaign coffers of Susana Martinez, their first friend in New Mexico, Allen Weh, and other conservative candidates and causes as the 2014 election season heats up.
The Koch’s might have taken their boots off the ground in New Mexico, but their war against affordable healthcare, sound science , and the progressive ideals that move our country forward is far from finished.
Fortunately, we here at ProgressNow New Mexico aren’t going anywhere.