I’m sure you already know about the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, the two billionaires who have set out to undermine democracy in America. And I’m sure you know they and their toxic money are everywhere, even in local elections, across the nation. You will find their fingerprints on an array of subversive state laws – from stand-your-ground to voter suppression and anti-choice. But I bet you didn’t suspect they were lurking in Chris Christie’s ample shadow.
How can that be? After all, the Kochs are extremists. Tea Party types who would tear the country to shreds to impose their dogma on an unwilling populace.
And Christie, the pundits say, is a moderate. A no-nonsense kind of guy who takes the pragmatic approach. Sensible. Reasonable…
So they say.
So why is Christie in bed with the Koch Brothers?
In an article circulated by Truthout this morning, the BBC’s Greg Palast recalls that back in 2012, the Committee for Our Children’s Future paid for “a series of TV ads telling America that Governor Christie has performed more miracles in New Jersey than Jesus did with loaves and fish.” He says the money for the ads came from the Koch Brothers.
Palast suggests that secret meetings between Christie and the Kochs, followed by massive campaign support from organizations funded by the billionaire brothers, point to a violation of America’s election laws. He explains that:
Despite the Supreme Court stripping naked almost all restrictions on political expenditures, the Justices did firmly secure a critically placed fig leaf: “Independent” organizations may not, in any way whatsoever, plan with, secretly coordinate with, make or take suggestions from, nor consult with, a candidate
Palast wants the investigations surrounding Christie’s bridge-closing scandal expanded to include the New Jersey governor’s dealings with the Kochs and their allies.
He observes that:
It was right after the rogues’ gallery of billionaires made their secretive push for Christie that CCF spent $6 million to praise the governor. Notably, the spokesman for both Restore Our Future and Committee for Our Children’s Future, and the only identifiable operator for CCF, is an outfit called Black Rock.
Also, Politico reports that something called Arena Communications of Utah, a recipient of at least $670,973 from Restore Our Future (another Koch organization), is virtually the sole donor and operator of the mysterious and short-lived Draft Christie for President Inc.
There are other indications that Christie is a member of the Koch Brothers network. He has endorsed politicians like Scott Walker, and is fundraising for congressional candidate Steve Lonegan, for example. Walker, the Wisconsin governor, was famously exposed taking orders on the phone from someone posing as Charles Koch. Lonegan, who recently ran against Corey Booker for the Senate, is the former New Jersey head of Americans for Prosperity, one of the Koch Brothers’ most infamous fronts.
Commenting on Christie’s support for Lonegan, Josh Israel of Think Progress observes:
Though Christie ran in 2009 promising a middle-of-the-road “common-sense approach,” this move puts him squarely behind a far-right Tea Party candidate best known for his attacks on immigration and Spanish-language ads — and his own record of hiring undocumented immigrants.
Obviously, Chris Christie is no “moderate.” He is anything he has to be to advance his political career. And that includes being an ally of rabid right-wingers dedicated to the destruction of American society as we know it today.