How they betrayed and defrauded Libertarians and the Ron Paul Revolution
person or corporation is entirely responsible for what is happening
to people across America, and to the land, water, and air which
encloses and sustains all of us today. However, the Kochs, as the
owners of Koch Industries, are responsible for their choices to a far
greater degree than officers and stock holders in a normal
corporation would be. The choices made were directly their
responsibility, though the active decision maker was, undoubtedly,
aided by his brother, David, systematically manipulated the legal and
regulatory structure of government, paid for by Americans, to
effectively operate without accountability. Although other major oil
companies follow the same strategy, Koch Industries, lead by Charles,
is the leader of the pack.
were running the local grocery store, a Hell's Angel's motorcycle
gang, or a used car lot, they would be an annoyance. The long term
effects would have been limited. But the scope of their goals and
the money they spend to achieve these threatens all of us. They must
be stopped. This is why attacking them on issues of the environment
is a mistake. Instead, they need to be confronted on the
Merchantilist fiction they call a 'free market.'
is a Free Market?
Murray Rothbard said this. “Some
critics of the free-market argue that property rights are in conflict
with "human" rights. But the critics fail to realize that
in a free-market system, every person has a property right over his
own person and his own labor, and that he can make free contracts for
those services. Slavery violates the basic property right of the
slave over his own body and person, a right that is the groundwork
for any person's property rights over nonhuman material objects.
What's more, all rights are human rights, whether it is everyone's
right to free speech or one individual's property rights in his own
Murray's essay after all these years did not reveal anything new for
me. But it did remind us the issue is not free market economics, but
ethics and what constitutes criminal behavior. Many points reported
in this article came from first hand observations of those involved.
From 1973 until 1988 I was a member of the Libertarian Party and, for
most of that time, was very actively involved from the local to the
and I were both members of the Radical Caucus and talked regularly.
an article published in Bloomberg titled, Koch
Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales,
by By Asjylyn Loder and David Evans, appearing October 3, 2011,
information on an internal business strategy, referred to as the Koch
Method, came to public attention. The 'method' mandates lying,
cheating, and stealing to win. Just don't get caught.
Method perfectly replicates what I experienced in the Libertarian
Party at the hands of Crane and his flunkies. This gives weight to
the conclusion the Koch Method originated with the Kochs and was
shared with Crane, who may well have augmented these techniques as a
political operative working for the Kochs.
The method ignores the well-being of
those not working for them. Others contribute but are viewed as cash
cows, assets to be kept in the dark and defrauded of money and labor. This is in absolute
alignment with the Kochs business practices.
the cover of what they characterize as a 'free market' the Kochs
force others to pay the most substantial cost their business must
account for, the loses accrued when your product causes damage to
others. If they were acting ethically Charles and David would
recognize their obligation to make anyone damaged by them whole.
They could take out comprehensive insurance and operate within
guidelines which would minimize the possibility of doing harm to
others. But that would likely be far more expensive than simply
ignoring those they harm, lawyering up, and exerting the political
influence for which they pay. Punitive damages are intended to drive
home the message in such instances.
Kochs are not free market and not ethical. Instead, they claim to
be, evoking the power of rhetoric instead of rubber-hits-the-road
corporations and groups spend money. But not only do the Kochs spend
more, they intentionally act to keep Americans unaware of what their
real goals and unable to respond in their own defense. It has been
four years since the Citizens United Decision was handed down by the
Supreme Court and the impact is now clear.
decision was predicated on a presumption of a transparency the Kochs
have continued to evade. These techniques have been shared with
others and find startling parallels in the mortgage meltdown.
manipulations by the Kochs began far earlier than is generally known,
and knowing the story sheds light on their behavior and the motives
political intrigues and frauds actually began with the Libertarian
Party in 1977 and the first attempt at starting an organization to lend
cover to their agenda for control, highly successful from their
perspective, was Cato Institute.
Today they have dispensed with pretense and now have assumed public control of the think-tank they always owned.
ever having been benefactors, the Kochs ruthlessly, and with
forethought, paid Ed Crane to deliver the Libertarian Party to them
to be used as a political weapon under their control. Crane and his
minions profited enormously through their attempts. This was
undertaken without regard for the time and money capital ordinary
people had invested in a political movement intended to return
control to people at the local level.
This was an
unthinkable violation of trust.
eventually failed to control the Libertarian Party. But they left it
with a centralized structure, reorganized by Crane for the Kochs.
After this failure they orchestrated an effort to destroy the
nascent political party, aimed at convincing the most effective
activists to re-register Republican. Beginning in 1985 activists
were called in multiple attempts to persuade them to leave,
re-registering Republican. This marks the shift from the use of a
third party to the GOP as the Koch focus.
exactly what he was doing, and why. At the 1977 National Convention
in San Francisco Crane openly told Karl Bray
and Gail Lightfoot,
later a several term state chairman for California, he was finished
with politics and intended to start a not-for-profit and make some
real money. Gail recalled this conversation to me earlier this week.
paid for these services. This was a gross and unforgivable violation
of the trust invested in someone acting as an officer of the
a political voice was needed was so the ideas of individual freedom
could be heard. But the strongest voice is not heard in rhetoric but
in the far more eloquent language of action.
early years most libertarian activists wanted a return to local
control, individual rights, and justice for everyone. Local
governance, reserving power to the people, is inherent in the
Constitution. Centralized power delivers control to an elite.
was elected National Chairman in 1974 and served until he left to
become the head of CATO Institute, while also running the Clark for
President campaign, first for the nomination and then Clark's
campaign for president. The agreement with state and local parties
was to exchange lists. But I soon noticed no larger donors were on
the lists we received. This was confirmed when a local couple I knew
from other activities commented they did not even know Los Angeles
had an active Libertarian organization. Our first Central Committee
meeting for LA numbered over 250.
manipulations never ended, including a refusal to send copies of the
White Papers already issued to the media and major donors because of
the reaction which would result. These professionally produced
materials began the positioning of the LP as 'low-tax liberal.'
the degree to which Crane was already distrusted a beard was provided
to muddy the reality of who was in charge. Crane served officially
as 'communications chairman.'
position of National Chairman gave Crane access to mailing lists,
which he used to start Cato, and connections to build a power base
for himself. He used everything entrusted to him by the LP for his
own purposes and as a source for meeting young and credulous women.
Bill Clinton would have blushed. At least Bill did not require his
interns to have sex with him to keep their jobs. Today, Crane is
wealthy because of behavior which was without conscience. No longer
working for the Kochs he doubtless received a generous settlement. Today he is selling tweets online.
pick for the Kochs, Crane was open to make deals and had the
sophistication and charisma to pull a group of similar thinking
operatives in around him. As a group, they were characterized by
their arrogance and willingness to violate the trust of those of us
working for real change. They did this solely for their own profit.
Think of them as intuitive followers of Leo Strauss.
remains, today, a cohesive whole, still sucking the Koch tit. These
same people still cycle through boards and positions in the
organizations started to carry out the work the Kochs want. These
individuals were, in large part, identified by Dr. Murray Rothbard in
1981 when his failure to cooperate with the Kochs redefinition of the
phrase, “free market” resulted in his ejection from the Cato
board. I have added some names to the list, which is HERE
involvement allowed the message of Libertarianism to be re-branded in
1980, when, instead of being used by the Koch candidate, Ed Clark,
the ideas for freedom helped elect Ronald Reagan president.
step with the agenda being followed by the NeoCons, the 1980 campaign
stole the rhetoric, delivering a far more centralized and powerful
federal government into the hands of corporations.
many believed Ronnie had Libertarian leanings when nothing could have
been further from the truth.
original supporters learned, to their dismay, Ronnie was neither a
Conservative or a Libertarian. He was an actor looking for a steady
The LP was
not Ronnie's the first victim. Ronnie began the ongoing process of
reframing the term, 'Conservative' during his two terms as governor
in California and then as president. Ronnie was a Rockefeller
Republican, a corporate, hire.
1960s the Kryst0ls were still Democrats and the word,
“Neoconservative” not generally heard. A real Conservative is
anti-war. Robert Taft, a real Conservative, was vilified as an
isolationist during World War II. He was attacked by the left for
failing to support the Nuremberg Trials, which were carried out, he
said, using post facto laws.
strong affiliations between the Kochs and the NeoCons, who have taken
over the work once carried out by the Rockefeller Republicans on
behalf of the corporations. Many of these came through what we
called the Crane Machine, activated to do the bidding of the Kochs.
Koch had grown up hearing about conservative politics from his
father, Fred. But rejected many of his ideas, according to Gus
diZerega, a former member of the John Birch Society who had known
Charles' father, Fred. diZerega was interviewed by Jane Mayer for
her article, “Covert
published in the New Yorker on August 30, 2010. Fred's former friend
suggested that the Charles' youthful idealism about libertarianism
had, “largely devolved into a rationale for corporate
self-interest.” The article goes on to say of Charles, “Perhaps
he has confused making money with freedom.”
equally likely the assumption of idealism is naive. Charles appears
to have known exactly what he was doing, witness his use of the same
methods to run his business.
It is far
more likely Charles, reacting to his father's idealism, became at an
early age a corporatist determined to centralize power and hold
control for himself.
Fred Koch did not die until 1967 Charles was already firmly in
control of the business interests which would become Koch Industries,
having been named CEO in 1966 when his father was forced by
ill-health to retire.
Ronald Reagan was recruited to go into politics in California by a
group of Rockefeller Republicans. He was to run as a Conservative.
With no discernible credentials, Ronnie began working to get the
nomination for the office of governor in California by joining groups
and getting to know people. Reagan was intensely charismatic and
charming. Even if you disagreed with him, you liked him.
Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, got to know Ronnie when he began stopping in
to the Republican Club Dad ran at UCLA. Dad was a Conservative but
although he liked Ronnie personally did not entirely trust him.
Ronnie asked Dad to go with him when he was elected as governor and
again asked when Ronnie was elected to the presidency in 1980. Dad
had been an appointee to the first EPA in 1969, an effort which
involved both Republicans and Democrats for clean water and clean
grass-roots conservatives had their reasons for doubting Ronnie's
motives and his honesty.
One of the
groups Ronnie managed to persuade to support him was the United
Republicans of California (UROC), which was founded by Joe Shell, a
good friend of Barry Goldwater and the primary candidate for governor
who was edged out when Richard Nixon was sent, by the same people, to
run against him in the California primary in 1962.
reported several attempts on his life during the primary when the
outcome was close. Joe shared these stores with me when we were both
working on the Dolores White campaign for 20th
State Senate in California in 1991.
Joe told me
the story of the
delivered by Ronnie in 1964, provided Ronnie with standing as a
Conservative, was delivered at the 1964 Nominating Convention for the
GOP, held in San Francisco. The speech was actually written for
Goldwater, paid for by Joe Shell.
living at the time believe it was written by Karl Hess, later active
in the Libertarian Party. Nancy Reagan called Joe continuously
begging him to let Ronnie deliver the speech. Joe, ever after
regretted having done so because it persuaded potential supporters
Reagan was a Conservative, which he was not.
following a conservative agenda as governor, Ronnie left California
far more centralized and unresponsive to citizen activism. Connie
Ruffley, who is the present CEO for UROC, reports Ronnie also
sidelined the organization because so many of its members could not
believe Ronnie would so betray them.
was believing. Enough UROC members did understand and take action.
terms Reagan spent as governor persuaded enough members of UROC they
have been deceived to move them to write, and pass, a resolution
asking Americans not to support Ronnie if he ran for president or
vice president. To ensure this information was not lost Connie sent
me the last copy, which I entered in my computer, and put up.
It was a
bitter time for real Conservatives.
In 1972 Ed
Crane was a down at the heels financial advisor, according to an
associate, and recently out of college, when he found the Libertarian
Party. Ed attended the first National Convention as a delegate in
first years the LP was an effective political organization which was
local and grass roots. This changed through steps taken by Crane,
beginning after he was elected Chairman in 1974.
Libertarian Presidential candidate was Roger MacBride, who produced
the TV series, Little House on
the Prairie. Rose Wilder
Lane, his adopted grandmother, left him the rights to the books,
inherited from her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
of the Little House books was one which taught generations of
children the values of self-reliance and freedom along with caring
for those we love.
autographed books for all of my kids. I grew up on The Little House
Republican Elector from Vermont, Roger sent shock waves out
politically when he cast his vote in December for the LP candidates,
John Hospers and Toni Nathan. It was a history making moment.
through Roger, a wealthy man himself, that Crane met the Kochs. He
immediately began working with them to take over the Libertarian
Party for their own purposes. The next presidential campaign would
ensure Reagan was elected president. They would then continue the
process of changing the meaning of the phrase, “free market
candidate Roger favored for the 1980 campaign was a self-made
millionaire who had started several high-tech companies. Bill
Hunscher was willing to take 18 months off to run a grass roots
campaign, going to every part of the country to encourage local
grocery store uses a scanner, you have seen one of the products he
took to market.
the nomination for the Kochs Crane persuaded Ed Clark, the chief
legal counsel for Arco, to run with David Koch as his running mate.
David Koch could then pump millions into a race which Crane
controlled. The message delivered would be very different than
the nomination money was made available to pay for transportation and
hotel costs to people willing to register, be seated as delegates,
and vote for Ed Clark. Hunscher and MacBride had played fair. None
of their supporters were subsidized.
speeches and campaign material prepared for the Clark campaign
positioned Clark, and the Libertarian Party, as low-tax liberal,
leaving the Libertarian rhetoric for Ronald Reagan. No activist was
allowed to see the White Papers sent to the media because of the
reaction Crane knew there would be.
were spent, but the vote totals were pathetic. Activists were left
in shock, unable to understand how our message had been stolen.
Ronnie blazed to victory on a rhetoric he never believed.
In the wake
of the campaign Murray Rothbard, who was originally on the CATO
board, was fired
and the Kochs, instead, promoted the less than free market ideas of
machine lost control of the LP when Alicia Clark, Ed's wife, who now
understood he had been used, was elected National Chairman against
the Crane candidate Kent Guida. Alicia, formerly the CEO of a
Mexican corporation, was treated with contempt by the arrogant
flunkies doing the bidding of Ed Crane. Outrageously, the LP
National Executive Director was one of these. Eric
spending far more time on the phone with Ed Crane, at Party expense,
than with Alicia. He was also ignoring her directions, instead
following the continuing mandates set by Crane.
steps. She had a software engineer who provided computer services
for the LP, Craig Franklin, change the locks on the office, and then
fired O'Keefe. The reaction was volcanic. The Crane Machine had not
believed anyone would really confront them. They had failed to see
the steel in Alicia's spine.
failing to control the selection of candidate for 1984 the Crane
Machine began a concerted effort to destroy the LP by persuading
activists to re-register Republican.
Libertarian Party never recovered.
strategist, Eric O'Keefe, they began plotting to take over the GOP
while also working through organizations they could control, which
they would create using a 'cookie cutter' model. A number of these
would show addresses which matched the home address of another long
time cabal member, Paul Jacob.
Rich and Eric to form U.S. Term Limits, with Crane on the board, at
the end of 1991. U.S. Terms Limits then executed a plan based
on an ambitious strategy memo Eric authored, calling for a blitz of
initiatives in a number of states so we could allow voters to
circumvent the opposition of incumbent politicians. U.S. Terms
Limits helped organizations in 23 states put congressional term limit
initiatives in front of voters, and they embraced the approach,
passing them by sweeping margins. The New Hampshire legislature
attempt, made jointly with Newt Gingrich in 1994, to take over the
GOP faltered as they coordinated on the Contract on America using
materials provided to Gingrich through their operative, John Fund,
then on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. The original
idea was mine. I handed John a copy of the brochure I was passing
out at the Republican Convention in California in 1992. It was not
until someone asked me about this in 1999 I realized what had
happened. Fund had told them about giving Newt my literature.
individuals, all Koch insiders, who appeared on the boards of these
cookie cutter entities were shuffled frequently.
out of their plans was not without glitches.
In 2006 an
ornery journalist from Oregon, Hart Williams, started researching
Howie and his cronies and came up with truly shocking revelations.
Hart kept at it, building a series of articles which destroyed the
secrecy on which the Howie-lead group had depended. It was Hart who
spawned the “NEW YORK CITY!?” response to the 2006 class of
cookie cutter initiative campaigns. Hart is still working on
exposing the Kochs and the Howie cabal on his website, Hart
the Crane Machine and the Kochs abhor this kind of notice they
responded by attacking Hart, without effect. It is likely they
still keep a nervous watch.
is true the KXL might not be approved – but the Kochs, and others,
have already accounted for this by making alternative plans to sell
their products to China. Alternate plans for pipelines, which do
not enter the United States, are also in motion.
number of cookie cutter organizations the Kochs have funded, intended
to bring the public opinion under their control, are so numerous it
is difficult to track all of them. Today, this includes LLCs,
Trusts, and entities owned by these more publicly visible
organizations, allowing the source of money and how it is used to be
last twenty years the Kochs have grown more sophisticated. More
experts have been hired, studying the law and providing them with
ways to evade the reasons the laws were made in the first place.
Organizations such as ProPublica have done yeoman's work in
documenting how this is done though the details on specific
organizations are still not always available.
today on the board for Americans
was active at its inception in the summer of 2007. Their first
conference failed to draw, so they made people offers they could not
refuse, essentially buying an audience.
the prices, which were a steal, Early
registration was only $49 and $29 for students, and included
breakfast, lunch, and a special "Tribute to Ronald Reagan"
dinner. Room prices at the Mayflower Hotel for one night costs
459.00(USD). David Koch was underwriting the event so they could get
enough people in to look like a real conference.
an independent political movement made the Ron Paul Revolution, which
was from its beginning spontaneous and based on the efforts of the
grass-roots, a threat to the Koch's plans. Again, Crane and his
Ron Paul Revolution, as opposed to the official Ron Paul Campaign,
which was managed by hired help found through such organizations as
CATO, ensured Paul would not be an issue after the primary by
providing flawed lists for GOTV and other uses and through other
manipulations. Crane and the Kochs had clearly realized Dr. Paul
could not be controlled.
the primaries began state after state reported the same problems,
these occurring in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina at least.
The lists were supplied by the RP Campaign, who insisted they be
used, despite reported problems well in advance. In New Hampshire
poll watchers were ordered to leave the polls at the time their jobs
should have begun.
would eventually claim credit for the Tea Parties because spontaneous
local groups began to spring up in the wake of an event held on
December 16, 2007, the anniversary of the original Tea Party 234
years previously. The event was organized by elements of the
Revolution. Money collected from the money bomb held was delivered
to the official campaign where it was spent to pay lavish salaries.
the next months steps were taken to set up conditions to buckle the
original spontaneous Tea Party Movement to a national leadership
controlled by the Kochs under the aegis of the Republican Party.
Sarah Palin was one of the individuals slotted for this.
Fink is a director
for Americans for Prosperity
placed down the list, which follows the Koch line on the KXL
“Almost 2,000 days
have passed since the application for the Keystone XL pipeline was
submitted. It seems the only thing holding up the President from
making a decision is one word: politics.”
David have now started their own spin off of the Bilderberger
Meetings, these taking place twice a year when it is necessary to
explain to other billionaires which candidates and causes they should
support. These started in 2003
In 2012 Charles Koch wrote this letter
to attendees about their goals, which purport to be in support of a
free market, ironically written by a leader in an industry whose
profits are entirely dependent on the 20th
Century Mercantilism he has sold in place of free market economics.
years these conferences have grown, in conjunction with what is not
discussed, the dirty tricks which help the Kochs evade the law on
funding and how politics is practiced.
conference took place in Palm Springs.
profit mightily from their manipulations and interferences with the
market in energy, using government for their benefit. But they feel
entirely free to manipulate public opinion covertly, using their
funds to marginalize the most essential of American institutions, the
right of people to locally govern themselves.
have used their wealth to evade the transparency which is essential
if a people are to govern themselves in accordance with the
Constitution. The original model for government placed the weight of
power in the hands of the people at the most local level. The Kochs
have participated in the ongoing centralization of power which puts
control into the hands of a group of corporations, lead by the Kochs
in this case.
and Ed Crane were never Libertarians by any understanding of the term
I accept. They did, however, recognize how the philosophy could be
used to mute a negative reaction to policy in the same way Alan
Greenspan muted resistance from those who supported the philosophy of
the Kochs and the Crane-Howie Cabal saw themselves as appointed
advocates for the ideas of Ayn Rand, who growing numbers now
understand was following principles which eerily replicate
characteristics of psychopathy, as mentioned in this article, titled,
Ayn Rand became the new right's version of Marx
appearing in The Guardian.
Ayn Rand fail to affirm the human connections, love, tenderness,
compassion, charity, which remain the foundation of human life. Her
own life reflects the philosophy by which she really lived and,
today, the facts are known from her previously unpublished work.
have treated politics as if it is a game where cheating is
acceptable, which it is not. It
is the means by which people determine their direction, essential to
keeping the power in the hands of the people, as outlined by the
Constitution. Politics, as is true with all human relations, must
build, not destroy, trust.
political process depends on accurate and reliable information in
exactly the same way a business, to be successful, must have such
reliability. To have denied this to Americans by stealth is an ugly
they have imposed on unwitting Americans initiatives which severely
impacted their local communities using Koch money which has eaten
away both our trust in each other and our confidence in ourselves.
solution remains to return control to the people, at the most level
and punish those who have worked covertly to keep this from
is, people are solving their own problems locally. Food banks are
building local supplies which aim at feeding everyone within their
county. Local programs, dependent only on the care and generosity of
people, are restoring dignity and hope. New technologies are
beginning to take us off the grids of greed to a very different
put politics as usual aside and work together anything is possible.
process can be put in fast forward by providing open and free sharing
for ideas, a Sharing
opposed a 'think-tank,' which invents policies which are never
adequately tested before use. Today, we call it Open Source. My
grandfather called it the Knowledge Commons. By any name it creates
common ground so together, we can learn from each other.
problems we face are grave and immediate. But ours is still the
power. Thomas Paine said, “We
have it in our power to begin the world over again.” It
is time to start.