Koch Brothers Recruit Hundreds of Republicans on Plan to Accelerate Climate Change

In what comes as absolutely no shock to me, it’s been revealed recently that since 2008, the Koch brothers have been pushing Republicans nationwide to sign an “anti-climate pledge.”  Which essentially means that whoever signs it promises to not back any piece of legislation that would combat climate change.

This isn’t shocking because many Republican members of Congress have already signed an anti-tax pledge to private citizen Grover Norquist.

I thought politicians were elected by the people, to do what’s best for Americans—not some private citizen or group who urges them to sign a pledge promising to do any number of things that just happen to benefit that person or group.

Yet, as of now, 411 current lawmakers nationwide have signed the pledge.  Those who’ve signed include Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, one-third of the entire House, and a quarter of all U.S. Senators.

How are Republican supporters not up in arms about this?  These GOP lawmakers aren’t even secretive about these things—they’re completely transparent in their behavior to support, or oppose, specific pieces of legislation based on these pledges.


While the Republican boogeyman is always out to build some conspiracy that everything Democrats and President Obama try to do has some devious ulterior motive, these Republicans openly pledge support to lobbyists or private citizens and base their ideology on these pledges.  Then they have the nerve to act as if their legislative decisions are based on “what’s best for Americans.”  Does anybody still believe that?

Yet the American voters who support these very same Republicans never seem to ask themselves, “Why is it what’s “best for Americans” (according to the GOP) always seems to coincide with what’s best for these private citizens/lobbyists for whom they’ve signed these pledges?”

Do you think it was just by chance the bill which would have expanded background checks on gun purchases (something supported by nearly 90% of Americans) died in the Senate?  Or was it because of some other pledge these Republican lawmakers have given to the NRA to oppose any and all attempts to regulate gun sales, no matter how common sense and non-intrusive they may be?

And of course there’s the Koch brothers, who would benefit greatly with far more lenient environmental laws.  They just happen to want these Republican policymakers to sign a pledge which targets legislation that would tighten environmental regulations—for the betterment of all Americans, right?  I’m sure there’s no link whatsoever to Republicans supporting anti-climate policies and the billionaire Koch brothers’ financial gains by Republicans opposing green initiative legislation.

Then there’s Grover Norquist, the radical who has been quoted as saying he wants to reduce government to such a size that you can fit it into the bathtub and drown it.  He considers Teddy Roosevelt a socialist, wishes to take us back to “where we came from” and cites a government prior to 1900—you know, back when women couldn’t vote, African Americans were segregated, working conditions were brutal and civil rights were openly mocked.

As of 2012, 95% of Republican members of Congress had signed his anti-tax pledge.

Which might explain why during the Republican Presidential primaries when these candidates were asked if they would support a measure that would increases taxes $1 for every $10 in spending cuts—every single candidate said they would oppose that proposal.

Are you kidding me?  A hypothetical 10 to 1 deal that would have cut spending $10 and raise taxes just $1 and even then these Republican idiots said they wouldn’t support it.

No matter which way you try and spin it, that is insane.

And it isn’t as if these GOP politicians hide this fact, they’ll openly admit pledging an allegiance to these groups/individuals—and Republican voters apparently seem to have no issues with them doing so.

It shocks me these people never say to themselves, “Hmm, it’s interesting that my party seems to always support every stance that coincides with these pledges that I’ve heard they’ve signed.”  They never say, “You know, it’s strange that these Koch brothers, who would benefit greatly by perpetuating the notion that climate change is a hoax, have spent millions upon millions to discredit science that says climate change is man made and impacting our environment.”

Because which sounds more plausible, the multi-billionaire Koch brothers have spent millions fighting the existence of climate change for:

  • The betterment of Americans, or
  • To increase their profit margin

The bottom line is, there’s something very wrong with elected public servants signing pledges to private citizens or groups.  These men and women were elected by the American people, not the Koch brothers, the NRA or Grover Norquist.

I just can’t believe Republican voters allow for this to happen with no repercussions.  Then again, you never see these things reported on Fox News, so most of them probably don’t know these pledges exist or have even heard of the Koch brothers.

And that’s part of the real problem.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Baaly

    “Why is it what’s “best for Americans” (according to the GOP) always seems to coincide with what’s best for these private citizens/lobbyists for whom they’ve signed these pledges?”

    Absolutely Allen. You hit it right on the head there, and it is a question I ask often.

    Nothing the GOP does is done in the best interests of the people. It’s all done for personal and corporate best interest.

    • noen

      Why? Because there is one and only one thing authoritarian followers can do. OBEY.

      Good dog.

  • m_t_h

    I don’t remember voting for the Koch Brothers OR Grover Norquist. What is it with Republicans and just making pledges to rich guys? Doesn’t that short-circuit the democratic process?

    • Darkthunder

      Indeed it does. Government is intended to work “For the people”. Yet as stated in the above article, a large amount of Congress (the part of the government which creates such things as LAWS), work for private businesses or private interests.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      A better question is why are common folk voting for Republicans who just make pledges to rich guys?

      • fancygapva

        When you sit in front of a TV your brain begins to emit alpha waves within seconds indicating that you are in a light hypnotic trance. Any more questions?

      • Hash Tag

        Yes, which crystal healing manual did you get that garbage theory from.

      • fancygapva

        Look it up: TV alpha waves or TV suggestibility

    • fancygapva

      The Koch Brothers sponsored the Citizen’s United lawsuit, and after they won, they began very rapidly to buy up our government with their Corporate Personhood, exercising their freedom of $peech.

  • dean

    why don’t we just cut 9$for every 1$of tax increase only don’t pass the 1$ increase. Wouldn’t the spending reduction be the same?

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Why cut spending? It wasn’t an issue until Obama was elected.

      • taxirob

        Hey, our first liar of the thread! Welcome, fool! I do hope you are being sarcastic…

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Not at all bunkie. How many people are out there saying out debt is all Obama’s fault but didn’t say boo when Bush was charging two wars on a Chinese credit card? So you must be one of those who believes what I just said.

      • taxirob

        Ahhh… you WERE being sarcastic. “It wasn’t an issue till Obama was elected” can be taken either way with no vocal inflection. Thank you for the clarification. Rest assured I am no fool. I know exactly where the debt came from and why. And I also know where those dollars are resting right now, in the offshore accounts of the multinational corporations.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No, I wasn’t being sarcastic. No one on the right cared about spending when Bush was president.

      • taxirob

        NOW you’re being crystal clear. And I still agree.

      • John

        Everything that went wrong during the Bush years are being blamed on Obama…The GOP have to go!!!

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Bless you, my son.

      • Sandy Spence Cudmore

        Are you seriously that stupid?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Peruse right wing websites. Spending wasn’t an issue when Bush was president. Are you really that ignorant or do you just pretend to know what’s going on? Some of us LIKE government spending because it provides benefits like highways, schools, and people who keep my flight from crashing into another one.

      • taxirob

        Don’t forget we “won” the Cold War by outspending the Russians… what a crock that was. The USSR woulda failed soon enough without escalating the arms race. Superior tech and economic growth was all we needed, not more missiles. The first time I realized the Righties were full of crap was under Reagan and the Neo-Cons.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        AMEN to that.

      • urbanlegend

        Climate change hasn’t occurred in 16 years, but hey, why should that matter, Al Gore says the world has a fever….as for spending, Let’s blame Bush, not the Democrat controlled house and Senate that were in control….. As far as the gun control law dying in the Senate, you’ll have to bring that up with Harry Reid, the President of the DEMOCRAT controlled Senate.

      • m_t_h

        Bullshit. You fucking ignoramus. The actual stat people throw out is that the world has been cooling since since 1998. That is because 1998 was a record setting year of heat and drought. Since that peak we have continued out inexorable march upward from previous temperatures, we just have not had a year quite that hot again YET. Though we will because the science is crystal clear and denialists like you are either ignorant or sociopathic.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Uh urbandlegend, you must not have been living in Illinois in 2012 with record heat waves and 75% of the crops burnt to a crisp.

      • Sandy Spence Cudmore

        He was funding wars, that we shouldn’t have been fighting, on a credit card. That’s just bad fiscal policy!!! WMD’s that didn’t even exist. He wasn’t spending that money at home making roads, schools and hiring air traffic controllers you [email protected]#$ing moron!

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Naughty, naughty and you miss the point, idiot. All that happened but republicans were oblivious. They didn’t care that they were charging two wars on a credit card. No one on the right said ANYTHING about Bush’s profligacy. But then Obama was elected and all of a sudden, “Well, we have this massive debt and it’s all Obama’s fault and now we have to stop all this Democrat spending!” So, spending wasn’t an issue to the people who are now complaining we spend too much.

        Get it now, dip$hit???

  • Matthew Reece

    “Which might explain why during the Republican Presidential primaries
    when these candidates were asked if they would support a measure that
    would increases taxes $1 for every $10 in spending cuts—every single
    candidate said they would oppose that proposal.

    Are you kidding me? A hypothetical 10 to 1 deal
    that would have cut spending $10 and raise taxes just $1 and even then
    these Republican idiots said they wouldn’t support it.”

    No, the explanation for this is that they have tried it before, and the tax increase happened while the spending cuts never did.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Which is because Americans want their government to do things for them, not against them. Clinton raised taxes and we had a great decade. Eisenhower raised taxes and we built schools, hospitals and the interstate highway system.

      • Matthew Reece

        Government cannot do anything for us without doing more against us. The problem is that so few Americans truly understand economics, otherwise they would know this.

  • Beverly Haley

    We must not forget that “corporations are people too” so in their tiny little minds they are in fact doing whats best for the people.. just not the human kind.

  • Pat

    Vote for the Democrats, (straight ticket), next election. They aren’t perfect either, but they sure are a whole lot better than this bunch of selfish turds who are the Republicans. The greed and selfishness among this bunch just turns my stomach. Don’t even get me started on Fox News and their lies!!! DEMOCRATS UNITE!

    • fancygapva

      The Republicans in charge in NC have made it impossible to vote a straight ticket. But that’s all right. Democrats who get nominated also have to promise to vote in favor of corporations who “sponsor” them. It used to be called bribery but now it’s legal.

  • Cemetery Girl

    Actually, I’m sure that certain individuals and special interest groups have elected some officials. They are willing to throw a lot of money into the campaigns of their politicians. The amount of money isn’t significant to those people or groups, but it buys them their very own politician. Isn’t owning a politician the ultimate status symbol?

    • taxirob

      It sure is, but remember, it’s easier to buy a Congressman than a President, and they wield more power.

      • Cemetery Girl

        Perhaps the scariest part, they can pretty much buy the Congressmen in bulk

  • True_Patriot

    F**k you all who pretend to be surprised by any of this. 90% of Americans KNOW, the government is bought and paid by big business, but they still sit and do nothing! There are those of us, who are ready to march to DC and take back the country from the corporations, but we can’t do it alone.

    • taxirob

      “Marching” to DC? Are you one of those Adam Kokesh followers? Tell you what, YOU march right on down there, see what it gets you. I’ll worry about getting a new representative elected in my district instead, and we’ll see which of us is alive at the end of it. I may fail but I won’t get SHOT. If you really want to help the situation, run for Congress or help somebody else run, somebody who doesn’t want to make a career of it.

  • fancygapva

    The simplest way to put it is that our country has been the subject of a bloodless Fascist coup. And in true corporatist fashion, they BOUGHT the government. Don’t fool yourself that Democrats don’t collude in this charade. They get their take too. What pledges do they sign that just enough of them are out of the chambers when important issues come to a vote? The Democrats have to be there to make us believe that we at least have a choice, even though the choices are always bad and worse.

    • Pat

      I hear you, fancygapva, but aren’t the Dems the lesser of two evils????? We need new Dems to run. Honest Dems who haven’t been part of the shenanigans that have been going on. I would not vote for a Republican if you paid me a million bucks. I like honest people, and I do feel that Obama has tried to be honest with us. I think he is fed up with plenty of the Dems too. I wish I could run, but can’t afford to, and I feel too old! Come on honest people, we need you to run!!!

      • fancygapva

        Check out Lawrence Lessig’s Ted Talk. He makes an invaluable point about the elephant in our electoral living room. We can elect democrats or republicans until hell freezes over, it will make no difference until we the electorate are the ones calling the shots about who gets nominated, and not only that, who gets nominated (and by whom) to get nominated for any office from the state level on. A very small number of very rich people, I’m talking under 200 people choose, every time, who will be nominated and now that the lid is off corporate contributions, they choose who will win those nominations. By the time a person is nominated the course of their votes, once elected, is set. They have signed various pledges that require them to vote in favor of those who have bought their loyalty via very large contributions. Throwing the bums out has not worked for a very long time. Any bum can be bought.

  • joe ebbitt

    the business model for republicans is low paying jobs /no benefits. Dissolve all unions , especially public sector unions. Teachers, cops and first responders have been villianized, because they do have jobs with benefits. Back in the boom days these exact jobs were less than popular because the private sector paid so much better. those that became teachers, cops ,first responders did so because they loved the idea of becoming one of these dedicated people, most have wanted this career all their lives. Now the table has turned corporate America(merika’) has dissolved the middle class and is turning you against the public sector Unions…. why should they have good jobs, you don’t? and you are falling for it . Private Unions are all but gone, but death in the work place is up. Coal miners forced to bypass sensors that shut down drilling when dangerous levels of dust/gases are detected is the cause of the explosion in the last mining disaster. twenty-nine died , and unfortunately production did not reach their goal that day but I’m sure they are back on track .
    We will never compete with Bangladesh , but corporate Merika’ will soon have us begging for such jobs if their business model is realized

  • Donald Meinshausen

    Through the CATO Institute and Reason the Kochs have supported gay marriage, drug legalization, ending military expansion and fighting crony capitalism. Through the White House Obama has s signed the NDAA with dictatorial provisions, suppressed medical marijuana and bailed out the banks and Big Pharma. So now who are the Good Guys and the Bad Guys?

  • Hash Tag

    Someone needs to do the world a favor and kidnap Norquist, then relocate him to Liberia, where he belongs.

  • northierthanthou.com

    I generally don’t believe in positive evil, but the Koch brothers have helped me to realize I may need to reconsider.