Harry Reid: Koch Brothers 'Actually Trying to Buy the Country'
The Senate's Democrat Majority Leader, Nevada's Harry Reid, once again attacked conservative financiers David and Charles Koch, this time claiming they are trying to "buy the country."
Reid's hyperbolic attack came during a discussion of the Obama administration's use of the IRS to harass conservative-leaning activist groups, Politico reports.
The Majority Leader harkened back to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that leveled the playing field for groups to spend money on political causes. Where once only unions were able to flood the country with political advertising, the decision allowed other groups to also advertise on advocacy, as much as they could afford to do so.
But Reid and his liberal associates feel Citizens United was a bad decision, and he points to David and Charles Koch's advocacy of their libertarian ideals by leveraging their great fortunes as some sort of proof of his claim.
"Because of a United States Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, there’s been some really untoward stuff going on in the political world," Reid said on the floor of the Senate, adding:
We have two brothers who are actually trying to buy the country. The Republican leader has long been an opponent of campaign finance reform. This has been part of his career. So it is no surprise he opposes the administration’s efforts for greater disclosure. The abuse here is not the administration’s enforcing the law, but folks like the Koch brothers pretending to be social welfare organizations.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) replied by noting that Democrats are going to have a difficult election year and that Reid and his party are trying to "shut everybody else out of the political process" and "shut them up," instead of trying to persuade America of their point of view.
What Reid objected to specifically is the fact that 501(c)4 nonprofits are not forced to disclose donors. This, Reid claimed, allows the Kochs to "hide all their campaign efforts" to defeat Democrats by disguising themselves as "social welfare organizations."
Politico notes that the Kochs also donated to Democrats. "In 2010, they gave nearly $200,000 to Democratic candidates--including a $30,000 donation to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee."
On the other side of the aisle, Democrat-supporting George Soros donated at least $2.5 million to support Barack Obama's reelection in 2012, and back in 2004, he spent a reported $23 million in an effort to defeat George W. Bush.
Additionally, the Latino Victory Project, a Soros-backed group that pumped $30 million into Obama's reelection campaign, is now lining up tens of millions to defeat ten House Republicans who oppose amnesty for illegal aliens.