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Forbes reveals much about Kochs' influence

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July 26, 2013

The December 2012 issue of Forbes magazine has a lengthy article about the Koch brothers. The article, written by Daniel Fisher, focuses on the right-wing politics and wealth of Charles and David Koch.

Fisher states that each Koch brother is worth $31 billion, tying them for fourth on the Forbes 400 list. Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kan., has 60,000 employees and had revenue of $115 billion in 2012. The conglomerate boasts of 4,000 miles of pipeline and enough refining capacity to support 5 percent of U.S. daily fuel demand.

The brothers own the Georgia-Pacific plant in Green Bay, which produces paper towels and toilet tissue. Articles in Madison's Capital Times have stated that the Koch brothers have guided the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has a history of thwarting meaningful gun control and meaningful discussions of climate change.

One of ALEC's roles is to align corporations with conservative right-wing legislators. About 2,000 legislators belong to ALEC. Fisher says that in the 2012 elections, the brothers spent millions of dollars supporting right-wing candidates through Americans for Prosperity. This organization allowed the brothers to hide their political activities.

Here in Wisconsin, we are aware that the Koch brothers have been longtime supports of our governor and our merry tea party-oriented legislators. Don't you get the feeling that billionaires and millionaires from out of state are treating our governor like he is their puppet, and that they are desperately trying to buy Wisconsin elections?

LEON K. FREEBURG

Janesville



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