Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh, the irony: DSCC asks Koch brothers for cash

Politics often creates very odd situations. The following is a prime example.

For the past several years, the Left has demonized and attacked Koch Industries and the Koch family, the wealthy businessmen brothers who are big financial supporters of free-market and libertarian organizations and groups (although their political donations are vastly overshadowed by their philanthropic contributions). However, that opposition apparently extends only so far.

Recently, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, sent a letter to the Koch's PAC, asking for donations to the DSCC. She even left a voicemail with them. Koch Industries replied to the request with this letter:

Senator Patty Murray, Chair
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Dear Senator Murray:

For many months now, your colleagues in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership have engaged in a series of disparagements and ad hominem attacks about us, apparently as part of a concerted political and fundraising strategy. Just recently, Senator Reid wrote in a DSCC fundraising letter that Republicans are trying to “force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say ‘Koch Brothers.’”

So you can imagine my chagrin when I got a letter from you on June 17 asking us to make five-figure contributions to the DSCC. You followed that up with a voicemail* indicating that, if we contributed heavily enough, we would garner an invitation to join you and other Democratic leaders at a retreat in Kiawah Island this September.

I’m hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it’s hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money.

It is troubling that private citizens taking part in the discourse have become the targets of White House and DSCC fundraising missives, and we would certainly encourage you to rethink that approach. Ultimately, I expect voters will see through that and will weigh the issues on the merits alone. But in the meantime, if you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful.

Sincerely,

Philip Ellender
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

After Ellender's letter was posted on KochFacts.com, Koch Industries' media site, the DSCC responded with a letter of their own.

Dear Phil:

Thank you for your genuine, heartfelt concern about our recent solicitation and your request for clarification. Indeed, the form letter and follow-up solicitation you received was a staff error.

However, the bigger and more troubling mistake is the long political history of your employer, the Koch Brothers. As a (former?) Democrat, perhaps your time would be better spent looking into their efforts to privatize Social Security or their opposition to expanding the children's health insurance program. Or maybe, you can post a list of all of the anonymous contributions they have made to right-wing smear campaigns across the country. If you'd like to share voicemails from all the shady groups asking you for millions of dollars, we'd happily listen to those as well.

So, I write to make it clear that your invitation was an error and has been rescinded.

Sincerely,

Guy Cecil
Executive Director
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

P.S.: I was impressed how quickly you responded, given how often you must be on the phone with Governor Walker of Wisconsin.

Staff error? Right......

1 comments:

Robbie said...

And the voicemail was user error too?