Calling out Rachel Laser
Posted on May 23, 2019 by Diana Roberts
The Washington Post announces that the last Koch brother is stepping down from management and participation in his many conservative organizations. In May 2019, the Kochs announced a major restructuring of there philanthropic efforts. Going forward, the Koch network will operate under the umbrella of Stand Together, a nonprofit focused on supporting community groups, while having been politically motivated with financial contributions to libertarian and conservative think tanks and donating primarily to Republican Party candidates running for office for many years.
(Hohmann, James (May 20, 2019). “The Koch network is reorganizing under a new name and with new priorities” [https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2019/0520/daily-202-the-Koch—network-is-reorganizing-under-a-new-name-and-with-new-priorities/5ce1a94fa7a0435cff8c0d3/?utm_term>.3f9227656e9b] Washington Post. Retrieved 21 May 2019)
Koch Industries reportedly earn $100 billion per year. The brothers, David and Charles, have strengthened conservative politics and the Republican Party to the extent of changing the face of politics, elections and legislation in historical manner. David Koch retired in 2018. He had once run in the presidential election as vice-presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. But that experience caused David to change course: “I had enough…We are not a nation that debates issues. We vote on candidates’ personalities” On another occasion, he stated that “and so many of the hard-core Libertarian ideas are unrealistic” Brother Charles told a reporter after the election that conventional politics tends to be a nasty, corrupting business… I’m interested in advancing Libertarian ideas.”
Leading up to the 2016 national election, a group associated with the Kochs planned to raise $889 million for conservative support. After the Republican primary, they decided to not donate to Trump’s campaign at all, instead focusing on the Congress and Senate races. However, the brothers turned around and committed forty million to defeat Obama.
Brother Charles (84), announced in the Post article that he is stepping down now from the Koch network, restructuring it to be less political and renaming it “Going Forward.” That does not mean that that the teachings sponsored by the network will be any less conservative. The Kochs have consistently been “capitalist conservatives” and activists for less government. Nothing is going to change from Going Forward seminars as they have been in the past.
To give an example, a June 2010 event in Aspen, Colorado stated in its invitation “[our] prosperity is under attack by the current [i.e. Obama} Administration and many of our elected officials” and “we cannot rely on politicians to [defend our free society], so it is up to us to combat what is now the greatest assault on American freedom and prosperity in our lifetimes.”
(Eric Lipton [2011-02-21. “Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays a Role in Wisconsin Dispute [https://nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22koch.htm?_r>r1pagewanted.all]. The New York Times.
The seminar program indicated that past meetings had featured speakers including Supreme court Justice Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas; Governors Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour; commentators John Stossel, Charles Krauthammer, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh along with Senators and Congressmen.
Perhaps Going Forward will be more educational and less directly political, as in an all-out political war, but the education will be Capitalist conservative from colleges to the person on the street. Nevertheless, after reading the Post article, it does seem that Charles Koch is tossing out a peace feather for working together with less polarization. His son, Chase Koch, will take over his position and seems to be in the same vein.
So why is Twogaa calling out Rachel Laser, the CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State? It is because Twogaa and Americans United are dedicated to the purity of the First Amendment. The Post article indicates and Koch Industry history indicates that it is a strict constructionist, i.e. strict interpretation, of the First Amendment. Even though the original Koch initiative of its organizations was to bring its family’s Catholic theology public to support throughout the world that has now evolved into Going Forward on a capitalist philanthropic mission, there appears to be room to sit down and discuss how both sides can at least agree to protect the separation of church and state. Twogaa believes that Rachel Laser and Chase Koch are the ones to do this. Engage! Meet! Discuss! Set an example for the political world! Please don’t let this opportunity to communicate in a rational way pass.