By: Kourosh Behnam
March 1, 2012
The Obama re-election team has been trying to engage Charles and David Koch in a public argument which they hope can bring more donations to their campaign. Last Friday Obama campaign manager Jim Messina accused the billionaire brothers of “jacking up prices at the pump” and bankrolling “Tea Party extremism.”
In addition, he also said the Koch Brothers have pledge $200 million to Americans For Prosperity, to defeat Obama in November. Koch money has provoked the Solyndra Attack Ad on Obama.
Koch money is fueling the anti Obama campaign. Earlier this year, the Koch Brothers held a private three-day retreat in California where 250-300 individuals pledged $100 million dollars to defeat Barack Obama. Of that $100 million, the Koch Brothers pledge $60 million.
Philip Ellender, Koch Companies spokesman, had a sharp response to Messina in a public letter. He stated, “It is an abuse of the President’s Position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy.” To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t think “bully ads” are important matters of public policy.
The Obama Biden Campaign has raised $118 million for the 2012 election which was mostly raised from individuals donors giving $200 or less, according to the Campaign Finance Institute.