Earlier today, my Examiner colleague Mark Tapscott wrote on the left's tendency to create political bogeymen and then accuse them of just about everything under the sun. There's a bit more that needs to be added in the context of the left's newest bogeymen, the newly infamous Charles and David Koch. Just like they did previously in their attacks on the likes of Kenneth Starr and Richard Scaife, lefties are once again playing fast-and-loose with the facts regarding the Kochs.
Fortunately, lawyer John Hinderaker over at the Power Line blog has engaged in some industrial-strength deconstruction to debunk two hit-pieces against the Kochs and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker put out by Think Progress blogger Lee Fang. He goes through each piece point-by-point and demonstrates that when it comes to the Koch Industries and the environment (and everything else), there is no truth to the leftist smears. Both pieces (1 and 2) are must-reading.
Here's just a taste of the debunking (Fang quotes or summaries are in bold):
Think Progress tries to portray Koch Industries as an environmental scofflaw.
But that is the opposite of the truth. Koch puts a high priority on regulatory compliance, and has a superb record of environmental stewardship. This is why the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly praised Koch and its subsidiaries. In 2009, the EPA awarded Koch subsidiary Georgia-Pacific its SmartWay Excellence award and specifically commended Georgia-Pacific. Obama's EPA has also praised Koch subsidiary Flint Hills Resources, calling a process that Flint Hills worked out "an excellent one" that "will serve as a model for other companies." Remarkably, Koch companies have received more than 180 environmental, health and safety awards since the Obama administration took office. [...]
"Koch Industries is one of the largest producers of formaldehyde.... Koch's conservative front groups [sic] have battled proposed regulations on formaldehyde, and David Koch used his position on the National Institutes of Health to try to stop the EPA from classifying it as a "known carcinogen" in humans."
This one is frankly sick. David Koch is a cancer survivor who has donated many millions of dollars to cancer research. Koch Industries and countless other companies, NGOs, government agencies and individuals submitted comments during rule-making procedures on formaldehyde, as is routinely done. [...]
Koch "won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration."
This one is a mystery. The excitable Mr. Fang claims that the Bush administration "handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil." But if you follow Fang's link, it takes you to a Department of Energy press release that says, "Koch's offer was selected on the basis that its exchange ratio provided the best value to the government." So Fang's complaint is what, exactly?
The current urge to demonize the Koch brothers is not just about attacking organizations or politicians that have received donations from them (in the case of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, the amount is minimal), it's also about creating a distraction from the fact that the American left in actuality is largely the creature of a handful of billionaires like George Soros, Bill Gates, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and Herbert M. Sandler. For all their bluster about "corporations" funding the right, it is wealthy fat cats who fund the left.
Fang's colleagues at the Center for American Progress are funded to the tune of tens of millions annually, much of which comes directly from mega corporations like Wal-Mart. Despite Fang's insistence on transparency in the case of the Kochs, CAP has repeatedly refused to disclose its donors. Ditto for Fang's employer the Center for American Progress Action Fund, CAP's c4 counterpart located in the same building.
CAP also seems to know who its friends are, too. After having attacked Wal-Mart mercilessly for years, CAP lost interest after Wal-Mart donated at least $500,000 to CAP and helped it push for Obamacare, a law which harms smaller business much more than it harms giant ones like Wal-Mart.
Oh and in case you're wondering, Wal-Mart execs have donated to Scott Walker, too. Apparently that doesn't matter to Fang who declined to mention that fact in his pieces that have tried to cast numerous business interests as the supposed puppetmasters of Walker. And why should it, considering that one of CAP's current board members, Jose Villarreal, also happened to serve on the board of directors of Wal-Mart.
In his love of looking up things on the internet, perhaps Fang might consider doing some reading on psychological projection.