Baucus Took $40,000 from Koch Brothers

I just learned this a few days ago, but Koch industries is listed as one Max Baucus’s largest donors.   The company is listed as having  contributed $40,000 to Baucus since 2005.  That puts him in an exclusive club: with Paul Ryan, Michelle Bachmann, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor–who have all taken more than $30,000 from the Kochs during the last four campaign cycles.

And it’s eight times what the Koch’s have given to Denny Rehberg, according to FEC reports.

This is a highly disturbing state of affairs and Baucus should promptly return the money.  The Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars attempting to persuade the American public that climate change is a hoax.  Generally, they fund much of the racist and inciteful enterprise known as the Tea Party, from grassroots (or astroturf) organizing to TV ads.  They also bankroll anti-union candidates in dozens of states, including major support for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

When the 2012 election is over, the Kochs, whose combined fortune is estimated to be as high as $50 billion (exceeded only by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett), will have spent at least a billion dollars to try to oust Obama and Biden and other democrats across the nation.

These two gentlemen, who inherited their chemical and paper products company from their father (they make Brawny paper towels and Dixie cups, so shop for some alternatives),  have stated that their political activity stems from a few core beliefs. According to a New Yorker profile, they believe that taxes are too high, that corporations are regulated too heavily, and that too much money is spent on the poor and the needy.

Posted: August 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

59 thoughts on “Baucus Took $40,000 from Koch Brothers

  1. Gumbo

    and, cowgirl, you might add that some of max’s top people, staff, have become lobbyists for koch industries upon leaving max’s employ.

  2. Warrior9

    His former Chief of Staff is the Koch lobbyist

    http://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=15051

    As the Congressional recess draws near to a close, lobbying offices will soon rev up their engines again and begin lobbying members of the newly formed supercommittee tasked with cutting $1.5 trillion from the national debt. David Castagnetti, of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, will almost certainly be among those representing clients with a stake in the debt debate. Among Castagnetti’s many clients are Koch Industries, the National Venture Capital Association, Sprint Nextel and Wal-Mart Stores. In the second quarter of 2011, Castagnetti lobbied for Koch Industries on issues related to “price gouging,” among other topics, according to lobbying reports filed by his firm. His portfolio isn’t the only thing that Castagnetti will bring to the lobbying table. Castagnetti also has years of experience working in Congress, including a stint as the chief of staff for supercommittee member Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who will likely play an active role in the debt debate. During his time in Baucus’ office, Castagnetti also served as counsel to the Senate Finance and Environment and Public Works committees.

  3. Havre Voter

    Is anyone really surprised by this? It reminds one of the Michael Moore classic “Downsize This!” Michael Moore sent “actual $75 and $100 checks that went to candidates from the following organizations:

    Pedophiles for Free Trade

    The John Wayne Gacey Fan Club

    Hemp Growers of America

    Satan Worshipers for Dole

    Abortionists for Buchanan

    “What was the response? The Bob Dole campaign returned two checks from Satan Worshipers for Dole. The John Wayne Gacey Fan Club’s donation to Perot was returned with a nice letter saying, “We appreciate your generous support and will contact you once the party is established in your state.”

    “But there was one candidate who was not ashamed to take money from anyone, regardless how repulsive he thinks that group may be. The candidate was Pat Buchanan.”

    And the link I posted has photos of the checks he cashed. Max would do the same.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/10137024/Michael-Mooredownsize-This#page=9

  4. Missoula Conservative

    Don’t tell me that the senior Senator from Montana is continuing to lose favor with the ultra progressive left wing of the Democratic Party.

    1. Jan Thomas

      This is nothing new. Losing your base is what you get for having absolutely no standards or moral compas of any kind. Max took the money, and now he can take the derision for doing do.

  5. Gabby Johnson

    Well, if the Koch Bros. were buying Max’s vote to authorize Bush’s Iraq invasion, that comes to $9.07 for every U.S. soldier killed there. Pretty cheap.

  6. Central Committee Dem

    It makes me ILL that Max’s *generous* contributions to local Dems have Koch-tainted cash in them. Everything we stand for, everything we fought for and against in the last legislative session, is sullied by our taking Max *Koch* Baucus’s checks.

    1. C. B.

      It makes me ill that now Max will forbid Tester from pointing out Rehberg’s Koch brothers backing because Max took EIGHT TIMES that amount.

      1. Drill Baby Drill

        WAKE UP LIBS – everything you whine about the right doing, Baucus will always do it worse. Own it.

        1. Rob Kailey

          Baucus is not a “LIBS”, nor are LIBS required to own what most of us have already rejected from him. The only confusion appears to be on your part.

    2. Grandma Jeanie

      What “generous” donations to local dems? Max has always given way more money to Democrats in other states then he has in Montana. It’s part of his “I”ll scratch your back if…” scheme. Look it up.

  7. Mother Jones

    Baucus is not our friend. Remember this union members – do not forget or we are doomed. Wisconsin Brothers and Sisters, educate Montana members on just what the Koch family stands for. The Kochs approve and fund Baucus. DO NOT FORGET.

  8. Havre Voter

    We all knew that Max had sold out to the right long ago. Whether the voters will decide that it’s okay for a “Democrat” to be funded by the TEA Party is another thing altogether. I still believe that by the time 2014 rolls around, Max will decide it is time to retire.

    Kudos to Tester for not taking TEA Party cash.

  9. lisa o'conner

    It’s time to return the money. Now. Today. Immediately. Don’t taint the entire slate of Democrats in Montana with this slime.

  10. Alan Vander Wey

    I think Max should keep the money from the Kochs. Otherwise they will turn it around and give it to Rehberg. I think the Kochs should give more money to Max, they can’t be all bad all the time.

    1. Jennifer Davies

      He should donate it to the unions who have to suffer the Koch brothers attacks on a daily bases. My two cents.

      1. Jennifer Davies

        Or to a montana group working for social justice like the Montana Human Rights Network!

  11. Tyler E

    I’m a bit confused at the indignation. It’s not like Baucus needed the cash for his 2008 race, where he didn’t have a (serious) opponent. The money that Baucus is able to raise from insurance, healthcare, finance companies goes to support the entire Democratic slate and the staff for the coordinated campaign. He raised $11 million for his 2008 reelection, mostly raised from out-of-state and supporting local races. I’ll support pumping $11 million in to the state’s economy while helping the Dems sweep all the statewides.

    1. Doug

      how disgusting. here’s jon tester calling out rehberg for who’s funding him, and then max turns around and says, “in my case, all money I take is good for the dems.” wow.

    2. Observer

      I think I’m going to be sick. The democrats should answer to the hard working progressive organizations and unions, the people that support the democratic party financially so that their values will be represented within our government. as they say, when you want to know what’s motivating someone, follow the money.

    3. Yvette

      Most of the money that Baucus gives to candidate goes to out of state members of congress to buy these dems votes for his shitty republican proposals, $11 million my behind.

  12. Ben Tully

    The amount of money Max has taken from the Koch’s is actually $53,000.

    The $40,000 figure does not include individual donations from the Koch’ brother’s lobbyists, one of whom is Max’s former Chief of Staff.

    Koch Lobbyist donations to Baucus:

    Castagnetti, David
    $3,000

    Dennis, James
    $2,500

    Glaze, Steve
    $1,000

    Hooper, Lindsay D
    $4,500

    Rudd, David
    $500

    Talisman, Jonathan
    $500

    So, including these Max has actually taken $53,000.

    1. Queen City Dem

      I tried to look, the reports on Open Secrets don’t go back to 1996. Which means they probably don’t include the amounts from Baucus prior to that year either. The thing that struck me is that Baucus was taking Koch Brothers money while he was drafting the health care bill. Meanwhile, the TEA Party’s main rallying point was against it. This Koch funded momentum fueled the anti-democratic waive that made the 2010 elections what they were–not just for the Montana Legislative races, but nationwide.

      1. James Conner

        I aim to entertain as well as inform. Is “truthiful” a typo or one of Colbert’s neologisms?

        I might add that from half-baked campaigns come fully cooked gooses.

  13. Heiric Stearn

    I really like MT Cowgirl, so don’t get me wrong. I just don’t understand why the Schweitzer staffers who write it feel the need to chew on Senator Baucus. Why are you attempting to eat your own? It only makes sense if you want Republicans to win. Maybe pick a different target — maybe Steve Daines,Jason Priest, Dave Lewis or Rick Hill?

    At least stop it for this election cycle, so people can remain focused.

    As for the Koch $, Democrats have been taking their money for years. If Schweitzer doesn’t like that, so be it … say so. But please stop undermining the efforts to beat back a very effective Republican effort this cycle.

    1. James Conner

      If you cannot come up with something stronger than “many wrongs make a right,” Max is in bigger trouble than I thought. He doesn’t need dirty money.

    2. dembones

      Heiric Why not ask the same thing about Baucus people who’ve been spreading dirt about Schweitzer since 2006, and then having Tester people do it too. Not going to get into specifics online, but everyone in the D camp knows they’ve heard the same rumors echo over and over from these people without any substantiation. The difference is that Baucus’ issues are real and right in front of everybody. The dirt on BS is nothing but innuendo and vague references to a certain set of documents that never existed in the first place. Baucus is a punk who used Montana, the party, and his seat on the ‘powerful senate finance committee’ to sell out Montanans and the Nation time and time again.

  14. Queen City Dem

    this is kind of a weak defense from the baucus partisans. blaming schweitzer for blogging this information? you gotta be kidding me. first, schweitzer’s running for president, not senate. second, it doesn’t even address or defend the basic facts offered by this blog, namely, that baucus took dough from kochs.

  15. D3nton5

    The Koch brothers control more corrupt politicians via their donations than the rest of the US population combined. You can’t go more than 4 hours watching TV without seeing an ad paid for by Americans for Prosperity. Should be Two Americans for their own personal Prosperity. They paid millions to put people in Congress to ensure no legislation they didn’t want would be passed.

  16. Ely from Culbertson

    I think he needs to give back the money as it is a taint on all democrats in montana. we don’t want to be knows as the democrats who take koch money, as then what’s the difference between us and all the Scott Walkers of the world and tea-baggers.

  17. Ely from Culbertson

    Plus, now if we try to criticize Rehberg for his Koch connections now Rehberg will just through this back in our faces and we don’t need it.

  18. Alan Vander Wey

    I agree with Jennifer, what he does with the money after keeping from the Kochs is very important. Just like the money he is keeping from big insurance and big medical, he should redistribute it to Montanans.

  19. Official Max Baucus Response to this Blog

    This is to let you know that I have recently been diagnosed with stage 4 Koch addiction. The good news is that I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely debilitating to my personal lifestyle.

    My family and I thank you for your compassion at this time.

    The ways that Koch produces addiction in people is by working on portions of the brain. The base narcissistic superego (BNE) of the brain is one area in particular that is stimulated by Koch.

    When you take Koch for long periods of time, and in large amounts, as I have, you will quickly build up a tolerance. This means that you must take higher and higher quantities in order to feel pleasure to the extent that you experienced the first time. Recent studies have shown that when you go through periods of not taking Koch, the memories of the euphoric high experienced while on it can cause you to have massive cravings and may even cause you to relapse even if you haven’t been abstinent for a long period of time.

    My doctors and I have decided on a two-month treatment of daily tobacco industry cash intake beginning in mid-August. This regimen will restrict my travel to Montana during that period, so it will not change my daily routine. I feel great – as if I were a normal excellent Senator – and my intellectual level is still hovering at 60 percent.

    I will let shareholders of the companies who regularly fund me know immediately should my situation with Koch money change. But I don’t plan to tell Montanans or give back the money. Eventually, of course, I may have to drop out of the race; but I believe that day is a long way off…

  20. Joe Turner

    QUESTION: What’s the difference between Max Baucus and Dustin Hurst?

    ANSWER: Both get paid to lie for the Koch brothers.

  21. larry kurtz

    Many states grant parental rights to rapists that father. This story appeared in the Missoulian.

    Had a pregnancy resulted from the event the 14-year old doesn’t even legally possess the right to make any decisions about the outcome at all.

    How is carrying such a pregnancy to term not slavery?

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