Ron Kind and Koch Brothers in Love

By Mark L. Taylor
The Daily Call (4/14/13)

Rep. Ron Kind deserves a mild pat on the back for finally coming out in favor of gay marriage. As usual, the ever timid and always super cautious “which-way-is-the-wind-blowing-today” rep waited until the last possible moment to make a whispered gesture of progressiveness once the all-clear social issue siren sounded.

The closest this guy has ever gotten to the political highwire is the circus parking lot.

If only he would be as quick at the start voting for basic human rights on the domestic front as he always is for hopping on  legislation waging war or slamming the book on individual rights and liberties. (Bush’s War and the Patriot Act are two examples.)

Ron is good at looking good. He’s got a great smile and a jaunty, bouncy manner. He wags his tail with great enthusiasm and exudes a puppy dog charm that just makes a guy smile. But, really, come on, the guy has always been more Main Street Republican than real Democrat.

Don’t believe me? Of the 26 energy industry donors to Ron’s campaign fund guess who comes in at Number 5 … Koch Industries!

Yes, those very same Koch brothers who put Scott Walker in as  regional manager of their Wisconsin franchise. According to Oil Change International, Ron has racked up $167,644 in energy and dirty oil industry donations, with a cool $16,000 of that amount coming from the Koch brothers. 

The only fossil fuel funders who have ponied up more for Ron’s campaign fund than the truly reprehensible Koch brothers are: Excel Energy at $35,650; National Rural Electric Cooperatives at $24,744; Wisconsin Energy Corporation at $19,700; and Alliant Energy at $18,450.

Since 1998 the Koch brothers have pumped a total of $6,836,404 into congressional races. The return on their investment has been very, very impressive. Of course the environment and our democracy have gone down the tubes, but, no matter, returns are stunning. Any bets on the outcome for the Keystone XL pipeline project?

By comparison, Sen. Tammy Baldwin has taken no money from the Koch brothers. Good for Tammy. Maybe the Koch brothers never made an offer, but no democratic office holder should ever, ever take one damn penny of the Koch’s blood money. That needs to be a basic litmus test for legislative sanity and Democratic morality. She has accepted $81,071 from the energy industry since 1999, less than half Ron’s take.

Now when it comes to cashing in on oil industry dirty lucre, Sen. Ron Johnson is truly the champ. Only into his second bizarro year in the senate, the heir to his wife’s family plastics manufacturing fortune has racked up $130,878 in energy industry pay outs with his keepers, the Koch brothers, kicking in $15,800.

Now $121,978 of that total amount came to Johnson “pre-term”. I’m assuming for the election. Since taking office, the Lords of Koch have passed along $8,900 of petty cash to the bumbling boy running their dingy senate branch office.

I imagine Ron K. is feeling a little put out. I mean, what the heck, the Koch brothers have already kicked over almost as much to Ron J. as he got since the late ’90’s. What’s up with that?

Whatever happened to loyalty in D.C.? 

You can check out energy industry donations to your rep at: 

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