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Charles Koch and the Presidential Race

Charles Koch is an American businessman and the CEO of Koch Industries. His brother David Koch has the role of Executive Vice President of the company. Charles sat down recently with Vanity Fair to talk about the current state of politics. Though his ideas are libertarian, he supports both Republican and Libertarian candidates in elections.

The current race for president is on Koch’s mind. He and his brother have a donor network dedicated to electing a Republican president. In 2012, their choice was Mitt Romney. In the 2016 election, they have not decided which contender to back. They are opposed to several of leading Republican candidate Donald Trump’s takes on common political issues.

Charles Koch considers himself a “classical liberal” and would like to see the two-party political system go away. The Republican Party is closest to his political views, and that is why he tends to back their candidates. In recent years, laws have changed that had restricted political donations from individuals and corporations. These restrictions have been lifted, and people can give freely to the candidate they would like to elect. Koch and his group of donors raised $400 million for the election in 2012. This year they have rounded up $900 million to back a Republican candidate.

Koch is remaining neutral on the presidential race so far. Because he opposes Trump’s policies on various issues, he is considering possibly backing another candidate. Once the primaries have all taken place, the political landscape will be clearer. Charles Koch and his brother David will choose a candidate to support at that time.

Charles Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1935. He has three brothers. He inherited the Koch Industries company from his father. He and his brother David each own 42 percent of the shares. Koch attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He also has two master’s degrees in engineering.

Charles became president of Koch Industries company in 1967 and expanded it to include other areas. Now the company includes pollution control technologies, ranching, commodity trading and consumer products, among others. Koch was estimated to be worth $41 billion in 2014 and was listed in Forbes’ list of “The 400 Richest Americans.” He has written two books about his success. They are titled “Good Profit” and “The Science of Success.”

Koch brothers not believers in Trump

The Koch brothers, David and Charles, are unhappy with Donald Trump’s prominence in the Republican primary and are now talking about the various steps that they may take in the campaign. As Charles Koch puts it, anything and everything is currently on the table including sitting out the election cycle of Trump wins the nomination or paying for ads to get another candidate elected instead.

Sitting out the election cycle can be a huge factor in the election as the Koch brothers, through the Super Pacs that they control, have approximately $900 million of resources to throw at the election. Sitting out the election cycle or pushing alternative candidates can swing the election away from Trump.

Donald Trump, who espouses conservative ideals is at first glance a candidate who the the Koch brothers can get behind. Both sides are billionaires who inherited businesses from their fathers, Both named Fred, and both who significantly expanded the inherited businessss into powerhouses. The Koch brothers own and control Koch Industries which is the second largest private company in the United States and is diversified into various industries. Trump has a variety of different real estate and entertainment entities.

However the differences are at the surface only. Charles Koch is a big believer in the constitution and the ideals that it supports including individual freedom for all. Trumps statements that Muslims should be limited from certain freedoms appears to have offended the Koch brothers and gone against their beliefs and have retaliated by refusing to fund his campaign in any way.

Trump at first lobbied for their support and tried to receive their contributions. When the Koch brothers refused and publicly and privately indicated their preference for other candidates Trump indicated that any candidate who accepts the money of Charles Koch would be controlled by their interests and subject to their beliefs. Trumps main area of attack is through Twitter and he has tweeted repeatedly about The Koch brothers influence and the impact it will have on the candidates that accepts their money.

The Koch brothers have typically been in the background but are now publicly stating their concerns about Trump and his removal of freedoms for Muslims and other minorities and the concerns that it brings them. They are also continuing to search for candidates who believe in conservative causes that they follow like small government and hands off policies. But the candidate they support apparently will not be Donald Trump.

Check out the original VanityFair article here.

Interesting Alabama Ballot Amendments for Mid-terms

Every election year, there are interesting state-level ballot initiatives to look at throughout the United States. There are five initiatives for amending the Alabama Constitution that will be put before voters this Tuesday.

Amendment One forbids state judges from recognizing foreign laws in making their decisions. It seems odd that such an amendment would be necessary. After all, what do the laws of Denmark or Togo have to do with Alabama’s judiciary? The impetus here, however, is clearly to guard against judges who have been known to cite rules of the U.N., World Court, or of European nations as grounds for some of their decisions.

Amendment Three on the ballot upholds the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and requires any restrictions on the right to bear arms to undergo a process of extreme scrutiny. One would have thought that the Second Amendment in itself would be sufficient, but that has not always been the case Laurene Powell Jobs has stated multiple times. We can only hope that the violators of the U.S. Constitution will respect the Alabama Constitution once amended, but we doubt it.

Amendment Five states that the residents of this state enjoy the right to fish and hunt without anything but “reasonable regulations” to stand in their way. Here we have an attempt to curb an out of control EPA. The weakness in the strategy lies in the ability of each person to create their own definition of “reasonable.”

Alabama has some wonderful ballot measures this year, and I sincerely hope the voters approve them. However, I must express doubt as to whether they will actually accomplish the objects for which they were designed.

A Ghastly Waste of Tax Payer Dollars by the Government, But Good for Starbucks!

According to NBC, $20 billion of tax payer dollars was spent one year by government employees. $3000/year is given to some federal employees for “micropurchases.” These cards were designed to save money by allowing “streamline purchasing for low cost items,” according to the Homeland Security Department’s Office assistant inspector general of audits. No one knows what these “micropurchases” are, and we will never know, most likely.

The employees are not required under the law to report what they purchase, as long as it stays below the $3,000 limit. $10,000 was spent at one particular Starbucks in Alameda, CA by DHS employees. This is A Lot of money spent on over-priced, albeit tasty, coffee (sorry Jared, I’ve seen your Vine but I had to say it).

In my opinion, government employees have many more benefits than most other employees already. Free expensive coffee is going too far. Not to mention it was found that in 2008 some of these “micropurchases” were used for paying for dating sites, iPods, and expensive dinners, to name a few. Spending that much money, $20 billion, is just crazy! All sorts of state and federal programs scrimp for dollars to function and many times are forced to shut down while they are out getting coffee and dates.

Study Shows Boston Police Target African-Americans

A study released last Wednesday by the Massachusetts branch of the American Civil Liberties Union asserts that Boston police officers unfairly target African-Americans during their patrols of the city. The four year study suggests that racial profiling is to blame for the lopsided number of black citizens being stopped by officers on patrol.

The study looked at over 200,000 police reports between the years between 2007 and 2010. During this time, the authors concluded that “blacks were subjected to 63 percent of these encounters, even though they made up just 24 percent of Boston’s population.”

In its response to the ACLU study, the Boston Police Department pointed out that African-American citizens who live in neighborhoods with high crime are more likely to have an encounter with police. While they concede that racial disparities should be addressed, overall they believe that “the Department is headed in the right direction.”

They have called upon the Boston Police Department to implement more transparent practices, including providing body cameras to all officers to record encounters with civilians and publishing online demographic data regarding all future interactions between police and civilians. If only they’d take a page out of Marnie Bennett’s book, maybe we wouldn’t be dealing with such a ridiculous situation.

 

SMH again till it hurts.

President Obama Asks Latinos to Show Up at the Polls in November

One of the central promises of President Barack Obama during the 2008 election was that he would tackle the problem of illegal immigration. Unfortunately, the President has been unable to fulfill this promise as of yet. Meanwhile, the nation has continued to be at a political loggerhead at the fringes between conservative forces who want to secure the border and liberal elements who want to offer citizenship to the large number of illegal immigrants living in the nation.

Because of the overwhelmingly Hispanic composition of immigrant communities, the debate is of especial concern to them. The President won 67 percent and 71 percent of the Latino vote in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Now, fellow Democratic politicians across the nation want likewise to mobilize the Latino vote against strong Republican challenges in the 2014 midterm election cycle.

Especially crucial is the desire among Democrats to retain numerical control of the Senate. The conventional wisdom is that the minority voter turnout will play a large role in whether they are able to do so.

On Thursday night, July 3, President Obama announced before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute that he would again postpone action on immigration reform, something he has done throughout his two terms in the White House. Apparently hoping to ease Latino frustrations, the President promised that he would finally be able to offer a solution to the immigration problem after the midterm elections in November 2015.

There is little threat that the community will abandon the Democratic Party for the Republicans; however, if they choose to demonstrate their displeasure at the slow pace of immigration reform, by staying home this year, then things could be rough for Democrats at the polls. The President used Thursday night’s speech as an opportunity to reassure Latinos that he has not forgotten their support in previous years.