Koch Brothers Rebut Attack by Liberal Billionaire Steyer

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 11:26 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The conservative Koch brothers hit back on Tuesday against what a spokesman called a "disingenuous" attack by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, who had said that unlike them, he was not entering politics for personal gain.

"That assertion is false and disingenuous, and people can see through that," Robert Tappan told Politico in an email. "Koch opposes all mandates and subsidies, even when they exist for businesses in which we operate.

"In doing so, we act against our self-interest," Tappan said. "We have been consistent in this position for over 40 years."

In an interview with Politico and The Washington Post, Steyer charged that the priorities of billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch "line up perfectly with their pocketbooks — and that's not true for us."

The brothers support various political causes, including the group Americans for Prosperity.

A former hedge fund manager and lifelong Democrat, Steyer has a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He has been a longtime advocate of alternative energy and told the news organizations that he planned to spend at least "100 million bucks" on climate-change issues in this fall's congressional elections.

The interview will be broadcast Sunday on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, Politico reports.

In recent weeks, the Koch brothers have come under attack by many Democrats, including a political action committee affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Three of the Senate Majority PAC's recent TV ads attacking the brothers recently received three Pinocchios by The Post's Glenn Kessler.

Kessler, author of The Fact Checker column, rates the truth of political claims with one to four Pinocchios. He told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that the PAC was distorting the facts to lambast the Kochs.

Republicans have retorted, however, that Steyer has used the same court rulings and laws as the Kochs to use his wealth to influence elections, Politico reports. They also note a February fundraiser at Steyer's home in San Francisco that Reid and other Democrats attended.

The event, at which former Vice President Al Gore also appeared, raised $400,000 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to Politico.

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