ERIC ZUESSE FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
I covered previously the decades-long Koch-operation that got us to where we are (see those earlier posts here, and here, and here, and here). I shall now describe the money-trail from there to Senator Ted Cruz, who directly headed the shutdown-effort in the U.S. Congress.
The two chief contributors to Cruz's political career donated over a million dollars to it (and no other entity donated as much as $100,000 to it). These two top sources of contributions to Mr. Cruz's political career were Club For Growth, and Senate Conservatives Fund, which together donated over a million dollars to it.
Here now is some background on the two top funders of Cruz's career:
The Club for Growth, which was the top donor ($700,000+) to Cruz, was founded in 1999 by Steve Moore. As Right Wing Watch has noted, "Before founding the Club for Growth, Moore was the director of fiscal policy at the Cato Institute, and has stayed on as a Senior Fellow." Here is how iron the Koch's control over the Cato Institute was, and is: David Weigel at slate.com bannered on 25 June 2012, “Ed Crane Steps Down to End Koch Brothers’ Attempted Coup at Cato,” and Weigel reported that the Kochs were firing Crane (who by that time was America’s longest-serving think-tank CEO), because he wasn’t doing a good enough job to “provide intellectual ammunition that we can then use at Americans for Prosperity and our allied organizations” in order to oust Barack Obama and the Democrats, and replace them with Republicans.
As the Right Wing Watch report also noted regarding the leadership of the Club For Growth: "Board Members: CFG President Pat Toomey; Vice President Chuck Pike [who was Toomey's long-time buddy]; Richard Gilder, formerly Chairman of the Manhattan Institute; and Thomas Rhodes, President of National Review magazine," and the CFG is "associated with a variety of right-wing organizations, including the Heritage Foundation." Each one of those entities and persons has been the recipient of much Koch "charitable" cash, even besides the payments for leadership in the CFG. Club for Growth was also overwhelmingly the largest direct donor to Jim DeMint's political career during 2007-2012 ($157,067 as compared to the #2 direct donor, Scana Corp., which is a S.C. energy company, $49,475); Koch Industries itself was #6 (at $22,000); Club for Growth was also the largest direct donor to DeMint's entire political career.
The #2 Cruz donor, the Senate Conservatives Fund, had been set up by the then-Senator Jim DeMint in 2008, and it funded the far-right Republican Pat Toomey's win of a Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat from the merely conservative Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Arlen Spector, and it funded the far-right Republican Marco Rubio's win of a Florida U.S. Senate seat against the merely conservative former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist. Then, DeMint's CFG funded Ted Cruz's replacing Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson as a Texas U.S. Senator. DeMint was able to do all of that because he had enjoyed massive funding from the Kochs and their friends (including Toomey). As Polluter Watch headlined on 6 December 2012, "Jim DeMint and Heritage Foundation Awash in Koch Brother Money." However, DeMint's backing by the Kochs was actually far greater than merely the Kochs' money; the Kochs were this nation's biggest "bundlers": DeMint was thus backed also by the Kochs' hundreds of billionaire and centi-millionaire friends, whom the Kochs had nurtured during decades, in their joint long campaign to take over the U.S. Government and to turn American democracy into a fascist government, controlled by a mega-corporate-elite behind closed doors, supported in this effort by religious fundamentalists such as Jim DeMint himself, who was a member of "the C-Street Family."
Here’s some background on that fundamentalist Christian connection: The Kochs' father, Fred Koch, had been a fundamentalist Christian co-founder of the John Birch Society, whose spin-off in 1981, which was/is the highly secretive fundamentalist Christian theocratic-aristocratic Council for National Policy, awarded his son Charles Koch their "Free Enterprise Award" in 1999.
Cruz himself (son of the firebrand fundamentalist minister Rafael Cruz) gets conservative fools to donate to the Koch machine and so to spread their propaganda even farther. "Keepthemhonest" at Daily Kos headlined on 24 September 20013, "Ted Cruz's 'Defund' Is a Fundraising Gimmick for Koch Bros Org to Rake in Millions," and he said that, "Ted Cruz claims that he started the 'dontfundit' website, but in reality all the donations go to Koch brothers' organizations. ... Cruz did not start that website at all, Koch brothers did." He noted: "Click on 'Donate' button and it says the money goes to: Senate Conservative Fund." And that's true; the suckers are paying directly into that DeMint-controlled political slush fund, which was seed-capitalized by the Kochs; this supercharges the Kochs' billionaire-bundling operation, which pumped $300,000+ into Cruz's "election." (Only the campaign of Jeff Flake in Arizona received more from it.)
The Koch machine has now been rather well documented, via leaks from the Kochs' periodic secret bundling-conferences. On 6 September 2011, Gavin Aronsen at Mother Jones bannered, "Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Million-Dollar Donor Club," and he provided a partial list of the people who had donated $1,000,000 to that year's fund.
A more extensive sourcewatch list of "Koch Event 2010-06 Attendees" includes a substantial crossover with the member-list of the Council for National Policy, which is the broader theocratic-aristocratic secret organization that also meets behind closed doors collectively to evaluate Republican Presidential candidates, and to choose which ones will be propagandized to the faithful masses on Sunday mornings. This particular Koch Event list had 165 individual or couple-guests.
(Photo: Robert Greenwald)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.