Billionaires spend big on efforts that will weaken unions, hurt workers

NYHTC — March 07, 2011

Billionaires Charles and David Koch are now using their enormous wealth to contribute to the crushing of public sector unions despite the injury that will inevitably be inflicted on millions of middle class working people across the United States. A recent article in The New York Times explored the nature of their involvement.

Working through "Americans for Prosperity," the Kochs, and Koch Industries money, have played a significant behind-the-scenes role in unleashing the savage multi-state attack by Republicans on government workers and their unions. The brothers were instrumental in the organization's founding, as well as its funding; in 2010 it had a staggering $40 million budget.

The principal goal of Americans for Prosperity appears to be to insure the continued prosperity of the billionaires who set it in motion œat the expense of ordinary people who are our family members and our neighbors, and whose work lives and economic struggles are of little interest to people like the Kochs.

It has zealously supported state legislative initiatives designed to leave government workers' unions powerless. In Wisconsin, state records show Koch Industries was one of the single biggest contributors to the successful gubernatorial campaign of Republican Scott Walker. The president of Americans for Prosperity, a close associate of the Kochs, boasted the group had been working on instigating the anti-union attack there even before Walker was actually elected.

The group has also been actively collaborating with state officials in the key battle ground states of Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.