Friday, May 9, 2014

Kochs and secrecy

I don't like Sheldon Adelson's politics, but from what I can see, he at least doesn't try to hide how much money he spends on advocating his views. (I'm open to being proven wrong on that score.)

Why are the Koch brothers so allergic to others knowing how much they spend on advocating their views?

Could it be that they know just how unpopular, how downright detested, their views are?

The Topeka Capital-Journal ran a piece yesterday, "AFP state leader admits link to group opposing renewable energy law".

The Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance was formed shortly before the final House vote and sent mailers featuring concerned seniors staring at their energy bills to constituents of some Republican House members.
Reporters and targeted politicians wanted to know how this group came to be, given its high-profile, last-minute campaign tactic.

The creation of the new group was a bit tangled. W. Robert Alderson, the lawyer who filed the paperwork that created the group, initially said he had been "engaged by Americans for Prosperity". He later said that statement was a mistake. Since it had been the leader of the Kansas branch of AFP, Jeff Glendening, who had asked him to form the new group, Alderson said he wrongly assumed his client was AFP. Glendening himself claimed to have been a liaison for the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance's actual founder, Virginia Crossland-Macha.

Alderson also said he shouldn't have discussed whom he was representing at all. That's probably true. What the slip revealed, though, wasn't just Glendening's involvement in the group's creation. It also showed the utter bogusness of Glendening's attempt to deflect responsibility from himself and AFP.

If you know nothing else about lawyers, you should know — odds are, you do know — that the one piece of information they always, always nail down before they do anything is the identity of their client.

Whose interests are you representing? Who's paying you? If you don't know those two things, you could be on your way to ethics charges and disbarment on the one hand, and/or personal bankruptcy on the other.

Glendening's story is the biggest crock.

The only plausible explanation for what happened is, Alderson correctly understood that the new group was being formed at the behest of AFP. However, Glendening never intended for that inconvenient truth to come out. The paperwork had an acquaintance's name as the new group's leader, but that was just a fig leaf whose flimsiness was never supposed to become public knowledge.

Oops.

The Kochs' well-known political action arm, Americans for Prosperity, itself spent $100,000 in media ads to defeat the renewable-energy provisions. Why didn't they spend a bit more to send out the mailers attributed to the so-called senior advocacy group?

Obviously, the Kochs didn't want to take the credit for the mailer. Or rather, the blame.

They wanted to pretend somebody else supported their cause.

They wanted to pretend somebody else was responsible for scaring seniors with utter bullshit.

They wanted to pretend their cause wasn't deeply reprehensible, greedy and destructive to the environment and to humanity's long-term well-being.

The Kochs love to hide how they spend their money because they know how much the rest of us hate the causes they espouse.

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