“I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother…And proud of it.” Herman Cain
Cain Has Deep Ties to Koch Brothers (excerpt from The Slatest)
He casts himself as an outsider but the retired pizza magnate has close ties to the infamous billionaires.
Left-leaning news outlets have been saying it for a while now. In fact, just two days ago, AlterNetheadlined an article: “As Herman Cain Surges, Corporate Media Ignore His Koch Connections.” No longer. The Associated Press has come out with a long piece detailing how the retired pizza magnate who bills himself as an outsider with real-world experience has deep ties to one of the biggest insiders of them all: the Koch brothers. The billionaire Charles and David Koch have been “waging a war against Obama,” as The New Yorkerput it in a long profile last year, and have bankrolled a number of right-wing causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.
Now the AP notes that “Cain’s campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for Americans for Prosperity.” And he has even admitted that he came up with his famous “9-9-9” tax plan with the help of someone who serves on the AFP advisory board. Yet as he has surged in the polls, his ties to the Koch brothers are not exactly something that his campaign, or the Koch brothers, seem eager to talk about. The AP also notes that Mark Block, Cain’s campaign manager who was hired to lead the AFP Wisconsin chapter in 2005, has a spotty past and settled a suit in 2001 that accused him of violating campaign laws by agreeing to pay $15,000 and “sit out of politics for three years.”
For more – visit The Slatest.
Why Herman Cain Is The Koch Brothers’ Favorite Presidential Candidate (excerpt from Think Progress)
Former pizza executive Herman Cain’s rise to the top of the Republican presidential pack will undoubtedly put smiles on the faces of two brothers: Charles and David Koch.
The Koch Brothers are infamous for using their billions to finance the Tea Party and helping to gut business and environmental regulations. They have not been shy about influencing conservative politics, both through large direct contributions – the Kochs have pledged to raise $88 million for the 2012 election – and funding corporate front groups like Americans for Prosperity.
Though the Kochs have not made a public endorsement in the Republican presidential contest, Herman Cain’s rise from niche radio host to presidential frontrunner appears to have been largely fueled by the Koch network. From Cain’s early foray into politics to his presidential campaign speeches to his top staff, the former pizza executive has had close, consistent ties with the Koch Brothers.
Given the extensive connections between Herman Cain and the Koch Brothers, ThinkProgress asked the former pizza executive about his thoughts on David Koch back in March. Cain called David Koch — as well as his brother Charles — a “patriot”:
For much more – visit Think Progress.
Herman Cain: The Koch Brothers go presidential (excerpt from the Daily Kos)
The average voter doesn’t know the name. Most serious media outlets consider him an odd “pizza guy” outlier. Even political junkies probably view him as an oddity.
But Herman Cain, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, sports a certain charisma, a business background, and a growing teabagger following. He’s being portrayed as a “grassroots” figure, a businessman fed up with government who blahblahblah you know what I mean.
Let’s ignore Cain’s story for a moment. Let’s look at his campaign manager: a man named Mark Block.
The marketing of Herman Cain to this point has been the classic teabagger fantasy story: a successful businessman with no political experience comes in to run the government like a business. Somehow this fixes our problems (or something). Here’s a puff piece.
But for Cain being such a “grassroots” guy, a noted insider is the one running the campaign.
Mark Block is the former head of American for Prosperity in Wisconsin. As the article details, he’s been a major figure in Republican party machinery in Wisconsin, connected to former Governor Tommy Thompson, several state supreme court justices and even former president George H. W. Bush. He was an aggressive campaigner; the type of aggressive that ends up resulting in the largest fines Wisconsin has ever given out:
The Elections Board alleged that Block had overseen the creation of a supposedly non-partisan, non-profit organization to encourage voter participation – a description not unlike that of AFP. In fact, the Board’s investigation found, the non-profit was an illegal arm of the Wilcox campaign used to skirt campaign finance law and rake in large donations from school choice supporters used to help reelect Wilcox. (Wilcox himself agreed to a $10,000 fine.)
After his reputation and record made him too controversial/criminal for the GOP establishment, he went “grassroots” – that is, he took up jobs for corporate structured astroturfing agencies. Beyond AFP, he’s worked with the Koch Brothers think tank the MacIver Institute, who have supported Scott Walker’s initiatives with fake grassroots support and manufactured bullshit controversies about doctors.