The billionaire Koch brothers are spending millions every month to buy themselves an anti-middle class U.S. Senate, but this week they announced they would be firing 80 Alaskan workers and closing a refinery because of the “excessive costs” of keeping it open. The closing of the Koch Brothers-owned Flint Hills Refinery in North Pole, Alaska will cost the Fairbanks area a top employer, and breaks a five year commitment made with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Flint Hill Resources. The Kochs cite “excessive costs,” but they have millions to spend on political campaigns.
The Washington Post reports that the Koch Brothers backed Americans for Prosperity has spent more than $27 million since August, including nearly $300,000 in Alaska on political attack ads. The purpose of all that spending is to send more Tea Party Republicans to Washington to push the Kochs’ reckless and irresponsible agenda that includes ending Social Security and Medicare as we know it, eliminating student loans, stopping the renewal of unemployment benefits, fighting against raising the minimum wage, and pushing our country to the brink of default in order to pay for bigger tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations.
“The Koch Brothers could care less about the Alaskans they fired or the families they hurt, and are thoroughly consumed with buying themselves a U.S. Senate that will advance their agenda,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “The Koch Brothers are spending millions of dollars across the country and hundreds of thousands in Alaska to attack Mark Begich and prop up Dan Sullivan, Mead Treadwell, and Joe Miller because they know these Republican Senate candidates will do their bidding. Alaskans deserve a leader in the U.S. Senate that puts their interests first, not Koch Brothers allies that will advance the reckless and irresponsible agenda of billionaires who fire Alaskans because of ‘excessive costs’ but drop millions on political attack ads every month.”
This isn’t the first time the Koch Brothers have demonstrated they have zero credibility with Alaskans. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported Koch Brothers funded Americans for Prosperity was caught using a Maryland actress to claim that Mark Begich has lost touch with Alaska.