Politico | By Nick Gass
Despite pouring millions of his vast personal fortune into politics, in an interview with MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe” aired Tuesday, megadonor Charles Koch said he and his brother David are “so far … largely failures at” buying up influence and changing the level of political rhetoric in the United States.
“But I’m kind of like Martin Luther when he was on trial and ‘He said, here I stand, I can do no other,'” Koch said in a taped conversation in Wichita, Kansas, with co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
Asked whether he and his brother were still getting caught up in the same cycle of corporate welfare they are aiming to break, Koch said he hoped the money contributed to candidates would result in an end to the government assistance of large corporations.
“But, see, the perspective is all wrong because we’re trying to raise $250 million to fight all this stuff. There are hundreds of billions being spent to advance it because you look at all the money going out in these districts that then come back to the congresspeople, get them votes and build more power, and the whole system is wanting to reelect incumbents,” Koch went on to say. “And so, somebody’s got to fight it. Do you see a lot of other large companies fighting this? We’re about it. So if we didn’t do it, who would be trying to stop this racket? This is a huge racket that’s wrecking the country.”
On the night of last November’s midterm elections, Koch said, “we looked like we won,” but “as you can see, the performance, we didn’t win much of anything.”
“I feel this, that any time ad hominem attacks and lack of civility and lack of tolerance is shown … to not work, to be an anathema to the American people, that’s a step forward for a free and progressive society,” he added.
Koch declined to publicly comment on any presidential candidate, noting that past comments had been misinterpreted.
“David said some nice words about Walker and that was written up that we were given millions to his campaign. Do you know how much we’ve given to his campaign?” Koch asked.
“I hope none,” Scarborough said.
“Zero,” Koch responded.
In another example, Koch said, the brothers have not given any money to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, but “some other people who support some of our things gave money, gave $15 million to him. That was attributed to us. We had nothing to do with it.”
Asked whether he was a registered Republican, Koch responded, “Yeah, I’m in Kansas.”
But he has voted for Democratic candidates.
“David’s voted for more of them, but he’s in New York,” he said.
This article is posted originally in Politico
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