While he represents the voters of the Green Mountain State in the US Senate, Bernie Sanders has a stereotypical Brooklyn accent that’s so thick it could slice through a three pound pastrami sandwich all by itself. And as reported by the National Journal news portal on April 30, 2015, Sanders made it official today that he’ll make a run at being the first person with a working-class New York City dialect to make it to the Oval Office.
During the course of announcing his presidential aspirations, Sanders made a point of singling out the conservative/libertarian billionaire brothers Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch of Koch Industries. As Sanders matter of factly stated, “I’m not going to get money from the Koch brothers, and I’m not going to get money from billionaires.” Not quite done painting all wealthy donors as Republican puppet masters , the Vermont Socialist also added, “So, you’ve got the Koch Brothers and other billionaire families who are prepared to spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in elections to buy the candidates of their choice, often extreme right-wing candidates.”
However, while the Socialism-friendly Senator is well known for railing against the wealthiest Americans, Front Page Magazine noted on Sept. 10, 2014, the Vermont legislator’s personal wealth increased a whopping 228 percent since 2004. An increase of income that equates to an average of 29 percent every year. The Senator’s worth may not come close to him being labeled as one of the richest 1 percent of the nation, but his personal value has been estimated at roughly half a million dollars.
The brothers have been known for donating hundreds of millions of dollars to a number of charities, political campaigns, and other conservative and libertarian causes they’ve deemed worthy. Notable would be the $20 million they donated to the ACLU to “fight the Bush administration over the PATRIOT Act,” as reported by Reason magazine in 2011. The former Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) once said from the floor of the Senate that the brothers are “un-American”.
Another sizable donation was $100 million to construct the new cancer wing at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. As the New York Post reported in 2014, “Among the many David Koch gifts to this city alone are a previous $15 million to New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, $30 million to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, $25 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery, $20 million to a dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, $65 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and $100 million to the Lincoln Center theater that is home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.”
Of the two brothers, David H. Koch was the 1980 Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate, who advocated the abolition of Social Security, the FBI, the CIA, and public schools. During the course of the race, Koch pony upped $500,000 of his own money into the race.
As previously covered by Examiner.com, more than a few of top dollar political donors lean hard towards the Democrats. As cited, eleven of the top twenty political donors are pro-Democrat Unions. Citing the break down of the categories by the percentage of money that goes to a particular party, almost a full third (44 total) of the top 140 political donors fall solidly into the Democratic camp:
- Leans Democrat (60%-69%)
- Strongly Democrat (70%-89%)
- Solidly Democrat (over 90%)
An almost equal number (43 total) favor the GOP. The notable difference is that roughly 2/3ds (29 total) of the Republican money comes from the bottom half of the list.