Ed. note: The following is a solicited statement, requested as response to our reporting and discussion this morning concerning transparency in politics. The statement was submitted to us yesterday via email by Robert A. Tappan, director of external relations for Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC.
Privacy and confidentiality in the advancement of ideas are also held by many on the left including your guest Lee Fang’s former employer, the Center for American Progress, and his current employer, United Republic, neither of which disclose their donors. Another guest on your show, Alicia Menendez, is an advisor for New Democrat Network, which assures its donors that their contributions will never be made public. Similarly, Professors Jamieson and Edelman are involved with groups that keep the identity of donors private and confidential. Moreover, academic conferences like the ones that Professors Jamieson and Edelman participate in, are often closed to press. Likewise, we assume the editorial meetings for your own show are closed to your competitors and the public.
Charles Koch and David Koch have publicly and consistently advocated for limited government, individual liberty, and economic freedom for more than 50 years. During that time, they have opposed policies that are counter to these principles, regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans were in power. They have long supported a variety of groups that analyze and advance thoughtful, reliable, free-market solutions to the pressing economic problems facing our country. Charles Koch and David Koch support these groups because of their desire to restore this great country to the principles of individual liberty and freedom upon which it was founded, and put a halt to the rampant and unchecked growth of government which threatens all Americans’ future prosperity.
All contributions to political campaigns made by Koch are disclosed and publicly available as required by law. Issue advocacy groups, however, have every right to keep their contributors private and confidential, which is an important principle that Americans have held dear since the founding of our country. That privacy protects individual citizens from retribution and harassment by the government – the very kind that we have experienced when President Obama and his senior aides have attacked us for exercising our First Amendment rights of free expression concerning public policy issues. This harassment has included a constant barrage of threatening invective, misleading advertisements by the President’s re-election campaign, and false insinuations concerning Koch’s tax status that led to a federal investigation of the Administration. Further, some of the media coverage of Koch, including coverage by msnbc, has led to death threats and threats of violence against Charles Koch and David Koch and our employees.