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Dan Sullivan: Campaign Propped up by the Koch Brothers


The billionaire Koch brothers are spending millions on attack ads against Mark Begich in their effort to buy Alaska’s senate seat for Dan Sullivan. It’s the same Koch brothers who are shutting down Alaska’s Flint Hills refinery, costing Alaskans jobs, polluting the groundwater. Now we find out Dan Sullivan’s billionaire parents are bankrolling other Lower-48 attack ads engineered by Karl Rove. Their secret network is fighting to privatize Social Security and Medicare, putting Alaska seniors at the mercy of Wall Street. Sullivan should be standing up for Alaskans, not his billionaire supporters.


Koch Brothers are Pouring Millions into Attack Ads Smearing Mark Begich’s Record

NYT: Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity Poured Millions Into Ads Against Begich, Other Targeted Senate Races – “Amounts More Typically Spent During The Closing Stages Of Senate Races.” Reported the New York Times in January 2014, “Since September, Americans for Prosperity, a group financed in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, has spent an estimated $20 million on television advertising that calls out House and Senate Democrats by name for their support of the Affordable Care Act. . . . The group has poured millions of dollars — amounts more typically spent during the closing stages of Senate races — into attacks on the health care stances of Democratic senators such as Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.” [New York Times, 1/15/14] “Whether Sullivan Wanted AFP’s Help Or Not, He’s Getting It.” “The AFP ads haven’t mentioned Sullivan, nor has the group or the Koch brothers given directly to Sullivan. Some voters may get the impression from the ad that Sullivan had spent close to $1 million on ads thanks to Koch money. And Sullivan counters in his radio ad that he ‘has never taken a dime from the Koch brothers.’ True, but it’s certainly reasonable to say that ads attacking the incumbent are, by extension, ads supporting the leading challenger. Whether Sullivan wanted AFP’s help or not, he’s getting it.” [, 5/2/14]

Miller Attacked Sullivan For Outside Support: “I Really Think The Question Is Where’s The Money Coming From And Why Is It Being Given.” MILLER: I really think the question is where’s the money coming from and why is it being given. I mean you’ve got to look at the groups who are giving the money. For example I mentioned earlier that Karl Rove is a major donor to the Crossroads PAC to Mr. Sullivan; it’s a pro-amnesty guy. The Chamber of Commerce- pro-amnesty. You’ve got a number of other folk- Paul Singer’s I think bundled $300,000, maybe it’s 400 or 500,000 now to your campaign. Paul Singer’s a radical at least from the perspective of social conservatives. When people give to these campaigns they expect a return. [Video, KTVA GOP Debate, 8/10/14]

Kochs Closed Alaska Refinery – Laying Off 80 Alaskans, Prompting Tax Increase Proposals & Increased Construction Costs

Alaska Dispatch: “The Decision Is A Major Blow To The Fairbanks Economy.” Reported the Alaska Dispatch in February 2014, “The decision is a major blow to the Fairbanks economy, as the refinery, which has an assessed valuation of about $143 million — down from $169 million a decade ago — is the fourth largest taxpayer in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.” [Alaska Dispatch, 2/4/14]

Headline: KTVA: “In North Pole, Refinery Closure Paves The Way For Property Tax Pain.” [KTVA, 7/2/14]

North Pole Mayor: The City Might Have To Raise Property Taxes After Losing Up To $100,000 In Revenue From Flint Hills Closure. “The City of North Pole stands to lose tens of thousands of dollars in property tax revenues when the Flint Hills refinery shuts down for good later this year. Mayor Bryce Ward said the total financial blow to the city could total more than $100,000. Ward said about 50 of the 80 positions slated for elimination will move out of state, but he’s hopeful a new buyer will help keep the refinery open. If not, he said, the city would likely be forced to raise water and sewer rates — and possibly property taxes — in the near future.” [KTVA, 7/2/14]

2015: North Pole Expected Total Lost Revenues From Flint Hills Shutdown To Be $87,000. As a result of the Flint Hills Shutdown, the City of North Pole expected: “Total Loss of Property Tax and Sales Tax: $74,000 + $13,000 = $87,000 in losses in 2015 over 2014 revenue projections.” [City of North Pole Budget Workshop, 6/2/14]

Headline: Fairbanks News-Miner: “State Files Lawsuit Over North Pole Refinery Contamination.” [Fairbanks News-Miner, 6/18/14]

Headline: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: “Parnell To Flint Hills: Refinery Can’t Duck Responsibility For Sulfolane Contamination.” [Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 3/3/14]

State Of Alaska Filed A Lawsuit Against Flint Hills Refinery For Failing To Stop Groundwater Contamination And Pay For Cleanup Costs. “The state has filed a lawsuit against the current and former owners of the Flint Hills refinery in North Pole, charging that the two caused and failed to stop the spill and spread of chemicals into the area’s groundwater. The lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General’s office on Thursday alleges that current owner Flint Hills Resources and former owner Williams Alaska are responsible for sulfolane plume seeping from the North Pole refinery and should foot the bill for the cleanup and mitigation for the spill.” [Fairbanks News-Miner, 6/18/14]

Flint Hills Resources Fined $80,000 For Mishandling Hazardous Waste. Reported the Alaska Dispatch News in September 2014, “Flint Hills Resources agreed to pay an $80,000 civil penalty for mishandling groundwater filters in a case that led to two trash-bin fires at its North Pole refinery in 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday. . . . ‘In this case, two completely avoidable dumpster fires occurred because the facility’s hazardous waste was not properly identified and managed,’ Scott Downey, manager of the air and hazardous waste unit in Seattle, said in a written statement. ‘Worker and responder safety can be jeopardized when ignitable and reactive wastes are not managed and stored in strict accordance with the law.’” [Alaska Dispatch News, 9/10/14]

Headline: Fairbanks News-Miner: “North Pole Refinery Closure Leads To Higher Asphalt Expense.” [Fairbanks News-Miner, 9/15/14]

Headline: Alaska Journal Of Commerce: “Flint Hills Refinery Closure Makes For Higher-Priced Asphalt.” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 9/4/14]

Flint Hills Refinery Closing Increased The Cost Of Asphalt 20 Percent, Leading To Higher Roads Construction Costs In Interior Alaska. “As paving season peaks, getting asphalt to construction sites across Alaska has become more complicated and expensive since Flint Hills Resources closed its North Pole oil refinery. The real price of asphalt oil has spiked about 20 percent over last year — about $150 per ton — for construction projects in Fairbanks and more remote locations, Exclusive Paving General Manager Travis Cline said. The reason for the cost increase is asphalt oil used for state Transportation Department Northern Region projects must now be trucked up from Tesoro’s Nikiski refinery.” [Alaska Journal of Commerce,9/4/14]

Alaska DOT Construction Engineer: Flint Hills Refinery Closure Will Cost Alaskans $3.75 Million In Increased Road Costs. “DOT Northern Region Construction Engineer Frank Ganley said the state was initially hearing that asphalt was running about $100 more per ton than was projected in many of the contracts it has with construction companies, but added that the $150 figure is reasonable as well. ‘A lot of that information we just don’t have yet from our contractors,’ Ganley said. Contracts for this summer’s projects were bid and awarded last winter and early spring, prior to when Flint Hills announced it would close its North Pole refinery, which happened June 1. He estimated Northern Region work would use about 25,000 tons of asphalt oil this year, meaning it could cost the state and its contractors combined up to $3.75 million more than projected. […] DOT road construction contracts include a price adjustment clause that requires contractors to share in the added cost, up to 7.5 percent, Ganley said.” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 9/4/14]

The Koch Record On Labor – Fighting Minimum Wage And Supporting Right To Work

Kochs’ “Secret Bank” Contributed $1 Million To National Right To Work Committee. [OpenSecrets, 2012]

Headline: Politico: “Exclusive: The Koch Brothers’ Secret Bank.” [Politico, 9/13/13]

“A Totally Unknown Group Was The Largest Sugar Daddy For Conservative Groups In The Last Election, Second In Total Spending Only To Karl Rove’s American Crossroads And Crossroads GPS, Which Together Spent About $300 Million.” “The group [Freedom Partners] has about 200 donors, each paying at least $100,000 in annual dues. It raised $256 million in the year after its creation in November 2011, the document shows. And it made grants of $236 million — meaning a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election, second in total spending only to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, which together spent about $300 million.” [Politico, 9/13/13]

Headline: ThinkProgress: “Billionaire Koch Brother Says Eliminating The Minimum Wage Will Help The Poor.” [ThinkProgress, 7/10/13]

Charles Koch: Minimum Wage Is An “Obstacle” To Americans – “We’ve Got to Clear Those Out.” Reported the Wichita Eagle in July 2013, “Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.” [Wichita Eagle, 7/9/13]

Americans For Prosperity Included Raising The Minimum Wage As A Key Vote – AFP Opposed Passage. Americans for Prosperity’s scorecard of key votes in the 110th Congress included 2007 House Vote 18 on the Fair Minimum Wage Act. AFP opposed passage of the bill. [AFP Scorecard – 110th Congress, accessed 9/17/14]

Headline: Huffington Post: “Top Koch Strategist Argues The Minimum Wage Leads Directly To Fascism.” [Huffington Post, 9/3/14]

Executive Vice President Of Koch Industries Argued That Minimum Wage Led To Totalitarianism, Fascism. “At a political strategy summit hosted on June 16 by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, Richard Fink, their top political strategist, told the private audience that when he sees someone “on the street” he says, “Get off your ass, and work hard like we did.” . . . “Psychology shows that is the main recruiting ground for totalitarianism, for fascism, for conformism, when people feel like they’re victims,” said Fink. “So the big danger of minimum wage isn’t the fact that some people are being paid more than their value-added — that’s not great. It’s not that it’s hard to stay in business — that’s not great, either. But it’s the 500,000 people that will not have a job because of minimum wage.’” [Huffington Post, 9/3/14]

Headline: TPM: “David Koch Once Backed Candidate Who Called Social Security A ‘Pyramid Scheme.’” [TPM, 4/1/14]

David Koch Ran & Funded Campaign For Presidential Candidate Who Called Social Security A “Pyramid Scheme” And Proposed Abolishing The Program. Reported TPM in April 2014, “David Koch, one of the brothers that help fund major Republican initiatives, ran and helped fund a presidential campaign in 1980 that called Social Security “The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme.’ That’s according to a new report in Buzzfeed that highlights Democrats’ research that Koch was the vice presidential nominee and main driver of the presidential campaign of Libertarian candidate Ed Clark. Social Security is called the “ultimate pyramid scheme” in Clark’s campaign book, titled A New Beginning. The book also argues that Social Security should completely be abolished.” [TPM, 4/1/14]