Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald
Location
Culver City, California,
Birthday
August 28
Company
Brave New Foundation, Brave New Films
Bio
Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and the Brave New Films + Brave New Foundation founder and president. He is currently focused on the WAR COSTS (WarCosts.com) investigative campaign to challenge runaway, wasteful war spending – particularly in relation to job creation; KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED (KochBrothersExposed.com) to illustrate the Kochs’ effort to buy democracy and control public policy from every direction; and CUENTAME (MyCuentame.org), which is at the forefront of investigating corruption at private prisons. He has also produced and distributed short viral videos and campaigns like RETHINK AFHANISTAN (2009, RethinkAfghanistan.com), SICK FOR PROFIT (SickForProfit.com), FOX ATTACKS (FoxAttacks.com) and THE REAL MCCAIN (TheRealMcCain.com), which were seen by almost a million people in a matter of days. Greenwald is also the director/producer of IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS (2006), a documentary that exposes what happens when corporations go to war and WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE (2005), a documentary that uncovers the retail giant's assault on families and American values and OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH'S WAR ON JOURNALISM (2004). Follow Robert Greenwald on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/robertgreenwald

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 10, 2012 3:35PM

Top Ten Koch Facts

Rate: 19 Flag

Co-authored by Jesse Lava

Everyone seems to be investigating Charles and David Koch lately, with exposés of their corrupt political behavior popping up in places like the New Yorker, AlterNet, ThinkProgress, and Brave New Foundation’s film Koch Brothers Exposed. Naturally, the billionaire brothers don’t like the attention, so they’re responding to it by smearing the activists and journalists. In their panic, they have now taken out Google ads attacking me and plastered an ominous image of my eyes on their website, like so:

They made me look like Emperor Palpatine. But who’s really representing the Dark Side here? The truth is that the billionaire brothers bankrolling the conservative movement are using their wealth in a way that should be terrifying to anyone who thinks democracy is about more than pulling a lever every two years and letting rich folks take care of the rest.

Accordingly, here are 10 facts that every American should know about who the Kochs are and what they’re doing to our country.

1. Koch Industries, which the brothers own, is one of the top ten polluters in the United States — which perhaps explains why the Kochs have given $60 million to climate denial groups between 1997 and 2010.

2. The Kochs are the oil and gas industry’s biggest donors to the congressional committee with oversight of the hazardous Keystone XL oil pipeline. They and their employees gave more than $300,000 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010 alone.

3. From 1998-2008, Koch-controlled foundations gave more than $196 million to organizations that favor polices that would financially enrich the two brothers. In addition, Koch Industries spent $50 million on lobbying and some $8 million in PAC contributions.

4. The Koch fortune has its origins in engineering contracts with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.

5. The Kochs are suing to take over the Cato Institute, which has accused the Kochs of attempting to destroy the group’s identity as an independent, libertarian think and align it more closely with a partisan agenda.

6. A Huffington Post source who was at a three-day retreat of conservative billionaires said the Koch brothers pledged to donate $60 million to defeat President Obama in 2012 and produce pledges of $40 million more from others at the retreat.

7. Since 2000, the Kochs have collected almost $100 million in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.

8. Koch Industries has an annual production capacity of 2.2 billion pounds of the carcinogen formaldehyde. The company has worked to keep it from being classified as a carcinogen even though David Koch is a prostate cancer survivor.

9. The Koch brothers’ combined fortune of roughly $50 billion is exceeded only by that of Bill Gates in the United States.

10. The Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs accused Koch Oil of scheming to steal $31 million of crude oil from Native Americans. Although the company claimed it was accidental, a former executive in this operation said Charles Koch had known about it and had responded to the overages by saying, “I want my fair share, and that’s all of it.”

That last quote — “I want my fair share, and that’s all of it” — encapsulates the unbridled greed driving the Kochs’ political activism and business dealings. Democracy cannot thrive with so much power being in the hands of men like this. If we care about democracy, we have to work to take it back.

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Look another shameless plug for you hit piece of a movie that you sight as a source. Who else do you list? Let's see other left wing rags and un-named insiders.

The one thing that you fail to mention is that everything that they do is legal and it's also done by all you lefty friends.
Money talks. It's sad. How much does it take to satisfy greed? When so many struggle just to survive these parasites scratch and gouge for more. I think they are in for a big surprise come judgment day.
Catnlion, of course it's legal. We have the best government money can buy, so pretty much anything the super rich do to screw the rest of us is friggin legal. Where have you been!
I know that these shameless peddlers can not hide forever -- the light of day upon the common huckster is here. Influence peddling would seem almost like salesmanship, does it not? But on further examination, it is not this at all. It is buying something with dirty money, garnered from ill gotten deals, for the benefit of the very few.
Good job. And to some who may criticize you, what trees do they plant? Ones who can not readily discern left from right ... This is not on the political spectrum -- but off ... That's the problem. Deal with it we must.
just see Wisconsin, and the Koch/Walker devestation is palpable ~ great summary
My past experience as a journalist and stock analyst covering some very sketchy CEOs suggests that if forensic accountants ever got a shot at their ledgers you'd find ample Koch-ing of the books. Sorry, it's early and I've always vulnerable to punning before my second cup of coffee....
The power the Koch brothers have with their money is frightening--just as scary is the number of people that believe their attack ads or anything else say. Kudos to you for bringing further attention to these right-wing despots.
Thank you for your work to expose the hidden world of the Koch brothers. I just hope they are not planning to arrange an "accident" for you. With their billions, it must be tempting for them to swat you like a pesky fly buzzing around their private jet.
David Koch's foundation sponsored a Nova show on PBS about tornadoes. There was no mention of global warming, until the very end, when there was a subtle wink toward the POSSIBILITY that warmer ground air MIGHT have something to do with the terrible tornadic activity in the last two years. When I saw the show was supported by David Koch I said to my husband, "Watch and see if they don't mention global warming." Unfortunately, I was right. This is also why public television and public radio have been corrupted by corporate sponsorship.
So what is it the audience should deduce from your 10 "facts"? So many or misleading or non-issues, it's almost comical. I'll comment on a few

"4. The Koch fortune has its origins in engineering contracts with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union."
Uh huh ... and our space program has its origins in Nazi Germany ... your point being ... ?

"7. Since 2000, the Kochs have collected almost $100 million in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense."
That averages-out to less than $10 million a year. I'd venture a guess that many institutions of higher education receive grants/contracts worth well over $10 million from DoD and/or the government. Are universities to be feared?

"8. Koch Industries has an annual production capacity of 2.2 billion pounds of the carcinogen formaldehyde."
There's a difference between "capacity" and actual production -- you understand that, right? It's like saying that Iraq has the "capacity"/ability to produce WMD. But did they actually produce it? I'd bet your the same type of person who screamed & whined about attacking Iraq because because of its ability to produce WMD and not actuality -- yet you now use the same argument to reflect negatively on an entity you personally dislike.

Interesting and hypocritical.
Instructive and informative, especially number 2. The Keystone XL is one of the most disastrously conceived and most damaging projects in a long time, and that's saying a lot for the energy industry. There's no reason to be going after harder and harder to process and reach oil. Peak oil is beside the point--we're exploring in the North Pole and squeezing oil from shale, so we're obviously well into the latter, more desperate, more expensive phases of this process. For that matter, Alberta's oil fields are beside the point. We should be asking larger questions, like, "Why are we still building coal plants in this country?" There is no reason for this.

At least this administration increased the renewables in the system, but we're still way off course on energy in this country. Way off course. And the Kochs and their ilk have everything to do with it. Well done.

Rated.
And to clear up a point of common confusion, before it even comes up: yes, we increased the total load of energy we get from renewables under this president (although I think the way they put it, that it's been 'doubled,' is rather misleading). But we also increased capacity at the same time, and did little to increase actual efficiency outside some minor, short-lived government programs. And at the same time all this was going on, we continued to build and update fossil fuel power plants. As a percentage of energy, renewables only increased a few points.
They've helped to create 50,000 jobs. What have you done?

And if money in politics bothers you then you must lose sleep at night knowing that the top 10 Big Union donors have given over $300 million to Democrats since 1998.

Why do you hate job creators so much?
Harrison and CrazeCzar are obviously invested in underwater coastal housing. "Where future generations swim for free!"
Boko, nothing says you're out of ideas than dodging the issues.

Good job Old Sport!
LOL. Good one, Harrison.

That's a little like the pot calling the kettle black ain't it? See three posts above. Don't know where you get your facts but 50,000 jobs has nothing to do with Koch Industries being against anything resembling doing something about fouling our planetary nest.

Try again.
Gosh I love the Koch's. Sure, they lean a bit to the LEFT for my liking, but they stand for everything good about America.

Oil, the right to create pollution, the logical limitation on voting rights (to only those who are worthy) and getting those stupid poor people to pay their fair share of taxes.

God Bless'em.
Fascinating information. They're the modern day Mellons and Rockefellers.
It was pleasure to read that article
A question. Do they also fund projects on PBS? I could have sworn I saw them listed as sponsers for a show I was watching. Their money was all over WI during the last election cycle. Scary stuff.