'Evil' Koch brothers just 59th on top political donation list
Sometimes, if you listen to some Democrats, they're running against the "Evil" Koch brothers rather than a specific Republican candidate.
The brothers that liberals like to hate are often trotted out as prime examples of why campaign finance reform is necessary. They are often portrayed as one of the biggest contributors to political candidates, their evil money financing evil Republicans.
The group OpenSecrets.com has compiled a list of top donors to candidates and, to the left's surprise, the Koch brothers are far down the list.
Charles and David Koch are the two most evil people in American politics, right? We know that because Jane Mayer proved it with her landmark "Covert Operations" tour de liberal force in 2010.
Well, it turns out that Mayer's aim was off just a little, by like 58 slots on the all-time biggest donors in American politics list, as compiled by OpenSecrets.org.
OpenSecrets.org tallied the top donors in federal elections between 1989 and 2014. Koch Industries -- privately owned by the Evil Koch Bros -- is on the list, to be sure, but doesn't appear until the 59th slot, with $18 million in donations, 90 percent of which went to Republicans.
Unions, unions, unions
So who occupies the 58 spots ahead of the Evil Koch Bros? Six of the top 10 are ... wait for it ... unions. They gave more than $278 million, with most of it going to Democrats.
These are familiar names: AFSCME ($60.6 million), NEA ($53.5 million), IBEW ($44.4 million), UAW ($41.6 million), Carpenters & Joiners ($39.2 million) and SEIU ($38.3 million).
In other words, the six biggest union donors in American politics gave 15 times more to mostly Democrats than the Evil Koch Bros.
Wall Street and Act Blue, too
Three of the remaining four slots in the top 10 were taken by AT&T ($56.4 million), National Association of Realtors ($51.2 million) and Goldman Sachs ($44.8 million).
So, if money is the measure of evil in American politics and the Evil Koch Bros only come in 59th, who is really the most evil donor ever?
Turns out it's Act Blue, with just short of $100 million in contributions during its lifetime, which only started in 2004, 15 years after the Evil Koch Bros in the OpenSecrets.org compilation.
Any bets on when Mayer's "Covert Operations II: Act Blue" will appear in the New Yorker?
Although it pains me to be fair, I should point out that the Koch brothers also contribute tens of millions of dolalrs to the GOP cause indirectly through their indpendent committees Americans for Prosperity and others. Also to be fair, I should point out that unions spent a half a billion dollars in such indirect spending in the 2012 election cycle.
What isn't arguable is that unions are by far the biggest contributors to politicians and public unions top the list. I guess there's a distinction to be made between "good" union money and "evil" Koch brothers cash - but only if you're a partisan hack.