Chutzpah, cluelessness, or a combination of both? Democrats have spent all year demonizing the Koch brothers, industrialists who support pro-growth conservative policies and donate to like-minded organizations. The national party practically accused Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker of having a hotline installed from Koch Central to his office, and Democrats and unions both howled with outrage after Walker took a prank call supposedly from David Koch during the PEU-reform crisis this winter.
Perhaps all is forgiven … now that Democrats need some cash. As chair of the DSCC, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) gave the Kochs a call inviting them to their soiree this summer. If it’s hard to imagine a less enticing invitation than a chance to spend hot, sweltering days with people who routinely paint you as the devil, Koch Industries found it impossible. Here’s the audio:
And … here’s the response, emphases mine:
For many months now, your colleagues in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership have engaged in a series of disparagements and ad hominem attacks about us, apparently as part of a concerted political and fundraising strategy. Just recently, Senator Reid wrote in a DSCC fundraising letter that Republicans are trying to “force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say ‘Koch Brothers.’”
So you can imagine my chagrin when I got a letter from you on June 17 asking us to make five-figure contributions to the DSCC. You followed that up with a voicemail* indicating that, if we contributed heavily enough, we would garner an invitation to join you and other Democratic leaders at a retreat in Kiawah Island this September.
I’m hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it’s hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money.
It is troubling that private citizens taking part in the discourse have become the targets of White House and DSCC fundraising missives, and we would certainly encourage you to rethink that approach. Ultimately, I expect voters will see through that and will weigh the issues on the merits alone. But in the meantime, if you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful.
So the lack of an RSVP on the letter to their personification of political evil failed to generate the obvious conclusion in Murray’s mind, so much so that she decided to make a personal call to the bêtes noirs of the DSCC to dangle an access-for-cash deal. Maybe it’s both cluelessness and chutzpah, but I’m betting heavily on the former.