He’s not ordering them to do it but he’s not politely requesting either. This cheap bit of intimidation is now front and center on Hopenchange’s official campaign blog and part of a call for petition signatures on Obama’s Twitter account. It’s the second time in five days that they’ve demagogued the Kochs to try to “energize” liberals. They pulled this on the Chamber of Commerce too before the 2010 midterms but that didn’t help them in the election because, really, who cares about the Chamber of Commerce? The Kochs are a much more conductive lightning rod for leftist paranoia. Presumably Team O will mess with them for a few months to warm up and then start screeching about Roger Ailes to really start Democrats buzzing.
I wonder which rich liberal the next Republican president should publicly harass as a cynical campaign gimmick. Start thinking of candidates. And don’t say Soros. Too easy.
The Kochs noticed. Their lobbyist in chief responded in an open letter to me. Here’s how he defended AFP, which is attempting to influence this election by pumping millions into ads bashing the President:
“… it has tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life.” Just a couple ordinary folks, pitching in what they can.
I’d like them to prove it. So I wrote back, challenging the Koch brothers—the same guys who recently called the 2012 election “the mother of all wars”—to disclose for the public exactly who’s behind the millions of dollars they’re spending on attack ads.
Join me and demand that the Koch brothers make their donors public.
That’s from Jim “Punch Back Twice As Hard” Messina. I’d forgotten that he was the apparatchik charged with discouraging Democratic upstarts from challenging establishment favorites in the primaries by offering them secret backroom deals. Luckily, David Freddoso remembered. So much for public transparency. More from DF:
If I had a line to the Kochs (and I do not), I’d suggest they respond this way: That they’ll release their donors names as soon as Obama voluntarily releases…
1) names, numbers and records for all small campaign donations under $200 — so that we can see how many of them are fake this time;
2) all paperwork related to Fast and Furious and Solyndra that might have been part of internal executive deliberations or otherwise merit some kind of withholding from FOIA under executive privilege.
3) while we’re at it, how about Obama’s college transcripts?
Jon Gabriel is right: The true target of intimidation here isn’t the Kochs, who can afford the lawyers and bodyguards they’ll need to deal with the new wave of left-wing hate this bottom-feeding pander will send their way, but grassroots conservatives and libertarians who are otherwise inclined to donate to right-wing political groups. If you want to cut a check but worry for reasons personal or professional about reprisals from people around you if they find out, then the prospect of the White House bringing public pressure to bear on an organization to disclose its donors will make you think twice. I hope the Kochs don’t take the bait. It wouldn’t reduce the demagoguery one iota if they did.