Reid And Co. Get ‘Four Pinocchios’ For Koch Brothers Lie

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Last week, we touched on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) growing fixation on the Koch brothers as the Democratic Party’s anointed “Bad Guys”: faces that Democratic voters can pair with their party leaders’ rhetoric to damage the evil Republican agenda during the 2014 Congressional election season.

By the time you read this, Reid will likely have gotten around to blaming the Koch brothers for everything from rigging conservative media to propagating the bubonic plague. His Twitter campaign to itemize his righteous grievances with the Koch influence is part of a calculated, if ill-conceived, general strategy to set Democrats everywhere on a months-long talkathon of Koch-bashing. It’s supposed to help them keep the Senate, or something.

One of the Koch-haters’ latest gripes stems from Democrats’ insistence that the Kochs are backing GOP candidates who seek new tax breaks for companies that move U.S. jobs offshore. Campaign ads for at-risk Democratic incumbents in the Senate, like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, have alleged exactly that — despite the unmentioned fact that Landrieu has received a lot of money in past election cycles from a Koch-funded political action committee.

On Friday, The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog entered the fray — and gave the Reid camp’s sinister claim its dubious Four Pinocchios award for setting a high standard for deceptive speech.

The pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity has relentlessly attacked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), so the pro-Democratic group Senate Majority PAC has made AFP’s main backers, the Koch brothers, the subject of a new attack ad. This is all part of a larger Democratic strategy of tying GOP candidates to the conservative billionaires, as witnessed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s near-daily attacks on them.

…For the purpose of this fact check, we will examine the claim that the Koch brothers have an agenda of protecting “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.” That’s a new one.

…Upon examination, this claim crumbles into dust. The [Landrieu] ad not only mischaracterizes an ordinary tax deduction as a special “tax cut” but then it falsely asserts that “protecting” this tax break is part of the Koch agenda. It turns out this claim is based on a tenuous link to an organization that never even took a position on the legislation in question.

The Post admits it has found Americans for Prosperity’s conservative agenda distasteful in the past, but concludes that Democrats are reaching blindly: “[I]f you want to join a gun fight, don’t fire blanks,” the paper chides.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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