Under the Dome

Democrats outline Koch brothers’ ties to NC

A nonprofit arm of the Democratic super PAC American Bridge is releasing a lengthy report this week detailing the influence of the conservative financier Koch brothers in North Carolina.

The report, compiled from news accounts and advocacy group research, says the brothers have spent heavily in the state to re-elect Republicans Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, and helped support the controversial House Bill 2 LGBT legislation.

“From local school board races to a takeover of the state legislature and the governorship, the Kochs have made clear that they intend to completely remake North Carolina to better suit their businesses’ bottom line,” the report says. “While the Kochs enrich themselves, it’s North Carolina’s families that suffer the consequences of their economic and environmental harm.”

Industrialists Charles and David Koch have spent considerable sums promoting conservative causes, including Americans for Prosperity, which has been active in this state.

The report traces their business ties in North Carolina as well as their record on environmental and worker safety protections, voting rights and a dozen other hot-button issues. It details their ties with not only AFP but the Civitas Institute and Art Pope, the North Carolina financier, former state budget director and former legislator.

Among the findings in the 138-page document:

▪ Between 2010 And 2016, Koch Industries and Americans For Prosperity contributed at least $460,379 to North Carolina state House and Senate candidates.

▪ Pope’s family foundation has contributed nearly $1.5 million to anti-LGBT organizations between 1997 and 2016. It includes a breakdown of legislators and the amount of money received.

▪ A group called Concerned Women for America was part of a coalition that that thanked legislators for voting for HB2 with public prayers. Koch-connected groups gave Concerned Women for America $10.5 million from 2007 to 2014.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

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