Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!


As someone who has been watching the workings of the “tea party” groups that have infiltrated the political environment of the country, I have kept quiet about the fears that I have for its impact.  With the mid-term election only a few days away it is time to give my legitimate perspective on this latest attempt to “take back our country”.

In this post I want to discuss roots.  As a former biologist and an avowed environmentalist learning about the anchors of any organization makes sense. Roots are hidden, out of view parts of plants that act as anchors and absorb life-giving nutrients and water.  Since this discussion is about the tea party, we can assume that the roots I am going to discuss are the very roots of the tea plant.  I like the symbolism.

Roots trying to take hold in bad soil rarely flourish.  So it is with the tea party movement.  The soil in which this “grass-roots” organization has found itself is rich with all of the nutrients necessary to sprout an amazing organization that has almost literally taken over its political environment. 

The runaway federal deficit, the banking industry disaster, the housing market crash, and the financial industry destruction have left the political environment fertile soil for the sprouting of the “new” political reality known as the tea party.  A recession-battered electorate combined with a completely unfocused political strategy from the White House has resulted in a terrific environment for a “new political reality”.  Seeds of the tea party movement, lying basically dormant for a while have sprouted into a thriving and prosperous tea party movement.

With respect to the political plant we call the tea party; there are two major nutrients that are required for its survival. First, the plant needs central themes and ideas.  Second, the plant needs enough money to cause the effective distribution of those ideas.  In the case of this latest version of the tea party, both of these nutrients have been largely supplied by a corporate entity known as Koch Industries.  Koch Industries (K.I.) has supplied the nutrients required by the tea party plant through their “non-partisan grassroots” driven organization known as Americans For Prosperity.    Koch Industries is the most prominent and influential corporation in today’s political environment.  It is a corporation that until recently was hidden from the eyes of the tea party movement and the rest of the American electorate.  Those days are gone.

From the Koch Industries Website

Koch Industries is a corporation owned and run by the David and Charles Koch.  K.I. is the second largest corporation in our country taking in over 100 billion in revenue. The Koch Brothers have given a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes in their lifetime. The Koch Brothers central political ideology involves reducing personal and corporate taxes, interfering with governmental regulation of the corporate world, and reducing social services for those less fortunate than themselves.  Their goal is to destroy progressivism. Their ideas and their money have become the life sustaining root system of the tea party as we know it today. Very few of the tea party “boots on the ground” have any knowledge of the roots of their organization and the influence these roots have on the very nature of the tea party plant.

The Koch Brothers also have their own personal roots as all of us do in our lifetime.  Generally our personal roots start with our parents by way of their way of raising us.  The Koch Brothers father, Fred was a very rich, very libertarian member of society.  His ideas about limiting the governments influence into his financial empire are legendary.  He was an important member of the John Birch Society, an organization that in 1963 warned of a takeover of the Federal Government by communists.  The John Birch Society claimed that Dwight D. Eisenhower was a secret communist agent.   Here are a few ideas that will give you a glance into his thought patterns and the environment in which his sons were raised.

He believed that the colored man (his awful words, not mine) loomed large in the communist plan to take over America.  He believed that Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment a vicious race war.

I don’t think we have to say a lot more about Fred Koch.  We can see plainly the nature of the environment in which the Koch brothers were raised.  David Koch ran for Vice President in 1980 on the Libertarian ticket.  The Libertarian ticket espoused getting rid of Social Security, Federal Regulatory Agencies, Welfare, the FBI, the CIA and public schools. 

Tea Party Financier David H. Koch

The Koch Brothers have risen to prominence in the political environment of the country by providing ideas and money to large numbers of political operations in what can best be described as stealth attacks on the Federal Government.  Here are three of their more prominent beliefs:

  • They want lower personal and corporate taxes.
  • They want minimal social services for the needy.
  • They want less oversight of industry (especially environmental oversight).

Here are some interesting facts about Koch Industries:

  • According to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, they are one of the top 10 air polluters in the United States.
  • According to Greenpeace, they are the kingpins of climate science denial efforts throughout the country.
  • The corporation has a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation.

The Koch Brothers are not minor players in the tea party.  Their ideas and their money have made a huge impact in the germination and growth of the tea party.  The facts seem to bear out that the tea party would have had very little impact on our political environment if not for the Koch Brothers.

You have heard that the “love of money is the root of all evil”.  In the political environment in our country, without money there is no political gain.  Interestingly enough, the Koch Brothers political efforts are all related to increasing the profit margin of Koch Industries.  Decreased environmental regulation means Koch Industries gets government regulators off of their back so they can operate their business with impunity and without fear of retribution.  Successful reduction of environmental regulation increases their bottom line.  In other words, makes them richer.  Denying the accuracy of climate science that points towards the effects of greenhouse gases on climate eventually results in the inability of the government to regulate greenhouse gases.  Guess who makes more money then?

Limiting corporate taxes obviously impacts their bottom line in a positive way.  One of Charles Koch’s former friends Gus diZerega has commented that perhaps “he has confused making money with freedom”. 

Another former Koch adviser has commented that “right-wing redneck stuff, works for them”.   In essence, they will use just about any method possible, to block government efforts that will reduce their profit or increase their taxes.

The tea party movement owes its soul to the Koch Brothers.  The more that is revealed about their involvement in the philosophy and funding of the movement the more this becomes apparent.

So what does this mean for the tea party movement?  It seems that the “grass-roots” movement as it is called is not a “grass-roots” movement at all.  It is a movement, perpetuated, and funded by the second largest corporation in American that, at its core, is using the unknowing electorate to further its agenda and increase their profit.

As stated before, individual tea party members generally know little or nothing of their role in assisting the Koch Brothers in their effort to change the environment in which their massive corporation functions.  Individual members of the tea party, for the most part, could care less about the roots of their organization.  All they know is that they want their country back.  The huge amount of funds provided to the organization by the Koch Brothers goes unnoticed by the boots on the ground screaming at the government, railing against the way things are, and blaming liberal elites for the conditions of the country.

I am not persuaded that knowledge of the influence brought by the Koch Brothers will make a difference to any individual who has bought in to the ideas and influence of the tea party movement.  I do find it interesting however, that a great number of the boots on the ground are the very people that the Koch Brothers fight so hard to diminish. 

Those who espouse the political ideology of the Tea Party are unwittingly furthering the goals and dreams of two men who own and run the second largest corporation in the country.  The Koch Brothers knew it would be that way, and it is the very reason why they have pumped so much money into the movement.   

 Powerful and rich individuals such as the Koch Brothers know how to spend their money in ways that will give large returns for their investment.   In this case, they have taken advantage of the country’s financial and political environment to germinate a political movement that will, in the long run, make them more powerful and significantly richer.  Thus is the nature of the roots of the Tea Party Movement. 

Post Script- For an extensive look at the influence and nature of Koch Industries, the Koch Brothers, and Americans For Prosperity, read Jane Mayer’s August 29th, 2010 10,000  expose “Covert Operations “  in the New Yorker.  Jane is a terrific investigative reporter and I have used her article extensively in preparation for this blog post.



  1. Not many people leave comments. Maybe because you say your independent but your words speak completely different! Call yourself what you truly are and quit lying in order to try and fool the “dumber” class of people.

    • By the “dumber” class of people…. I wonder who it is you are tyring to identify. My voting history over the years has been spread equally between Democratic and Republican candidates. If my words indicate anything untrue about the tea party movement and their candidates I am always willing to take a look at other opinions. If an independant makes the claim that the tea party is basically a Convervative Republican organization I don’t think there are many who would disagree. You probably do and you have that right. Still looking for that Democratic candidate on the ballot with tea party backing.

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