If you were to ask the average Liberal who they think donates the most directly from their personal fortune into political coffers the almost guaranteed Pavlovian response would be the evil Koch brothers. The problem with this response is that it is not only wrong, it’s wrong to the point of being laughable. The true bearer of that crown belongs to someone whose name most Liberals have probably never even heard before. His name is Tom Steyer and 100% of his $73,725,000 personal donations last year went to benefit Democrats. Ironically, the Koch brothers combined personal direct donations of $2,000,000 each ranked them as tied for 24th with a combined political influence ratio of about 1/18th that of Steyer.
So who is Tom Steyer and why such a largesse to liberalism. Well, here’s where it gets interesting. The bulk of Mr. Steyer’s financial efforts have gone toward killing the Keystone Pipeline. Remember his infamous pledge of up to $50 Million in matching campaign funds to any politicians willing to vote against Keystone? So this must make him a true blood environmentalist, right? Wrong! According to Investorshub.com the real reason for his generosity has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with the fact that his hedge fund Farallon Capital is already heavily invested in building a competing pipeline. In other words greed tops green.
In another twist of irony there are several high profile liberal donors on this list that far outrank the Koch brothers yet whose names always seem to magically disappear when the Left mentions the sin of wealth influencing politics. Former New York City Mayor/Billionaire Michael Bloomberg ranks as #2 behind Steyer at $23.76 million. George Soros came in at #10 with $3.56M. In fact, there were 7 noted liberals ranked above the Koch brothers whose names never get passed liberal lips when such topics come up for discussion.
I’m quite certain that the immediate outcry from the Left is that this list isn’t fair because it only looks at personal donations instead of the institutional donations that the Koch brothers control. Fair enough. According to Opensecrets.org from 1989-2014 the largest single institutional political donor was none other than the union SEIU whose $210 million in charity for democratic politicians far outpaced the #2 donor with a paltry $146 million. So where was Koch Industries? They were clear down at #56 with a meager $25 million, or a political influence ratio of roughly 1/8th that of SEIU.
Once you see the facts it becomes pretty apparent as to what’s really going on. The vitriol aimed against the Koch brothers has nothing to do with how much political influence their money might afford them. It has everything to do with how much CONSERVATIVE political influence their money might afford them. The problem is that what also becomes apparent is the combination of blatant hypocrisy of the left wing media along with the blatant stupidity of the left wing morons who regurgitate yet more talking points for which they are totally clueless.
Is there a problem with there being too much money in politics? Of course, but it’s a problem that’s existed since politics itself has existed, so don’t go expecting anything to create change in our lifetime that doesn’t involve the word tyranny. However, for as much as we all like to whine about how wealth has the potential to influence elections as I see it there is an even bigger issue which if addressed would have a much more profound affect on election outcomes. If you ever want to have real and honest elections the first issue we need to overcome is what I like to call the influence of ignorance.