After 48 Years, Democrats Still Haven't Gotten the Memo - 2019-07-23

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F0.png After 48 Years, Democrats Still Haven't Gotten the Memo July 23, 2019, Adam Eichen, New Republic

Though there were many members to this billionaire cabal, the Koch Brothers, in addition to being the most infamous, were particularly critical in modern conservatism's rise to power. Much of the duo's notoriety derived from their political expenditures to help GOP candidates win election, yet the root of their influence is far deeper. As Professors Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez noted in their landmark study "The Koch Effect," the Koch Network coordinated "big money funders, idea producers, issue advocates, and innovative constituency-building efforts in an ongoing effort to pull the Republican Party and agendas of U.S. politics sharply to the right."

The realization of Powell's vision and America's rightward shift did not happen overnight⁠—as Jane Mayer of The New Yorker exposed in her book Dark Money, the road to power took decades, with many disappointments along the way. But, from the formation of think tanks to legitimize radical economic viewpoints to the funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to create corporate-friendly, right-wing bill templates for state legislators; from corporate lobbying and targeted political campaign contributions to Astroturf political mobilizations; from the bolstering of the Federalist Society to reclaim the federal judiciary to the attacks on unions and education, the Kochs and their billionaire allies ultimately succeeded. And once power was obtained, they began rigging the system, via voter suppression and gerrymandering, to prevent Democrats from contesting elections on an even playing field.

Over time, there have been attempts to form a "Koch Network of the left"—for example, there's the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy liberal donors who financed wide-ranging efforts to reclaim American political institutions. This endeavor, however, has had questionable effectiveness in comparison to the work of David and Charles Koch.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Adam | last = Eichen | title = After 48 Years, Democrats Still Haven't Gotten the Memo | url = https://newrepublic.com/article/154518/democrats-powell-memo-election-strategy | work = New Republic | date = July 23, 2019 | accessdate = April 1, 2022 }}