Despite Dem Frenzy, Numbers Show Koch Brothers Lag Far Behind Big Money on Left

Koch brothers / grist.org

Koch brothers / grist.org

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“No political contributors are as widely vilified as the Koch brothers,” but a look at recent contribution figures show that they are far from the biggest spenders in politics and that left-wing groups are leaving them in the dust, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial.

Despite the frequent finger-pointing by Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) at the Kochs, the real big money in politics is shifting towards the Democrats.

“The fact of the matter is Democrats love big money if it’s being spent on them,” says the Review-Journal. “And is it ever.”

And they have the numbers to prove it.

In the 2012 election cycle, seven of the top 20 donors favored conservatives. Of this year’s top 20 organizations, only two favor Republicans. The other 18, with the exception of a lone, “on the fence” trade association, strongly favor liberal policies and Democratic candidates. Topping the list of organizations is ActBlue, a longtime Democratic fundraising organization. Eleven of the top 20 organizations are unions, including the country’s two largest teacher unions.

While 11 of the top 20 individual donors favor right-leaning causes, the top three lean left, and their total giving to liberals and Democrats exceeds the total of all 11 right-leaning individuals. Tom Steyer is in first place with more than $20 million (all to Democrats and liberals), former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in second place with $9.5 million (95 percent to Democrats and liberals), and Fred Eychaner is in third place with $5.8 million (none to Republicans or conservatives).

And what about Charles and David Koch — the two men whose right-leaning philanthropy is supposedly single-handedly destroying the political process? Where does their company, Koch Industries, rank? Number 36, with $2.66 million, well below AT&T, Comcast, Goldman Sachs and General Electric.

Among individual donors, David Koch ranks 90th with $382,000, below a pair of Las Vegas figures. Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, rank 83rd with $391,000, and Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn ranks 84th with $390,000.

“The numbers tell the story—all Democratic Party distractions to the contrary,” concludes the Review-Journal.