Politico Magazine Adds Massive Correction to Op-Ed Blaming Koch Brothers for Puerto Rico Crisis

• October 4, 2017 1:24 pm


A recent Politico Magazine op-ed arguing that the Koch brothers were responsible for the condition of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria was corrected after publication to admit there was no evidence that was the case.

"Puerto Rico's Tragedy Was Years in the Making," argued Alejandra Rosa, a freelance journalist living in the devastated U.S. territory. Rosa originally argued that Puerto Rico's shoddy infrastructure and lack of health care professionals was due to austerity measures forced by Washington, D.C.

"In 2015, associates of the Koch brothers proposed and lobbied Congress to impose a ‘Fiscal Control Board' on Puerto Rico in order to pay down our debt, which posed risks to investors," she reported.

Rosa also wrote that when members of Congress sought to change the law to allow Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy, "the same Koch-connected investors fought it down, preferring to make money off our island than allow us to remake our island."

She added that "the Fiscal Control Board then imposed austerity measures, including a 30 percent cut to public health," and that people fled Puerto Rico "because the Fiscal Control Board reduced the minimum wage to $4 an hour."

But in a massive correction later added to the piece, Politico Magazine admitted that not only was the Fiscal Control Board not responsible for those actions, but also there was no evidence that the Kochs had anything to do with it.

Corrections: An earlier version of this article stated that associates of the Koch brothers proposed and lobbied Congress to pass the law establishing Puerto Rico's fiscal control board. There is no evidence of any Koch involvement in the passage of the law. An earlier version of this article also stated that the fiscal control board had reduced the minimum wage in Puerto Rico to 4 dollars an hour. The board did not lower the minimum wage, the governor did. And the governor raised it this year. An earlier version of this article stated that the U.S. Congress imposed austerity measures on Puerto Rico. The fiscal control board established by Congress instructed the commonwealth to work towards balancing its budget. The governor decided what cuts to make.

The current version of the piece no longer refers to the Koch brothers in any capacity.

Published under: Koch Brothers, Politico, Puerto Rico