Attack of the Kochtopus in Florida

We have always known we are up against powerful and wealthy adversaries in the fight to promote clean energy, but now we have proof that we’re really ruffling some dirty feathers. Americans for Prosperity, a ‘dark-money’ organization sponsored by the notorious Koch Brothers, has unleashed an attack ad aimed squarely at SACE.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a front group founded and largely financed by the billionaire Koch Brothers, who have a vested interest in preserving the fossil-fuel status quo. Koch Industries Inc. is heavily involved in nearly every fossil-fuel market; they own several oil refinery subsidiaries, lobby heavily in the oil and gas industries, and engage in oil and gas price speculation that drives up costs for consumers while driving profits to their own accounts.  Not to mention Koch Industries’ tarnished environmental record which includes 300 oil spills in 6 states and massive greenhouse gas emissions.

The long arms of the Koch Brothers, courtesy

AFP’s negative ad comes straight out of the Koch Brothers playbook. They’ve sponsored similar hits in states around the country where they felt their interests were being threatened.  In Arizona, they portrayed solar customers as stealing candy from crying children as part of an effort to roll back net metering, and in Kansas they attacked former Governor Kathleen Sebelius for supporting a renewable portfolio standard.  In fact, the Koch family has been funding anti-science, pro-polluter policies for over twenty years.

Given the AFP’s wealthy backers, it’s deeply ironic that their ad attacks SACE purportedly on behalf of Florida ‘working families’ concerned with energy policy’s impacts on their wallets. Claiming that SACE “thinks you don’t pay enough” for your utility bills is clearly disproven by our record of standing up for Florida consumers through fighting utilities’ money-grabbing schemes like the nuclear cost recovery charge which unfairly charges consumers billions for un-built nuclear plants, advocating for energy efficiency measures, the cheapest energy resource available, and working to unlock the solar potential in the Sunshine State to provide a cheap, abundant source of power. We are constantly working to protect consumers from monopoly utilities’ self-interested strategies. Contrast that with the policies AFP and the Koch Brothers have poured billions into supporting. Now, who do you think has an ‘agenda’?

I’m going to take optimism from this ugly ad and know that we must be getting close to victory to have inspired such an attack. As Gandhi observed, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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I would add to the laudatory note of Gandhi’s correct observations that Gandhi’s actions leading the people of India to freedom by peaceful, productive ways of reaching out to others, one by one, then to small groups and finally, speaking to great numbers of people, sets a world renown “how-to-do” example for us to follow.

Our own Afro-American populace, lead by Dr. Martin Luther King and other enlightened leaders, proved non-violent productive action is the only means by which US citizens will achieve freedom.

For both people, of both nations, the road lead to enlightened thinking, engaged conduct and the faith to keep peaceably speaking the truth and devising ways of producing positive, meaningful results.

Gandhi contended with the “corporate” interests of the British Empire; our fellow citizens, black, hispanic, oriental and of course, Native Americans , all dealt with racism as well as economic exploitation.

Today, all 99 % of the US population is struggling for their own independent economic and political freedom from corporate “owners” who control our state government and ground our federal government into a big mess through grid lock policies and political “campaign” slush funds paying for the mess to continue.

Most Americans have little faith in government any longer; thereby divorcing themselves from the only solution possible: we need to clean house and take the responsibility to keeping crooks, shills and politically corrupt or extreme ideological politicians out of public office.

We do that by voting. Convincing as many of the 99% of the American population who are eligible to vote that we have the power to clean house.

Big money and corporate interests do control a lot; but they do not yet control most of us to the extent that we cannot see for ourselves what is happening. And that peaceful, productive conversation one by one, and then small groups to becoming large groups speaking to one another, and on to reaching us all is the way to go. Blaring campaign ads are not wholly truthful. People need to be speaking to other people, and we can move forward from there.

I believe we can “fire” all the corrupt politicians and replace them with better, more honest and effective people who will truly represent us all.

If we look around us . . . we need to clean house, don’t we?

Comment by Christopher M. Kennard on September 27, 2014 11:53 am

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