The Koch billionaire brothers are looking out for their own special interests in their new “anti-transit canvassing campaigns” across the country. In a new investigation published by the New York Times, oil baron brothers, Charles and David Koch, are funding the efforts to kill public transit.
While the development of public transit is seen by many as “positive for both impoverished communities and the environment,” it hurts the Koch brothers’ bottom line, Common Dreams reported.
The New York Times’ investigation explained: “One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seat belts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.”
And Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy organization bankrolled by the Koch brothers, is at the forefront of these anti-transit campaigns coordinating the opposition of more than two dozen transit-related measures in seven to eight local or state-level ballots.
From Phoenix, Arizona and central Utah, to Little Rock, Arkansas, southeast Michigan, and Nashville, Tennessee, Americans for Prosperity is fighting against environmental and anti-poverty advocates efforts to pass measures to use tax dollars on the development of public rail and bus programs in communities around the country.
“Stopping higher taxes is their rallying cry,” Ashley Robbins, a transportation researcher at Virginia Tech, said in the New York Times investigation. “But at the end of the day, fuel consumption helps them.”
A spokesperson for Koch Industries denied the Koch brothers involvement in decision making for Americans for Prosperity and said that the organization’s anti-transit campaigns “are not connected to the company’s interests,” Common Dreams reported.
“Since 2015, Americans for Prosperity has coordinated door-to-door anti-transit canvassing campaigns for at least seven local or state-level ballots,” the New York Times reported. “In the majority, the Kochs were on the winning side.”