Reid Blasts Kochs Again: '2 Very Wealthy Individuals Who Intend to Buy Their Very Own Congress'

Susan Jones | March 5, 2014 | 8:41am EST
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (AP File Photo)

( - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he knows his recent comments about the Koch brothers -- wealthy Republican donors -- have stirred controversy.
"But I will continue to shine a light on their subversion of democracy," Reid promised in another vituperative speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.

"This is about two very wealthy individuals who intend to buy their very own Congress -- a Congress beholden to their money and bound to enact their radical philosophy."

Reid, in his prepared remarks, suggested that Koch money bought a Republican House of Representatives in 2010, and now the Koch brothers are trying to buy a Republican majority in the Senate by running ads "maligning the Affordable Care Act."

The main point of Reid's speech was to smear Republicans as corruptible and beholden only to (wealthy!) special interests. He conveniently omitted any mention of (wealthy!) George Soros, who has given billions of dollars to liberal organizations.

"[B]ased on their actions and the policies they promote, the Koch brothers seem to believe in an America where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy," Reid said. "Based on Senate Republicans' ardent defense of the Koch brothers, and the fact that they advocate for many of the same policies the Koch brothers do, it seems my Republican colleagues also believe in a system that benefits billionaires at the expense of the middle class."

Reid's speech -- the prepared text -- is laced with words (shadowy, rigged, deception, distortion, deceit) that contain the whiff of criminal activity. At one point, Reid even hints at money-laundering: "Since mega donors like Charles and David Koch can launder their huge contributions using shadowy shell groups and so-called 'non-profits,' it's difficult to tell exactly how much they've invested so far," Reid said).

Without directly accusing the Koch brothers of breaking the law, Reid nevertheless notes that these "shrewd businessmen" inherited an oil company and have been "very good at protecting and growth their prodigious fortune."

"There's nothing un-American about that," Reid admitted. "But what is un-American is when shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest one percent."

Reid, citing "investigative reporting," said the Koch brothers "funnel money through a web of industry groups and advocacy organizations that are immune from disclosure rules, such as the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, the NRA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

And he fumed that the Koch brothers and Koch-backed groups "are influencing the political process for their own benefit in a way not seen for generations."

Reid also blasted Republican senators who have defended the Koch brothers' attempt to "buy our democracy. Once again, Republicans are all-in to protect their billionaire friends," Reid said. And -- "Not only have Senate Republicans come to the floor to defend the Koch brothers personally, they have, again and again, defended the Kochs' radical agenda."

Last week, Reid accused the Koch brothers and Republicans of telling "outright lies" about Obamacare.

"There's plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue," Reid said, drawing rebukes from Republican senators who said the lies about Obamacare were told by President Obama himself.

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