Leaked tape reveals Koch brothers’ conservative donors

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011 at 9:09 am

A list of billionaire industrialists and conservative magnates that help fund Charles and David Koch’s far-reaching empire was released by Mother Jones magazine Tuesday. The list was culled from an audio recording of Charles Koch announcing high-dollar donors at a retreat in Vail, Colo., in late June.

The recording revealed names of more than 28 individuals that have donated $1 million-plus to Koch-supported groups pushing anti-union and anti-regulation legislation all over the country.

Among the highest donors at the most recent secret retreat, guarded by private security, were:

The Templetons: John “Jack” Templeton Jr. and his wife, Josephine, of Pennsylvania, gave $50,000 apiece to Wisconsin Justice Prosser’s recount effort this year. Jack has donated more than $1 million to Republicans, according to state and federal records. He heads the conservative John Templeton Foundation, which aims to merge evangelical Christianity with “science” and “health.” The foundation was started by Jack’s father, Sir John the mutual fund billionaire, and in 2009 reportedly had $1.7 billion in assets.

Joe Craft: Joseph Craft is president, CEO, and chairman of Alliance Resource Partners, a coal company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that gave $2.4 million to outside political expenditure groups in 2010. His family is reportedly worth $1.9 billion.

The Farmers: Dick Farmer is from Ohio. The founder and former CEO of the Cintas Corporation, his story is literally rags-to-riches: He turned his father’s Depression-era rag-cleaning business into a $3.5 billion enterprise. Farmer and his wife, Joyce, are longtime Republican boosters; during the 2002 election cycle the couple gave about $1 million to the party.

The Schwabs: Charles Schwab of San Francisco is founder and chairman of the Charles Schwab Corporation, the country’s largest independent brokerage firm. He is reportedly worth $4.7 billion. Since 1989, Schwab has donated more than $1.6 million to political causes, mostly Republican, according toOpenSecrets.org. Part of that went to his company’s lobbying arm, which has given away millions more.

Read the rest of the list here.

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