In the wake of Charles Koch’s WSJ op-ed (for commentary see here) I’ve seen a lot of agonistic reactions. In response both to the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision and the op-ed, I’d like to take note of Open Secrets’s analysis of the comparative political contributions of George Soros, who contributes almost exclusively to left-leaning political organizations, with those of the Koch brothers, who contribute equally exclusively to right-leaning ones. Here’s their conclusion:
Given the difficultly in tracking donations to nonprofits and charitable organizations, it’s almost impossible to quantify whether the Koch brothers or Soros dominate this political realm. That said, both the Kochs and Soros have spent incredible riches in this area with no sign of stopping.
I see all of this in a somewhat different light. I think that like most sharp traders both Mr. Soros and Mssrs. Koch know a bargain when they see one. Starting in the 1990s Mr. Soros saw a distressed property—the Democratic Party—with potential and he made moves to get a controlling interest. Over the last half dozen years the Koch brothers have been doing the same with respect to the Republican Party.
The really depressing part of the whole thing is how easily the parties can be bought.