Meet the Koch Sisters, the dynamic duo that the AFL-CIO is betting will help them counter the massive financial influence that billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch intend to cast over the November midterm elections with up to $290 million in campaign funds.
that the sisters — not really related to each other or to the wealthy Kochs, but both bearing the last name of Koch — are fronting a uniquely creative AFL-CIO campaign
intended to paint the Koch Brothers as opposed to unions, the middle class and democracy, with a website and campaign video which terms the Koch brothers "right-wing secretive billionaires who use their wealth to subvert democracy and enact a self-serving agenda at the expense of working families."
The AFL-CIO, Politico reports, intends to air the ads heavily, especially in Kentucky and Michigan where they are embroiled in tough campaigns, to try to counteract the Koch brothers' massive bucks.
Karen Koch, 51, is a Michigan native and business instructor at Mott Community College, with a strong union past as a member of the Michigan Education Association and the daughter of a United Auto Workers member. Joyce Koch, 71, is a retired social worker living in New Jersey and is the wife of a retired member of the New York State United Teachers.
In their video, the "sisters" say, "We're two average women who have raised families and worked hard all our lives. We're not biological sisters, but sisters in spirit. We don't have billions to spend on political campaigns. We do have our convictions, and our voices. We think that's important. If you agree, then join us. We can all be a nation of Koch sisters!"
They add, "We're not trying to buy up our democracy."
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It's a unique approach for the struggling AFL-CIO, which has relied on traditional door-to-door appeals from members to get out the vote. However, spokesman Josh Goldstein told Politico, "Boots on the ground is still the driving force of the labor movement, and that will remain a central component, but the modern political landscape is evolving and now it's about tapping into as many avenues as possible of getting information to people."
Americans for Democracy, the Koch brothers' largest PAC, already has hit back, with spokesman Levi Russell telling Poitico, "It seems odd that the AFL-CIO thinks aligning with Harry Reid in attacking two private citizens is the best way to spend its members' contributions.
"Perhaps that explains their waning membership and influence. While they're busy with pointless attacks, AFP will continue to stand up for worker's rights to voluntarily join a union, to keep more of their tax dollars, and to have more opportunity for advancement in a growing, dynamic economy."
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