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tv   Die Tochter von  Deutsche Welle  December 19, 2020 8:30pm-9:00pm CET

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spoke in favor of the lawsuit they funded some in the media who were in favor of the lawsuit and the ultimate decision organizations were then created that function like parties but without the financial restrictions so called super pacs a super pac is a political committee that can take unlimited sources from donors and spend unlimited funds in support of a candidate super pacs are not allowed to coordinate with campaigns and because of that they're able to take unlimited sums traditional campaign so that are actually operated by the candidate and people there they've hired to operate their campaign are limited in how much they can take from individual donors. candidates may accept up to $5000.00 per year from the regular political action committees or pacs. there is no such limit for the super pacs while they cannot give money directly to the candidates they are allowed to fund promotional campaigns that target the
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candidates opponents. new super pacs have continued to pop up within the koch industries network. germany based professor of north american politics refers to the super pacs as shadow parties. these super pacs. super pacs have been in existence since 2010 and the coats brothers are a good example and they can buy airtime on t.v. stations but the reason they're also called shadow parties is that they have a similar organizational structure to the political parties completely only reason why the super pacs do not declare themselves as parties is that this would limit the money they could spend. on. the citizens united verdict is one of the factors behind the constant increase in election campaign spending from $3000000000.00 in the year 2000 to $6.00 and a half 1000000000 in 2016 under certain circumstances organizations can keep their
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donors secret a loophole that the koch's have been eager to exploit. as it was and fill me in really coke rather phenomenon like the koch brothers is unthinkable in germany we have very strict regulations on election campaign and party financings your. most americans would laugh at what we call a party donation scandals a time when we've had that previously under helmut kohl and more recently with the a.f. these donations from switzerland but the sums involved have peanuts compared to those in the us. of. came from. and in washington those sums are enormous k. street is a stone's throw from the white house and on the political front is famous for its concentration of lobby firms they employ around $12000.00 agents in washington alone in $29000.00 koch industries spent almost $11000000.00 on lobbying operations. lobbying phenomenon can hardly be compared with
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here. but someone wants to influence policy in germany they have to influence an entire party so the clean water so is speedy because i'm of the american political system has many more points of contact through which advocacy groups can influence specific senators you know to were in a position to stop all of fader's certain reform initiatives. from ford says that. so begins to get. the more money you have the bigger the stage the principle that is perfectly normal in the u.s. where who has which role at a given time is not always clear government stuff become lobbyists and vice versa this also applies to the employees of the 200 think tanks in washington d.c. . german born michelle who works for a left of center think tank in washington. he's seen how every election is
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followed by the new government recruiting hundreds of think tank employees. as of n n dodge when a new foreign minister is appointed in germany they bring a handful of people with them unified here in the u.s. it's completely different when barack obama succeeded george w. bush almost 4000 political operatives join the administration during his 1st term in office when he 9 people have to come from somewhere we have called it because i liken it to a world where a think tank structure is used to bring people up to operating temperature and over for joining the government you know i put in some. i rush. i'm a teacher rush holt scientist and 5 time winner of the jeopardy quiz show. rush holt and a member of the house of representatives until 2015 during his time in office he
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advocated in vain for more transparency for political ad financing i hope you'll agree i'm the best choice for sat. now with. undisclosed secret. taking a very average size it needs or not based on principled decision making but rather on distortion and. unfair influence it's no longer overall democracy. rush holt was a congressman for 16 years spanning the presidencies of clinton bush jr and obama why do moves to combat secret funding fail hold points to a fundamental political problem the 2 big parties constantly blocking each other in
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congress members of the house the house of representatives and the senate are perfectly happy. they feel they have done their job. legislation if nothing. this is shared or even. which the coax benefit from their commitment to the free market unites them with a powerful group of ultra conservative evangelical christians the fellowship foundation also known as the family uses religion as a vehicle for political power. doug coe the longtime head of the organization was considered the most powerful man in washington who no one had ever heard of he enjoyed excellent connections to the highest political echelons. george bush sr praised him for his quiet diplomacy the fellowship foundation worked
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largely in secrecy to fulfill its worldview that the free market is god's will. along comes a theology that says that thing that's making you rich that thing that's making you powerful that's what god wants and you're doing it you're getting rich not for yourself you're getting rich because god wants you to be rich it's a kind of trickle down fundamentals of american conservatism has this idea of trickle down economics that the way to help the poor is to help the rich. journalist jeff sharlet has published his insights into the fellowship foundation as a former member of the family himself. on a plush estate outside washington d.c. he was in a kind of cadet camp with other young men it was there that he realized how close their ties to the political elite were. i remember i think in the 1st week.
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there was a visit i believe from senator jesse helms a very far right wing senator from north carolina and. at times. and there was a visit the newly elected conservative prime minister norway and so here's he's a bush was coming the following week so i very quickly realized a wait a minute this is not just a little church group because there's something going on here. the fellowship foundation founded in $1035.00 largely stays out of the public eye with one exception the annual national prayer breakfast. a meeting to pray and to address important issues and an event that is attended by some of the most powerful people in the country and heads of state from all over the world including every u.s. president since dwight d. eisenhower. john f. kennedy was a guest. as was barack obama the banners and donald trump who
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boasted of his services to the family such as finding abortion rights made tremendous progress tremendous progress you know what we've done and it's been my honor. that drives the united states state department crazy because they're not deciding who gets face time with the president the family is you control you control the president's time beth power the national prayer record self is is just one morning and it's the only sort of visible part is just want to bet on what is essentially a week long festival where for instance they'll have. seminars for the oil industry and god the defense industry and god what does god want from missile manufacturers more money more missiles the grandiose prayer breakfast aside the family works in conspicuously for years the number of congressman stayed in the family house on c. street in washington d.c.
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for negligible rent and that influence remains all too evident during the coronavirus crisis to right now in the. coronavirus response with vice president mike pence who is a longtime associate of the family is pushing a really significant part of coronavirus aid money into sectarian churches in the united states we have an idea of separation of church and state instead we have a long term project of pushing it toward a a particular christian right ideal of our. meanwhile the 30000 inhabitants of the pine ridge reservation in south dakota feel powerless with 80 percent unemployment and widespread alcohol and drug addiction the community has serious problems chase iron ice grant for the house of
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representatives back in 2016 as a candidate in north dakota. my opponent who's endorsed by all a big distraction in north dakota was endorsed by all the coal companies all the oil company the 1st time around. he had a $1000000.00 and. breaking call good friends in the network you don't. know us like and but when people have an i want to cash they win elections i mean you know that's just how it goes he continues to visit the capitol in washington but only as a visitor many members of congress are millionaires themselves the cokes have been among those advancing their own agenda with cash their network expanded in the eighty's with organizations billed as citizens initiatives. in 1904 they launched citizens for a sound economy their members challenge and all new environmental regulations with
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backing from exxon and microsoft. in 1903 they took on then president bill clinton who was planning an energy tax that would have cost koch industries a lot of money clinton's plan failed. citizens for a sound economy later split into different divisions k. street in washington is home to one of their successors freedom works. adam brandon is proud of the power his organization wields with evidence presented on the walls like trophies he's helped in appointing the controversial brett kavanaugh as a supreme court judge earned him thanks from trump but does freedom works have the power to influence legislation i believe we do and we've actually i look back on last year we have there's bills we supported we had a there was a bipartisan coalition on criminal justice reform that we actually have the bill hanging up here in our office that we were able to drive so many phone calls to get
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that across the finish line. according to its own figures freedom works has 6000000 members and army of volunteers they're dedicated to the fight for libertarian goals against taxes and state influence freedom works provides them with the arguments and training to pressurize politicians. when we try to push an issue we will organize office visits where people by the dozen will go and visit our congressman we will do protests but there will also do phone calls and then social media pressure we could drive thousands of calls per day and those thousands of calls usually equated to hundreds of hours and when we asked them to do calls will send them a very small 5 point outline of various positions and facts that they could use to call their elected officials. as the coronavirus crisis hit home freedom works over cell phone calls to state governors their demand to end the shutdown at
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the federal level the aim was to stop spending on state rescue packages. we now have folks in the senate and in the house who are very ready and willing to vote no and that's what we're working as soon as i'm off this call i'm getting on another call to try to rally up some support to get some more congressmen to vote no. our politics just another commercial commodity in the u.s. the koch's wanted to influence public opinion and presidents with money being the key factor and they've not been the only conservative billionaires involved the mercers are another highly influential family. robert mercer became a multi-billionaire as a hedge fund manager. and his more socially visible daughter has learnt a lot from the coax him 2011 rebecca donated more than $25000000.00
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towards the koch's political activities but in some ways the mercers are even more radical. they supported donald trump in 26 teamed with their only network using dubious tactics and a lot of money to gain access to the. white house. jaded mager man was taken aback by his boss's actions by 2016 he'd worked over 20 years for robert mercer and had helped develop the algorithms that earned billions for the family i felt that i had my my intellectual efforts and my work had gone into creating the possibility of people having outsized influence on politics. during the $26000.00 election campaign the mercers didn't just rely on the dividends of a classic campaign they invested an additional $10000000.00 in the breitbart news
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network far right populist steve bannon head of breitbart and mercer's confidant headed trump's election campaign the mercers also invested in cambridge analytical the london based data consulting company that collected data from facebook users and used it to influence voters now with the power of the internet facebook social media and the. ability for funding to come into support almost arbitrary scaled efforts to 2 or deploy this kind of technology we really don't have any kind of control over the public process anymore. while donald trump celebrated his triumph david matter man was plagued with guilt i was in eat position of knowing the motivations of one of donald trump's most secretive and influential contributors after the election i kind of you know. just felt guilty
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and then as i saw the team being built up around donald trump and the advisors that were coming from the foundation funded by this donor and. i realized that the story wasn't over. after the election david mack decided to go public with his insights including his bosses racist views he believes that a system that gives billionaires like the mercers this degree of influence is anything but healthy. the koch brothers also understand the power of media the power of words and images except they're slightly more old fashioned than the mercers in 2018 they provided $650000000.00 to back the acquisition of the time publishing group. that was just them trying to expand their network to some extent and exert political influence through another channel they hadn't really had any
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type of acquisition at scale at that time. a prime example of this type of lobbying is rupert murdoch in 1000. and 2 the white house media deregulation was subsequently amended to murdoch's advantage in 87 the fairness doctrine requiring broadcasters to provide balanced reporting was overturned the coast was clear for the likes of fox news. and clean vibe it's a media system going to. by the private sector with news channels that serve special interests satisfying a certain clientele it it's no longer a case of accountability and exercising that function as a full of the state is on and they get is could see you dome they earn money by intensifying party political polarization some time off a shift then z. if you're a republican politician you have to get along with fox news if you without the support of false news you have little chance of winning the next election at any
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given fox news played a critical role in the election of trump to the presidency they were strong articulate and emotional advocates for trump for his policy for his notion of immigrants are a danger to us for his racism it's almost a joke now where we see he tunes into fox he hears something from a commentator on fox news and then he talks about it as if it's a policy that should be followed. donald trump's populist rhetoric however was not good news for koch industries and its reliance on cheap immigrant labor is protectionist trade dispute with china also went against their interests and they dislike was mutual in a tweet to a fund raising event in 2015 trump sniped by a twitter i wish good luck to all the republican candidates that travel to
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california to beg for money etc from the koch brothers puppets brothers some of them via come from a c. for koch brothers worked to gain strength during the election campaign and they supported other candidates tried but have since made their peace but he has since delivered results for these interest groups if you look at the recent tax reforms of the oil industry among others has profited massively the corporations also benefit from the massive deregulate. when in the environmental sector. in 2019 charles koch hit back a truck with a surprising move new organization started emerging within his otherwise strictly conservative network that now explicitly advocated democrats a joint think tank with left leaning multi billionaire george soros was just one notable example the subject disarmament. this is a very interesting and high profile development because it shows that old party
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political distinctions no longer apply in certain areas at least ice in the. exact impact of these seemingly disparate sources of funding remains unclear and u.s. policy is not immune to foreign influence either the powerful national rifle association is a case in point. approximately $15000.00 people die in the u.s. each year from firearms school massacres have sadly become a regular occurrence. visited he really is a hero and i am very proud to say that he's my sister. and we have them really was an amazing. but he died doing what he was protecting a kid that meant the world you hurt after each such attack. machine goes on the off chance the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is
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a good guy with the. romans on showed. his asian manages to nip any philip tickle initiative on gun regulation in the bud. even with 80 or 90 percent of the population after a school massacre are in favor of gun ownership reform the n.r.a. is still able to ensure that congress takes no action and this is your kind of politicking mid-city forget according to analysts only as research the n.r.a. also receives great support from foreign weapons manufacturers such as beretta in italy or austria based glock although the n.r.a. is not supposed to be using foreign funding to spend on u.s. politics it's really hard to distinguish a watch which funds are used for what it's hard to say if the same dollar going into the n.r.a. was ultimately used for lobbying or used to influence an election and so it raises
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a lot of potential risk of foreign money seeping into u.s. elections on chack which violates variety of different campaign finance laws potentially. koch industries is also a supporter of the n.r.a. but its backing extends to other fronts with college students also in their sites financial donations by the charles koch foundation increased steadily between 252017 totaling a quarter of a $1000000000.00 that covered $450.00 campuses including numerous elite universities such as harvard yale and princeton. there is. distance to the lobby groups. samantha parsons was studying at george mason university in virginia the university that receives the most money from koch industries when she realized that her lecturers were not entirely independent and came in and mentioned
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that his professor stated that climate change is not real and that if students wanted to debate him on the fact that they could leave and never come back which again mind you this is a required course the students have to sit in it and there a little bit of online research we found out that he that professor himself is directly funded by the koch foundation. were eager to finance institutions that focus on the free market economy among them the mackay to center george mason university most of the $1000000.00 contracts were drawn up in secret and with certain requirements. those terms and conditions include influence over what is being researched and the research outcomes and influence over what curriculum is being taught in the classroom of the programs that they're funding and even influence over who's hiring who's being hired and fired. samantha parsons believes there is even more behind the koch's commitment the intent to recruit
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young educated people and a libertarian elite to be the dominating force in future policy. they view the young people that they can reach through their university programs as the future staff of their think tanks of their grassroots nonprofits they even hope someday maybe that those young people become legislators themselves or judges themselves and during the coronavirus pandemic conservative think tanks have not relented in their fight against environmental protection in a letter to politicians. in march 2019 the texas public policy foundation was adamant that renewable energies should not benefit from government aid climate change is not an immediate threat to humanity we had a lot of people sign on to that letter to remind them that you know really
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shouldn't be making these investments with tax dollars she shouldn't be burdening taxpayers more especially during the pandemic and now is not the time to essentially waste taxpayer money on investments in green billing the legislative package was eventually adopted without any support for renewable energy adding inside information about policy is useful for jason i sack and personal contacts until 2018 he had himself been an active republican politician. tremendously knowing that things a lot of times get done behind closed doors and not open to the public because people are having one on one conversations with members of the legislature and when you know those members it's easier to call them and to say how do you feel about this particular piece of legislation or the beautiful moment you know you really are currently in a phase where the environmental protection agency has been transformed into an environmental destruction agency and this is the humvee of them decreases shown during the crisis they have done away with air and pollution control regulations is
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like land a national parks are currently being opened up for gas and oil drilling unthinkable even a few years ago i was doing it for the you know and for that you're being it's destruction on a scale where you can only shake your head. while the polluters including koch industries feel anything but frustrated. also a trusted adviser to the mercer family helped to see the paris climate accord. so we're getting our. money in politics has been a problem continues to be and looks like it will be for the forseeable future the only solution. to the problem is to regulate the money being spent on elections and to restore the power of the voter as opposed to the the power of the dollar. but the citizens united verdict remains valid getting companies and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to exert influence you know we have
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stories about these giants that are insatiable they're always hungry and it doesn't matter how much they eat they're going to try to go eat some more and won't be eating is usually. culture and truth at 19. what didn't happen. but definitely did happen. what were the consequences for the cultural center. 2020 cultures at a distance. are revealed. 20 lines. 30 minutes in the.
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us and it's as if they don't need to keep up. the ball both for over a mention on the 4th time for the whole of the last person that they claim that was the bottom of the valley at the last dragon was one of those as you called the hard . to agree but. i. i i. i it was the censure from the monarch. this one. i am i wish i. could see it. starts to seem to. come up.
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the be. this is d. dublin years live from berlin the u.k. government unveils over 1000 restrictions for christmas british prime minister boris johnson warns against travel to high risk areas saying the country cannot continue with christmas as planned a new strain of the virus is fueling fears also coming up israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu becomes the 1st in his country to get vaccinated for over 19 as israel kicks off its vaccination campaign look at why many are unhappy with how the nation.


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