Scott Brown asks the Koch Brothers for Money in March, 2011Two days ago, mere months after Senator Scott Brown voted to gut the Clean Air Act, the Koch Brothers maxed outtheir donations to his campaign.

Upon hearing this news, Bill McKibben wrote me, "If you want Koch Brothers' money, you have to dance to their tune–this helps explain why Scott Brown would do something that every poll, not to mention common sense, shows his constituents abhor."

Ah right, the Clean Air Act. Mere months ago, a number of Senators did something that at any point in the last 40 years before now would have seemed laughably toxic. Why would anyone vote against clean air?

In Massachusetts, and many other states across the country, the votes prompted people to protest in the streets. In Ohioand Massachusetts, residents banded together to hire cycllists to blanket the streets with bike billboards decrying their Senators' votes. In Boston, the bike ads were accompanied by two massive rallies where people took to the streets chanting against corporate influence on politics and for cleaner air.


The only visible purpose of voting to gut the Clean Air Act seemed to be to line the pockets of already ultra-wealthy corporate polluters who were loath to participate in reducing their toxic emissions.

Corporate polluters, like the Koch Brothers, were so appalled at the prospect of curbing pollution, in fact, that they poured over $500 million leading up to the 2010 elections into bullying politicians who opposed them, supporting those who denied the very existence of climate change, and rewarding those willing to put polluter profits above the health of their constituents and planet.

This week, we see that process start anew: the Koch brothers have started pay-outs to politicians that fell in lock step with polluter interests over the last year. The first lucky recipient is Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

As Bill says, if you want the cash you have to play by the rules, and Senator Scott Brown has played by every polluter-created rule in the book.

In this post- Citizen’s United era, one has to wonder what happens to the rights of everyday voters when corporations stand at the ready to pour money into bullying or supporting elected officials after every vote.

Any politician who puts the interests of the fossil fuel industry and their corporate front groups above the interests of their constituents should be ashamed.  As the cash from the Koch Brothers flows, it leaves a dead zone of votes representing our values behind it: let’s not stand silent.

Want to do somethign about it? Join us for Moving Planet on September 24th to stand up for a fossil fuel world where we stop pouring money into the Koch Brothers’ checking account.

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