'Citizen Koch' examines the impact of unlimited, anonymous political spending

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A still from the documentary

An exposé on the state of American democracy and the fracturing of the Republican Party, Citizen Koch investigates the money behind the tea party and traces the impact of unlimited election spending by large corporations and billionaires. The film, from Academy Award-nominated directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, focuses on the Kochs' influence in Wisconsin. It opened Friday at Milwaukee's Downer Theater and Madison's Sundance Cinemas.

David and Charles Koch took the $300 million they inherited and built it into a multibillion-dollar, trans-global, polluting behemoth by shoveling money into fake "grassroots" political groups. Those groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, have taken advantage of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which greenlighted unlimited campaign spending for such groups. As a direct result, the Kochs and other industrialists have spent unprecedented money on political advertising to defeat environmentalist candidates as well as office-seekers who support public schools, public health care and anti-poverty programs. They buy fealty from elected officials via massive campaign contributions.

Gov. Scott Walker has been one of their most prized workhorses by following their orders more transparently than others in the group, even though he leads a swing state.

Several media sources reported recently that the Kochs have promised to spend at least $300 million in the 2014 election cycle. Generally, such spending goes toward advertising nasty distortions of candidates they oppose while creating false claims in favor of the candidates they prefer. In this election cycle, Koch Industries is particularly fighting proposed EPA regulations that would cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent.

For more about Citizen Koch, go to www.citizenkoch.com/page/content/TRAILER.