New book: Father of politically active Koch brothers built a refinery for the Nazis
By TOM HAMBURGER
Charles Koch, shown in his Wichita office of Koch Industries, called for the elimination of welfare for the rich. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Bo Rader)
A forthcoming book by New Yorker writer Jane Mayer says that the father of the politically influential Koch Brothers helped build a refinery in Germany in the 1930s that was important to the Nazi war effort.
Mayer’s book, “Dark Money,” examines the role played by a handful of super-rich families in the evolution of the political right in the United States, from the Gilded Age of the last century to the Tea Party today. She describes the donor network assembled by the Kochs, which has committed to spend hundreds of millions this election year, as returning the country to an era when the super rich got their way by underwriting federal office-holders and their election campaigns. The recent spike in largely secret spending, she maintains, has had a profound effect on state and local as well as national politics, and helps explain the lack of progress in the United States in addressing problems such as global warming and income inequality.