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8/18/15

US Democracy: Koch brothers: commit to spend billions on 2016 presidential election

They have been called the unseen force in US politics and they’re two of the most powerful figures in the country.

Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch take an aggressive and active interest in the US political system and frequently bankroll politicians who share their conservative views.

In the eyes of many, the two men have effectively co-opted one side of American politics and bent them to their will with a seemingly endless stream of donations.

With the Republican nomination for the presidential race set to be decided in the coming months, the outcome is inextricably tied to the actions of Charles and David Koch. As Democratic senator Harry Reid stated on the senate floor last year: “the Koch brothers are trying to buy America.”

With their increasing wealth and influence, the pair are inching closer to that undeclared goal and the upcoming presidential race could prove as a barometer for the power of the men — considered the king makers of the Republican Party.

The reason they have been able to use their wealth to openly dictate the course of the America’s right-wing politicians is largely thanks to a 2012 decision by the Supreme Court, known as Citizens United. The landmark judgment held that the US constitution prohibited restrictions on political expenditures by corporations and made it easier for them to pump money into elections.

Current presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders railed against the decision at the time and lamented how the Koch brothers helped usher it in.

“What the US government said to the Koch brothers, is you can buy the United States government. Why would you hesitate for one minute to spend a billion, two billion — that’s pretty good,” Bernie Sanders exclaimed on MSNBC.

Read more: Koch brothers: commit to spend billions on 2016 presidential election

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