CHICAGO - Beware, Illinois, there's a conspiracy among the world's richest to keep you poor and enslaved to an unfair economic system. It's true - the Koch Brothers are out to change America's economy to self-serve the wealthy, a new report titled "Kochonomics: Rigging the System at the Local Level," says.
Charles and David Koch "have sought to severely limit the scope of government in ways that could render it ineffective, but which often also help them pad their bottom line as the heads of one of America’s largest privately held companies," the Center for American Progress Action fund said Thursday.
And they are coming right into Illinois neighborhoods.
"..Koch-affiliated organizations have spent a minimum of hundreds of thousands of dollars all across the country to block initiatives that would fund schools and a zoo, construct mass transit infrastructure, and prevent companies like theirs from polluting our water," the Center said.
In Illinois, Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity put politics over kids by working to defeat initiatives in certain school districts intended to update school facilities and avoid cuts to school staff positions and programs, the group said in a statement.
However, the Center doesn't mention in the report that the Illinois initiatives they point to also raised local property taxes - something property owners are fed up with paying more and more of each year.
It's all mischaracterization on behalf of groups like the Center, Americans for Prosperity-Illinois' State Director David From said Thursday.
"Left-wing groups can try to mischaracterize AFP's efforts but we'll keep fighting on the side of taxpayers," he said. "Our goal at AFP-Illinois is to stand up for Illinois taxpayers."
"Unfortunately, at the local level taxpayers can have a difficult time just knowing when they are being hit with a potential tax hike by one of the many local government entities. In the state with the second-highest property tax burden, AFP-IL is proud to partner with local activists to raise awareness about proposed tax and debt increases," From told Illinois Review.
Since 2012, AFP-IL has helped defeat over sixty local tax hikes, saving taxpayers nearly $500 million.
The Koch Brother reportedly plan to spend nearly $300 million on the 2014 midterm elections. The anount they plan to spend on local initiatives has yet to be announced.