Over the past decade or so, the Koch political network, now headed by Charles Koch after his brother David’s departure from politics last year, has become the symbol of excess wealth and inordinate political power in America. It appears that the Kochs have realized this and decided it’s long past time for them to restructure their shitty empire so it looks a little bit more palatable to the public.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that the Koch political network, which is currently known by the ominous-sounding, Resident Evil-villain ass name The Seminar Network, will now be known as the much friendlier Stand Together. “We live in a period of unprecedented progress—economic, social, technological—but not everyone has shared in that progress,” Charles Koch, absent even a hint of irony, said in a statement to supporters shared with the Post. “While many people have gotten ahead, too many people are falling behind. Our charge is clear: we must stand together to help every person rise.”
The Koch network’s central political project over the past decade has centered around stripping workers of their right to organize and make living wages while also killing regulations and drastically reducing taxes on corporations and the wealthy. This effort culminated in the millions Koch groups spent trying to convince people that the Republican tax plan was in fact very good. And so when it comes to the people and entities responsible for exploding inequality, the Kochs have a prominent place in that conversation.
As part of further restructuring, the network is reportedly shuttering Freedom Partners, which it previously used to push out campaign ads and other libertarian free market propaganda. The group will also now coordinate all of its political efforts through Americans for Prosperity, its main advocacy group.
Per the Washington Post, these are the network’s new goals:
Koch and [Stand Together chairman Brian] Hooks identify these as their five top priorities going forward: Empower everyone to find fulfilling work. Help neighbors beat poverty and addiction. Ensure excellent education for every person. Build a stronger economy that works for all. Bridge divides and build respect for one another.
Translation: Empower everyone to work for $3 an hour. Help neighbors beat poverty and addiction, but not too much. Ensure excellent profit margins for every for-profit charter conglomerate. Build a stronger economy that works for us. Bridge divides and build a big moat filled with alligators surrounding my house so the poors can’t get to me when they realize they’ve had enough.
At the end of the day, it’s still a turd sandwich, regardless of what kind of toppings you put on it.